Posts Tagged ‘Corporatism’

Ignorance Is Futile:

Subvertising is the practice of making spoofs or parodies of corporate and political  advertisements. Here we have spoofed the activity booklet from BP’s Brainwash Marketing for Kids campaign:

Members over at ATS helped me with all of this recently. If you’d like to participate here are the raw images of the activity booklet, and please to post them up here.

Ignorance Is Futile:

The McDonaldization of BP. The key to McD’s marketing strategy is to get them when they’re young, and then have life long customers. In 2007 BP decided to follow their lead as we’ll see…

McD’s (“clown food”) isn’t even very good by fast food standards. With the exception of their fries, it can be hard to imagine how much of any of their ‘burgers’ are able to compete with the likes of Burger King, Hardee’s, etc. Yet year after year McClown’s manages to stay #1.

How do they do it? Brand loyalty, installed during youth, via jungle gym playlands that feature space shuttles, emotional gimmickry with “Happy Meals” and toys, a cast of characters seemingly modeled after Sesame Street, kiosk game stations that feature next-gen game system free to play, custom Megatouch machines built into the wall set on freeplay, and so on.

Now as far as I know, hardly ever going into BP, they haven’t gone as far as Megatouch games built into the walls. However, they’ve still opted to market directly to kids in order to gain unwitting lifelong customers. McClown’s does the same, and when the kids grow up many remain faithful customers not even knowing why.

McClown’s is the pinnacle of this sort of Brainwash Marketing, but the fact is BP has taken on that marketing strategy no less.

Perhaps you’re different and pay attention to which company you buy your gas from. BP certainly hopes so: They’re spending about $35 million on this worldwide campaign for their service stations (or “retail network”). BP head of marketing Ann Hand acknowledges that the classic industry research says people choose stations mostly because of location or price, but adds that BP’s tracking studies show some brand awareness does exist. “This campaign is the next step,” she says. “Can we build more brand loyalty? Would you cut across traffic, or go a block out of your way?”…

A few years ago a friend who watches TV told me about the commercials. Sure enough I found them on their website. Later I stopped in a BP anf found their playbook – activity set complete with collectible cards of their cast of cartoon characters.

I asked the attendant about the customer response to the activity set, and as I suspected he said that kids love the playsets and nag parents to stop in at BP. I had forgotten all about it for a long time until recently, and then I remembered that I still have the propaganda activity set.

Marketers plant the seeds of brand recognition in very young children, in the hopes that the seeds will grow into lifetime relationships. According to the Center for a New American Dream, babies as young as six months of age can form mental images of corporate logos and mascots. Brand loyalties can be established as early as age two, and by the time children head off to school most can recognize hundreds of brand logos.

While fast food, toy and clothing companies have been cultivating brand recognition in children for years, adult-oriented businesses such as banks and automakers are now getting in on the act.

Magazines such as Time, Sports Illustrated and People have all launched kid and teen editions—which boast ads for adult related products such as minivans, hotels and airlines.…

Seven-year-old Marley loves Happy Meals from McDonald’s. She used to get Chicken McNuggets, but now she chooses a cheeseburger to go with her fries and Sprite. Her father, Patrick, is a chef, trained at the Culinary Institute of America, but Marley prefers McDonald’s to his cooking. After a trip to McDonald’s, Marley eagerly surfs onto, where she can enter a code from her meal to get a “behind-the-scenes look at iCarly,” a kids’ TV show (boys can use their code for a Star Wars promotion).

Patrick pulled the plug on his television a few months ago, in part to shield his two young daughters from advertising, but the McDonald’s marketing execs have reached Marley all the same. Because he’s health- and environmentally-conscious, Patrick does not take her to McDonald’s often, but after a long day of school and extra-curricular activities, sometimes a little nagging is all it takes for Marley to convince her dad that she’s hungry now and only food served at a drive-thru will do.…

“We’re relying on the kid to pester the mom to buy the product, rather than going straight to the mom.” -Barbara A. Martino, Advertising Executive

“Brand marketing must begin with children. Even if a child does not buy the product and will not for many years… the marketing must begin in childhood.” -James McNeal, The Kids Market, 1999…


I fear our good intentions may have created a monster. BP asked the world for oil spill / gusher response ideas, without hiring enough people to be able to sort thru those ideas in any amount of time worth a damn. But now they are armed with these ideas, and in the future may try to become the worlds leading oil response profiteers.

With the help of ATS, we alone came up with some great ideas that could have worked. But it wasn’t until 3 weeks after I sent my submissions did I even get automated response acknowledging the submissions, and about another week later until I got emails stating they’ve actually reviewed them consciously. By then it was too late, they had sawed off the BOP.

In today’s economic scenario of unemployment and joblessness, they should have had no problem hiring a small call centers worth of people to process the ideas. They apparently didn’t. So in effect we all wasted our time and passion.

Looking into the future, I refuse to have BP come out as an industry leader after all of this. I’m hoping to rally people into focusing on how to prevent this. I’m not just talking about the Gulf here. As far as our ideas are concerned, it was basically a waste of time even submitting them. They have been and are continuing to use the precise dated methods used with the Ixtoc. The Gulf Gusher WILL be fixed. It WILL be cleaned up by both humans and nature.

The issue I’m shifting to is preventing them from becoming the premier oil spill profiteers, aka Disaster Capitalists, by using our ideas. BP is responsible for crimes against humanity and the earth far before and beyond 2010, including the overthrow of democratically elected government(s) [see: Operation Ajax]. They must be buried when this is over with.

Obviously, we need for BP to not retain closed ownership of our 100,000+ ideas. Even bigger, the idea of companies that drill for oil also standing to gain profits from the cleanup efforts are a major conflict of interest.

It all starts with public pressure on Congress. Here are their phone numbers for starters:… Perhaps direct calls to Congress from those at this juncture won’t be enough. What else can we do?

If the government doesn’t intend to build the premier oil response outfit that BP stands to then these ideas need to be made totally public for private companies that will. After finally seeing videos about Mr. Costner’s cleanup machine I know they’re out there. In fact, the ideas should have been browse-able online from the very beginning.

All of our ideas shouldn’t become the property of BP. If they belong to anyone it’s all of humanity. BP shouldn’t be allowed to patent our ideas. We all use the oil, and not just for gasoline. We all have a stake in being able to effectively deal with these issues. If government isn’t going to build the long term response force then I don’t care if someone makes money off it, as long as is isn’t BP and as long as there isn’t a conflict of interest with who is making the money and do the drilling & transporting.

At bare minimum it should all be open source. Like a Open Source Oil Cleanup Project, or something. Maybe have Congress not spend a million dollars on studies of prostitutes in China this year, and fund that instead.

11th suicide at Apple factory

Another employee of Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn fell to his death yesterday at the company’s plant in southern China — the 11th such death this year, state media reported.

The apparent suicides have raised questions about the conditions for millions of factory workers in China, especially at Apple manufacturer Foxconn, where labour activists say long hours, low pay and high pressure are the norm.

The official Xinhua news agency provided no further details on the latest death, which came just hours after the firm reportedly urged its workers in southern China to promise in writing not to kill themselves as it battles to stem a spate of factory suicides. …

Nets were put on buildings to stop people from jumping, and about 100 mental health counsellors were being trained. …

The walled-in industrial park employs 300,000 workers and looks more like a small city with fast-food restaurants, bakeries, Bank of China branches and towering dormitories for workers.

Foxconn was trying to address allegations from labour groups that the workers were killing themselves because of hellish conditions in the factories, which churn out iPhones, Dell computers, (Hewlet Packard products), Nokia mobile phones and many other big-selling electronics.

Critics allege that Foxconn manages its plants with a strict military approach and workers must work too much overtime on assembly lines that move too fast.


And also the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to write a headline or caption for. This was titled “THE SINGAPORE SOLUTION” by National Geographic (emphasis theirs), and it did not include a question mark after the title.

The photo:

The Singapore version of The 4th of July, the National Day ceremony.

Picture Bush or Obama up there in the eyeball shaped display!

Happy 4th of July!!!

I have the National Geographic magazine the photo came from. In the book, the photo is 2-page with more detail, and under it across both pages is a thick red border that says “THE SINGAPORE SOLUTION”. The article goes on to explain all the benefits of the worlds most sci-fi corporate police state.  I could really use some video footage of that event.

After all, LKY, as he is known in acronym-mad Singapore, is more than the “father of the country.” He is its inventor, as surely as if he had scientifically formulated the place with precise portions of Plato’s Republic, Anglophile elitism, unwavering economic pragmatism, and old-fashioned strong-arm repression.

I’ve seen just about every dystopian sci-fi movie out there, and this madness is even more creative. And to think that is the proceedings of their form of 4th of July.

Lee masterminded the celebrated “Singapore Model,” converting a country one-eighth the size of Delaware, with no natural resources and a fractured mix of ethnicities, into “Singapore, Inc.” He attracted foreign investment by building communications and transportation infrastructure, made English the official language, created a superefficient government by paying top administrators salaries equal to those in private companies, and cracked down on corruption until it disappeared. The model—a unique mix of economic empowerment and tightly controlled personal liberties—has inspired imitators in China, Russia, and eastern Europe.

Now take a closer look at that image:

And on top of that there are 12 people standing in front of the eyeball.