10 December 2010

Bizarre Marketing: Invisible Children

I don’t really get this new ad by Invisible Children:
That is not to say I do not understand what they are trying to do.  IC wants people to buy goods from the organizations they support so that the money can support “Africa.” I don’t get why they have gone in this direction.  Why be confrontational with Christmas?  Really, IC, a woman beating an elf at the end? Is it supposed to be funny?

Better yet, they take it a next step with this:

Now I am even more confused.  We saw a woman beating an elf, but now we get to see her with an IC bracelet on her wrist hitting the elf in the face.  Why is Invisible Children fighting the Elves?  Can’t they work together?  What kind of message does this send when they see a group of fictional little people who are meant to embody kindness and cheer as villains? Does the bracelet make people violent?  Should we organize a mob? (Note: Extreme sarcasm in that paragraph)

Planning the Day expresses her concern with the display of violence.  Showing a picture of a bruised elf being hit by a crowbar when you are an organization who advocates to end violence in the DRC is at best hypocritical.  While I have my problems with IC, their strength has always been in their ability to tell stories and create campaigns.  For me, this is a far cry from what they have put together in the past.  I fear for the worst; that IC is headed down the road of simplicity that Enough has paved over the past few years.