Filed under: Comment
Recently I read an article in the Daily Fail … I mean, Mail … that used the headline:
“CCTV shows dramatic moment ‘model pupil’, 15, held up bank workers at gunpoint in Grand Theft Auto-style robbery”
Their justification for linking this idiots actions to the video game was simply because they executed the robbery on the day GTA-V came out.
I know … I know … it’s the Daily Mail, so I should expect nothing more … but I still found it amazing they had the nerve to connect two completely independent events together like that.
To be fair, even they seem to have realised they stepped over the mark because after a few hours, they changed their headline … so while I could use the rest of this post to highlight the ridiculousness of media trying to link video game violence to real life violence [using my Father and – bizarrely Ozzy Osbourne – to prove my point] I’m going to help the Daily Mail by highlighting a couple of things they could be getting their knickers in a twist about.
Before I start, I’d like to say that adland cops a lot of shit from people.
Sure, a lot of that is justified, but having a reputation for being ‘paid liars’ is a joke because there’s more legislation governing what we can and can’t do than there is in journalism.
Of course there are times when an overly ambitious/evil/stupid agency creates work that massively exaggerates the positive attributes of a product or brand, but in the main, there’s a limit on how far you can go, especially where communicating to kids is concerned.
If only those same rules applied to companies.
Recently I was in a store when I saw this …
Yes, that really is a kids fizzy drink made to look [both physically and metaphorically] like champagne.
Now while I get it’s all a bit of fun, it’s not that different to those ‘candy cigarettes’ you could buy when I was a kid … a product that was eventually banned because people felt it made smoking look fun and acceptable to children which may then encourage them to take up the real habit in later life.
Now like video game violence, I am not sure if that is entirely true, especially as I ate a bunch of those things when I was a kid and never ended up even holding a cigarette, let alone smoking one … however unlike GTA, that product has no age restriction. In fact it is actively targeting young children under an ‘adult premise’ so given the Daily Mail tries to position itself as ‘societies guardian’, why the fuck aren’t they shouting about that?
But it gets worse.
Have a look at this …
Yes, it’s a VISA ‘gift card’.
A card [pre-loaded with a pre-determined amount of money] that you can give to loved ones or friend as a gift.
Putting aside the fact this is the sort of present only the lazy and selfish give [which isn’t true, but I’m on a roll here] how the hell does this not encourage kids to start looking at credit cards as something awesome?
Yes, I know factually speaking, it’s a debit card … but some 8 year old isn’t going to look at it that way.
They’re going to associate VISA as a brand that lets them have whatever they want without any implication.
While that’s awesome for the Goifesto people, it’s not for the kid who grows up, gets a card, goes out on a massive spending spree then finds they have to live in a bus shelter for the next 20 years because they can’t pay off the fines for being late paying off the massive interest they accrued on the massive credit limit they were given so they could go out and spend like they were an 8 year old with a VISA card gift voucher.
OK … OK … I’m coming over all Daily Mail there, and while I absolutely believe people have to take responsibility for their actions, I think kid champagne and kid credit cards are far more likely to negatively influence kids [and society] than a video game aimed at – and sold to – 18 year old adults.
I don’t know where I’m going with this [do I ever?] but if you come out and say you stand for something, have the good fucking grace to do it, do it well and do it consistently.
All this proves is what I’ve always said, for all the talk about the importance of strategy, the reality is companies only care about it until they see an opportunity for them to make more money, more quickly.
Right, I’m going to take some blood pressure pills and go and lie down. Ha.
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