Leave out the marketing man

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The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has a new campaign called ninemillion.org. Some big corporates are behind it such as Nike and Microsoft. It looks to raise funds for 9 million refugee children so they can play sport and go to school.

On the website linked above you can find some videos of various refugee camps. I looked at the one based on a Karen refugee camp. The video came across as some sort of promotional piece, very slickly presented, although my connection to it kept cutting out! The further I got into this video the more uneasy I became. The football was being held carefully as the children were being spoken to; by carefully, I mean so that you could see the Nike logo. We then move onto a ‘get to know America’ workshop. Some of them understandably desire to leave their cramped conditions that they have put up with for 10 years (where they can’t return to Burma) and try for the US. The session about America moves from learning english to an introduction to a typical American breakfast … cereal & toast!

I mean really, I started to lose the plot here and the message of the campaign! Who made this video? My guess is this one at least was made by nikeman. Seriously, such important campaigns need to leave out the marketing man. Yes the UN needs corporate money but it also needs to keep the dignity.

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3 Responses to Leave out the marketing man

  1. earthpal says:

    Hmm…just watched it too. I know what you mean about the Nike logo. It’s a very tasteful and impressive website but the product placement thing in the videos is just so naughty. They just won’t miss an opportunity to plug their products will they. Why can’t they keep their products out of people’s suffering and just help for the sake of helping? Then we might believe that they are genuine in their efforts rather than simply exploiting people’s misery to sell their stuff! Just bloody DO IT Nike!!!

  2. matt says:

    Well said earthpal !! ‘Product placement’ was the phrase I was looking for and I agree with you that it is incredible that they can’t help themselves from doing this in the video, while in a refugee camp. I could fill this comment with expletives but I won’t. 😉

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