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Mary Poppins Quits Her Day Job
By: Jennifer Graber
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You clock in and spend countless hours putting in your time. Your tasks might be considered menial by some, but to you your job is important. You are fulfilling a need in a marketplace. You are contributing to the environment around you. After you put in your time you clock out, collect your paycheck, and are expected to live on minimum wage. And for some that might be possible, but for many others, living on minimum wage may not be within their grasp. What do you do? Quit your job and attempt to find employment in a challenging time? Stick it out? One person who has the answer is Mary Poppins. She has had enough and officially quit her day job due to low wages. Mary Poppins will be a nanny no longer.
Okay, so Mary Poppins did not quit her job; actress Kristen Bell did. Well, not technically Kristen Bell, because why would she do that? But Bell took on the character of Mary Poppins in a hilarious video skit for the website Funny or Die. In the video Bell, er, Mary Poppins, puts a twist on the song "Spoonful of Sugar." In the video Bell sings of the plight of the minimum wage worker and proclaims “she’s practically perfect in every way” but “grossly underpaid.”
The cheeky spoof points out that ole’ Mary Poppins does not get her birds for free. Affording life is hard for the magical nanny. Mary Poppins’ paycheck does not amount to much after federal, state, Medicare, and other taxes are taken out. Bell’s character sings, to the tune of ‘Spoonful of Sugar’ that “just a three dollar raise will make a living wage.” Since that pay raise is up in the air, Mary Poppins sings one last tune to the Banks children and is on her way. Bye-bye nanny job, hello world of unemployment.
The whole point of the Funny or Die video is to bring awareness to the movement to raise minimum wage. Bell, as Mary Poppins, points out that you cannot live on fun alone and being paid minimum wage can put you in danger of living below the poverty line. So it certainly brought some attention to the cause. In fact, the video has gone viral and been viewed over 2 million times on Funny or Die’s website.
Do funny videos, such as this one, do any favors? Are people watching because they are fans of Bell or like watching comedic videos? Are those the reasons it went viral? Or do these types of videos get the message across for the cause (or brand or whatever it may be)? Is hilarity really the way to reach consumers? It quite possibly is. Humor may be the key to reaching the younger generations to get them involved in a cause or brand. However, there is likely a fine line between getting a point across with humor and risking being taken seriously.
Whatever the case may be, and whether or not you agree with the politics involved, this video was hilarious — especially the last line!

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About the Author
Jennifer Graber is a Business Development Manager and marketing enthusiast. Her specific interests include branding, consumer behavior, development, integrated marketing communications, and new & social media.
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