(x-posted at Pax Americana)
Recieved this in my Gmail box the other day. If you can't figure out why this is twenty different kinds of wrong I can't help you:
My name is [redacted by this post's author, even though it's more than I deserve, gosh, he must be a nice fella], and I’m the Outreach Manager for [redacted; they're not getting any hits off of this]. I’m writing to you because I think that the new RealPlayer® might be of value to you and A Blog Named Sue: Iraq War’s readers. As a blog that covers the war, the new RealPlayer would make be a great tool for saving the latest news clippings, front line videos, or any other media related to Iraq.
The new RealPlayer (www.realplayer.com), has changed quite a bit since the last version. The new version is now more of a video tool and utility that enables a user to instantly download streaming videos in the most popular formats (except DRM-protected videos) to their hard drive and to share the links with friends from the library they are creating. The player also enables users to watch videos without an Internet connection.
Once the player is installed, a user watching videos on YouTube, Break, Metacafe and other similar sites will see a “Download This Video” button automatically appear directly above the video, enabling them to save it to their hard drive with a single click.
With the new RealPlayer Plus, a user can transfer downloaded videos to their iPod and burn them to DVD to watch whenever and wherever they want.
I’d love to send you a complimentary copy of RealPlayer Plus (which is normally $39.99) for you to check out, and if you like it, write a review. If you’re interested, please email me back and I’ll send you the download URL, username and password for such.
We have also developed a backend electronic press kit for the RealPlayer containing a how-to slideshow and videos (including a Zombie demonstration of the RealPlayer), banners, press releases and much more for your convenience. You can find this at [redacted; buy an ad next time, OK?].
Please confirm receipt of this email and let me know if you would like to receive a complimentary copy of the player. Thanks.
[Redacted - see above]
Gandhi famously said, "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." I'm not sure where "Then they use you as an unwitting pawn to help them sell stuff" fits into that process. I can only imagine how that form letter would have read if I was a porn blogger.
I'm a video production professional; I rely on advertising, PR and marketing people in order to feed my family. The art just won't do that for me, at least not yet, and most likely not ever. I have nothing against advertising and marketing per se...but goddamn it, shit like this makes me want to take the last fifteen years of my life, shout, "Fuck it all!" and throw them out the window. Maybe I should open a bike shop. I don't really know how to fix a bike, but come on, two wheels and a couple of gears - how hard can it be?
My point is this: even though we all have to advertise and market our stuff to get by in this world - hell, most blogs take ads - there are things that just are not done. I say no to stuff all the time, and I catch hell for it. Most people I know in the field do the same. I just worked with a client whose career at a certain agency took a big hit because she wouldn't work a fast food account. You're never obliged to do something that is in the worst taste imaginable, even though it seems someone else is always willing to do so. Obviously, using the war to help sell your crap media player falls into that category, although I guarantee you the people who dreamed up this campaign will see my protest as a sign that they're "gutsy" and "willing to push the envelope" to "get the job done."
Whatever. I suppose it's encouraging that us dirty fucking hippies are now seen as a desirable demographic. Or something.