Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Buy less buylesscrap (or, how I learned to make my anti-brand cause into an advertising brand)

Lately, buylesscrap has been critical of product (red) and its supporters, saying that the kewl red group is more focused on pushing commercial products than helping AIDS sufferers. $100 million of marketing expenses to get $18 million of contributions to the Global Fund doesn't sound all that good.

But Ragamuffin Soul says.

In our antiness, is that a word?, we (Christians) begin to offer criticism more than solution. Hence the BuyLessCrap campaign.

I know. I know. The solution is just to give directly to the Global Fund without the middle man. Right?...

People are more aware of the crisis of AIDS in Africa. Money is going to AIDS in Africa.

Much of the battle is being waged on needing to “Purchase” something in order to give. One question. When was the last time I gave anything to AIDS in Africa? Um. Never. So this makes me lame. Sure. But it makes 99% of America lame too. A bunch of money addicted people (like myself) who will NEVER give to anything. But along comes (RED) and we buy a shirt and get to support something great. Now this shirt has led me to give directly to the Global Fund because it has made me AWARE. Did you hear that? A red iPod/shirt/cell phone made me AWARE and led to me giving more....

Of course, this hatred can be harnessed to benefit everyone. Have the Global Fund track contributions from buylesscrap supporters, and compare them against product (red) receipts. If you're gonna go the capitalistic mode, go all the way with competition, and less "buylesscrap" be just another brand that competes with Apple, Motorola, et al.



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Jennifer said...

Very interesting. I can see both sides. The marketing that is involved with all the issues out there (AIDS, breast cancer, etc.) definitely leaves a bad taste in my mouth. If I really want to help find a cure for cancer, I can just write a check to John Hopkins.

On the other hand, if I am going to be buying a new spring purse anyway, why not buy the pink ribboned one and know that a portion of the money goes to the cause?

Hmmm. Very thought-provoking. Thanks.

Ontario Emperor said...

There's also another aspect - the marketing of intangible goods. Whether it's "buylesscrap" or whatever, it's ironic that the anti-corporate folks need to adopt corporate means to better get their message across. Granted that buylesscrap's advertising is parody, but it's well-executed parody.