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What is the Opposite of Philanthropy?

February 23, 2012 by Matt Foster   Comments (0)

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In my refined and beautiful life it is not often that I am forced to come across adverts on TV or the radio, but inevitably they serve only to make me irritated, and after further (‘rational’) thought about them I usually decide to become angry. A couple that have passed my field of vision in recent times have been one made by Cadbury’s, and the other by a generic air-freshener or ‘compensation’/ambulance chasing legal service (I forget which one, as the advert was completely interchangeable).

 

The Cadbury’s one was for a ‘new’ chocolate bar (which was actually originally released in around 2006), the advert featuring a number of ‘wacky’ purple vehicles suddenly transforming as they drove along and literally ballooning (I mean that too; they actually literally turn into balloons) until they are flying above the country in one massive, tacky armada with strange little people inside pulling levers, this triggers the release of thousands of chocolate bars attached to parachutes, which are now going to float out over the nation so that everyone can have some free, (although strictly hypothetical) chocolate.

One problem that I have with this is that they have paid a big advertising firm to take the image of these people giving chocolate – in the most loving, and fun way that they can think of – to (hypothetical) beneficiaries, and then put it on television.

 

Surely a much easier way to spread the news of such a revolutionary (not to mention tasty) ‘new’ product is to actually hand it out (to real people) on the streets. Not only would this be cheaper than buying up prime-time advertising space, but also spare the expense of filming the whole ridiculous charade. They could actually give out free chocolate, instead of paying another company to show potential paying customers a hypothetical simulation of generous, showy philanthropy by Kraft (neé Carbury’s). Surely this is not the way to go about the Wonka-style attitude that they have been trying to trick people into believing that they have? Even down to wearing silly purple coats…

 

No, Mr Wonka would have trusted in the quality and tastiness of his new product to sell itself to the people upon tasting it, and that is why he had faith in his ‘free-chocolate-that-you-can-eat-straight-from-the-telly’ marketing ploy to relauch his name. Unfortunately, due to this not being the case with the Cadbury’s newly released (or old and repackaged) product, it is illogical for them to do so, instead dodging the fact that they are selling low-range confectionery at mid-range prices and instead paying for the sense of good feeling and improved reputation that comes with the public associating you with the (hypothetical) act of generosity in the advert.

 

what we have here is a group of controlling executives paying professional propaganda companies for the hearts and minds of the public (which I personally question the morality of, despite the fact that is only a figure of speech, rather than a reference to organ-harvesting).

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