Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Radiohead's All I Need Brings to Light Human Exploitation

Thanks to my FIU student Camila for sending me this link to Radiohead's All I Need video as an example of using strong messages in advertising, a topic of class discussion. The Radiohead video presents two parallel stories of a young boy in the West, enjoying a comfortable lifestyle, and a young boy in the East, forced into slave labor. The ending is quite jolting. The director, Steve Rogers, weaves his story using compelling cinematography by John Seale, and shakes viewers out of their complacency by bringing awareness to our own practices that affect human beings overseas.

Radiohead's Thom Yorke in an Apr. 30th MTV press release:

It's an interesting thing, because if you are in the West, it's a luxury to be able to talk about the importance of human rights for everybody, but yet in the East or the poorer countries where slave labor is going on, if you talk to certain companies,...somehow the rights of the workers are secondary to economic growth.

In contrast to Benneton ads, discussed in class, the Radiohead video presents its message purposefully to try to affect change in this important social issue. Benneton has been criticized for presenting strong, sometimes shocking, images solely for the purpose of promoting its clothing brand, oftentimes disregarding the pain and suffering of others.

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