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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Why, asks Y.

This YMCA spot from TBWA/Vancouver combines two things I love: Using children to lecture adults and insights that miss the mark. I’m sure their hearts were in the right place because yes, kids need more exercise, and a sense of community is important. But, time and place for *that* battle. There’s a lot wrong here which feels like it’s reaching way beyond what the YMCA is about. Makes me wonder if the strategy grew out of focus group data or life experience, because both need more weight.

Where to start.

Okay, maybe it’s Canada, but first, kids here aren’t walking to school out of laziness—it’s a safety issue for starters, distance for another. Another sign of the times: Backpacks are now 1,200+ lbs fully loaded. Schools have redestricted, forcing some students to live practically across town from the school they should attend. Given those things, how is walking 5 miles each way even remotely practical?

As for communities, most Y’s in the suburbs reinforce the idea of social events over community events. In the city though? Not so much from the ones I’ve seen. (If anything, the Boys and Girls Clubs fill that role.) The majority of their offerings re exercise programs, and aside from aerobics classes, this is is generally a solitary experience, not a community-building one.

What next... oh yeah, junk food. We are ALL eating more of it, not just kids.

Then, kids aren’t playing sports? What? As a youth sports coach for over a decade, I can definitely say this is just way off. Soccer enrollment is definitely up in most communities. (Parks departments have to shuffle space around to keep up with the growing amount of teams.)

Most kids that I’ve seen are also multi-sport participants throughout the year, this in addition to playing video games. Varsity level sports seem to have zero problem filling their rosters at the high school level. Besides, there’s always been those kids who would never play sports; video games didn’t suddenly make them lose interest.

I could go on, but Y bother. The animation work is killer, though.

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