Occupy Wall Street, and the people who support them, realize the importance of sending a message. They realize that in order to make a difference, the group must do more than press interviews, amusing chants, and drum circles. In order to be taken seriously, and to get their message out to more people, Occupy Wall Street has to take its stand elsewhere. So the group decided to take their talents to advertising. In October, the protest group decided to release a television commercial that featured interviews with protesters. It was short and concise, leaving out the extreme views and faces that the media tends to fall for.
Below is the commercial:
Not bad for a group of disorganized hipsters, right? People are starting to criticize Occupy Wall Street for using advertising to get its message out, since it is against big corporations. But if Occupy Wall Street is to go against the huge corporations, what else are they supposed to do besides advertise? We all know that Occupy Wall Street, as of now, has less money, less legal backing, and less cohesion than any single corporation. In order for this group to keep its message going, it must advertise.
Along with advertising, Occupy Wall Street is attempting to turn the movement into a brand. On October 24, the group turned in an application to the trademark office to make "Occupy Wall Street" owned by the group. The CNN article points out that the group wants to create merchandise and other promotions. How sexy is the Occupy Wall Street brand? Sexy enough that at least three separate parties applied for the trademark. The trademark office operates on a first-come, first-serve basis, so we will see which group will be awarded the trademark.
As the commercialization of Occupy Wall Street continues, the conversation will begin (if not already) about how this movement is different from the organizations the group is protesting against. People will fail to separate the difference between Corporate America and Occupy Wall Street. People will not see that the protest group had to create a personality to battle the faceless corporations in order to have a chance. Our consumption-based economy must feed, and for Occupy Wall Street to stay relevant, it has to be in the forefront of our minds.
Lastly, for some reason advertising is bundled up with "big corporations" and is therefore labeled as selling out if a group is part of a cause. Once groups are able to create a commercial or video, they are no longer "fighting the Man."
Give them a break.
Yes, it does cost some money in order to run an effective, national campaign. But just because they can do it, doesn't mean they can buy lobbyists, contribute obscene amounts to PACs, write legislation, and take advantage of tax loopholes in our system.
It simply means they can advertise. And based on the response, Occupy Wall Street is a brand a lot of people seem to enjoy.