advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Too far? Not far enough?

Continuing with kids used for political agendas, does this latest series of spots by the NY State Health Dept. go too far? (Read the story in the notes section and watch the Today Show segment here.) Listen to the post-rationalization going on: NYC health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden says it’s okay because the spots don’t lie. (Awesome. As if you needed a reason to never again ask a government official to judge the merits of an ad campaign.) Nor does it seem Donny Deutsch can make up his mind: He would never do it if it were his kid, buuuuut, it’s a good ad, and if it helps save 20,000 people, then it’s okay to make kids cry.

Well, which is it? The greater good justification at work here is sweet. Then there’s program director Fiona Sharkie, who heads Quit Victoria, who said about the agency’s work here “Quit would never be part of something deliberately harming a child ... made this commercial within the letter of the law.” Yeah, I bet. So much for the “spirit” of the law though because honestly, you did. They say they never set out to intentionally hurt the child actor, but that’s from an adult POV. How do they know what’s going through a kid’s mind in a situation like that.

What this does is focus people on the issue of whether it’s wrong to make a kid cry, just as long as it’s for a good cause. The message is driven home further with a little too clever voiceover. If you ask me, I don’t think the spot goes far enough to tie in the problem of smoking. I want a kid wailing on dad’s death bed as they give him last rites.

I want his damn dog howling. (Call casting, see if we can maybe get a soccer mom to throw herself across the foot of the bed while sobbing.) C’mon, really push it. Don’t give me this weakass lost-child metaphor crap, because all you’ve done here is give me a reason kids should be LoJacked.

I’m going out for a smoke, argue amongst yourselves if this is okay or not.


phillybikeboy said...

Poor little kid....Mom doesn't stop smoking, he looses her. But, since SCHIP is funded largely by taxing smokes, if she stops, he'll loose his health insurance. I'd cry too.

Anonymous said...

Ugh. that was too over the top. I'm quite disgusted.

I also doubt it will work, people want to be made to feel good and not reminded of their vices/stupidity. I see people click the "next" button on their remote when this comes on.