George Parker: Take My Country… Please, Take My Country!
George Parker is the perpetrator of adscam.typepad.com. Every week he shares his opinions on the advertising world with PSFK.
If you consider that the basic premise of advertising is to make you buy something you may very well have never considered you need (and don’t give me all that shit about branding and friending and starting conversations) and in far too many instances, you probably can’t afford… Then pushing detergents and burgers is bad enough… But, flogging a war… That’s really tough.
However, it would seem that the US is currently engaged in an ad campaign throughout Afghanistan to encourage the hip-hop loving population of that unfortunate country to support our efforts to bring them democracy and the right to buy two hundred dollar sneakers and drive around in boom box equipped Escalades without getting their hands chopped off. This effort is being managed by an army Lt. Col. McCormick, who you guessed it, used to be a marketing dude at Proctor & Gamble in a previous life. So, can we look forward to a “Please squeeze the poppies” campaign? Apparently not. Instead we get lots of stuff about the Afghan army being the warrior guardians of your brothers and sisters and how they will fight with honor and compassion (You can see them here.) There’s also a campaign featuring babies that talks about the “New Afghanistan” and how these kids are going to grow up and be doctors and drug barons (OK- I just made that last one up to encourage hate mail.) As you would expect, all the kids are male, ‘cos babies don’t look as cute in a burqua. Funnily enough, all the ads are in English… Must be ready for the award shows.