Supposedly, Americans love the underdog. Maybe it’s true for sports teams and movie heroes, but it doesn’t appear to be the case for certain well-meaning underdog causes — specifically, environmentalism and animal rights.
Despite the fact that activists are well-intentioned, poorly compensated (if they are compensated at all), and are battling self-interested opponents with exponentially greater resources, certain radio and cable-news loudmouths have made it fashionable to ridicule their efforts.
And so now we have a pair of commercials — Kia’s “Save the Greenbacks” campaign — that effectively belittle these activists through parody. (It adds insult to injury that the spots are from a car-maker.)
As one blogger describes the ads:
The theme is, in my opinion, mocking the efforts of environmental groups trying to prevent the exploitation of wildlife and reserves … People in the ad are running around, scooping up “Greenbacks” (dollar bills) to “save” them. One ad takes place in a frozen landscape (Alaska?) and another at the beach (whales?).
I logged onto kia.com and used their “Feedback” option (yesterday) to let them know how tasteless these ads are to me. Today I received a call from Kia Motors and was given an opportunity to lodge my complaint in more detail. I recommend similar action to others…
So do we. You can view the ads for yourself here.
And by the way:
Throughout U.S. history, many activist groups were trashed mercilessly in their day — only to emerge as heroes to later generations. Abolitionists come to mind; they were ridiculed and hated. Even Lincoln, their greatest ally among presidents, distanced himself from them until emancipation became inevitable.
Just as politicians distance themselves from environmentalists and animal rights activists today.