I originally wrote this for my evaluation. however it did not fit the brief of the essay and used too many words, i shall include it here in any case.
After my first two years of study I thought I had a pretty well formed idea of what to expect from my specialist project, however this project instead had plenty of surprises in store for me. Often why writing a learning agreement our outlining a new piece of work the time tested method of; How? What? Why? is used in order organize thoughts and plan/review a project. For my specialist project this method was turned on its head, I considered Why? How? What? The beginning of this process was to ponder why? Why did I want to create a piece if creative digital media. The answer was my dislike of the current capitalist culture of bombarding consumers with advertising. Now I wish to make very clear from the start that I respect the current westernized system of living, people need to put food on the table, employees need work both at home and abroad. Advertising is an invaluable tool and is an industry that in future I may even see myself placed in, however I do find the current model of business/advertising extremely irritating and unsettling, and I want to strike back at it. I am not a Russel Brand-esque figure who wants the dissolution of parliament, revolution and riots, but I do want to jab greed-ridden corporations right in the kidneys!
The beginning of this process was to look into some examples of how corporations have been irresponsible and indeed the effect that it has had on the general public. I looked into stories such as the clothes manufacturer Abercrombie and Fitch deciding to burn leftover stocks of clothing as opposed to burning them. Why might they do such a thing? In order to ensure that the high-gloss image of the brand was not tainted by homeless or disadvantaged people wearing their brand. This is the same company that also refuses to manufacture extra large clothing because they do not want fat people to wear their clothes and again ruin this image of perfection they have associated with their clothing. My next point is at the core of why I wanted to focus my project on this topic. As well as performing the poor and in my opinion quite heartless business practice, Abercrombie then come in with an advertising campaign that unashamedly and unapologetically uses sexualisation and body image to sell clothing. I think it is this attitude that irritates me, the idea they have elements of their business that they should not be proud of but then have the bare faced cheek to throw it in the face of the consumer with a wide spread of multimedia advertising.
Many adverts for banks draw my attention in a similar manner. An advertising campaign by Halifax that ran on television for some time was of a group of bak staff dressed in Halifax garb formed into a large choir and singing Blackmoor’s “Just call my name”. Lyrics include “I’ll be there, I’ll be there, Just call my name and I’ll be there”. The song is sung at a slow, church-choir tempo different to the original pop electro-guitar release. The shots include doe-eyes bank employeed looking smug and hopeful interspersed with shots of people doing charity runs, an man helping an old lady get a tin of beans off a high supermarket shelf and two mums lifting a pram up some stairs. I have seen this advert many times and each viewing has succeeded to infuriate me further. In October 2008 Gordon Brown’s Labour government announced it would bail out major banks (Including HBOS) to the tune of £37 Billion in order to stabilize them after years of wreck less and greedy banking. Public money has been used to prop up this bank on account of their selfishness, and now they have the bare faced check to organize themselves into a choir and sing a comforting pop hit to me? All the while interspersing scenes of genuine acts of kindness from strangers!
I realize my description of these events has been both very detailed and highly animated on my part. I do however feel this is important as it is at the core of my campaign. To target out companies who practice immoral business practice behind closed doors and then attempt to give a smiley, warm and manipulative message to our faces via advertising and PR campaigns.