Category Archives: 260MC – Media Production in Context

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Week 5 Additional Task – Song Case Study

For this task I choose a song that I really love to listen, even if it was many times controversial. I find it absolutely superb.

For thirty-five years Lou Reed has been at the forefront of the avant-garde in popular music. His gritty and realistic vision made him a cultural icon of the disenfranchised urban youth of the 1960s and 1970s. A counterpoint to the booming impersonal economy of the 1980s and 1990s, Reed has asserted a brutal honesty into both his music and lyrics that demands the full attention of contemporary listeners. From punk rock to grunge, Reed has had an unparalleled influence on the American music scene. (more about Lou Reed)

Perfect Day” is a song written by Lou Reed in 1972, originally featured on Transformer, Reed’s second post-Velvet Underground solo album. Its fame was given a boost in the 1990s when it was featured in the 1996 film Trainspotting, and after its release as a star-studded BBC charity single in 1997, which became the UK’s number one single for three weeks.

So if we associate the song and its lyrics with the controversy image of the singer, we will be tempted to associate it with drugs and the pleasure induced by them. But what makes this song special is the ability to create a complex emotional landscape with a simple language. For me it suggests simple and conventional romantic devotion, and also an indescribable state of calm. So I think that people should exceed this ideas, because eventually this song can catch many forms and meanings, depending on who listens it.

“Prompted by a huge public demand the track was released in October as a charity single for Children in need, and Lou Reed said “I have never been more impressed with a performance of one of my songs.”It was the UK’s number one single for three weeks, in two separate spells. Selling over a million copies, the record contributed £2,125,000 to the charity’s highest fundraising total in six years. The release featured two additional versions of the song: one entirely sung by female performers, one by male performers. The BBC also produced a Christmas version of the accompanying music video.” (Wikipedia)

And now I will close with one of Lou Reed’s quotes: ‘How can anybody learn anything from an artwork when the piece of art only reflects the vanity of the artist and not reality?’

Flash mob

This week we had to design and implement a flash mob. We had to pay attention to things like originality, impact, creativity, number of people involved and risks. The catchy part was that we had to mobilise ourselves in only  8 hours. I didn’t knew exactly what a flash mob is, so I researched about it. Back in the 19th century in Tasmania the word referred to a culture where women were kept prisoners. Also in Australia the term flash mob referred to a divided part of society.   This genre has a modern origin, at least in the documented use of the term as we knew it today, because it was created in 2013 by Bill Wasick senior editor of Harper’s Magazine.

Here are one of the best flash mobs that I’ve found on the Internet:

Coming up with ideas for our own flash mob wasn’t as hard as I believed it could be. Our top 3 were: Ikea – act like you are in your own home,  movie interpretations and star wars battle. The votes were really close between the first and the second option. We went for movie interpretations, as Ikea seemed to put a little bit at risk some conventions like legalities, permissions and negative press.

As we didn’t had to much time, we decided to start and rehearse what we were going to do. After half an hour of trying to sing all in the same time, we realised that it wasn’t the best option, because we won’t  achieve the impact that we wanted. We thought about it and we came to the conclusion that we should go for Ikea, because is the most fun to do, it will raise a big impact and this is our purpose, people will talk about it and it was something original. So, we started to make a plan. We were divided in several groups because otherwise we could draw the attention of the staff from the very beginning and it was something that we had to avoid.

Each group was divided to a particular room: kitchen, bedroom, living room and bathroom. I picked the bedroom and me and my group came up with the idea of a fight between a husband (Alex Blaikie) and a wife (being me); Jessica Dash was the women with whom Alex cheated me, and Jack Harris was another man who was hiding in the closet.  We wanted to make it look real, so we decided to make it a little bit extreme. We carefully changed our clothes without being noticed, we were all wearing pyjamas except Jack who was wearing only his underwear. I decided to take my role seriously, so when I ‘caught’ Alex in bed with Jess I started to scream at him and I even slapped him easily on the face. The staff heard us, so we were interrupted by them. To continue our joke, me and Alex asked the staff what are they doing in our bedroom and then we started laughing. We realised that things can take a wrong turn if we don’t go, so we packed our things quickly and left the building accompanied by two members of staff.

Things went out pretty good in our opinion, and the footage looked amazingly. Unfortunately when we went back to uni we’ve found out that we need to delete all the footage/ photos and comments that were in connection with our flash mob, because we violated some terms and regulations of Ikea, and some people were even banned to ever go to Ikea again. But sometimes isn’t it that whole point of creative activism? To ware awareness, to get a reaction, to not care what other people think…

Even though we didn’t had such a happy ending, I still think that if you are really passionate about what your doing sometime you can omit the rules, especially if you are aware of the consequences that you can get. In order to raise a big impact you have to make something out of common, something that will make people wonder: ‘ Hey, what’s going on? ‘, and I think that we did manage to do that. The purpose justifies the means.

For Assessment: – Digital thinking

How does viral video really work? Well, you can’t actually have an answer for this question. Of course the key is to produce a piece of media that has the potential to create impact, and then to distribute it on as many platforms as possible, but everything needs to happen organically. No one can give you any guarantees.

As an example, Jon Gomm’s Passionflower video was viewed in one week over half a million times, just because it was downloaded  from Jon’s Youtube channel (using some dodgy software) and reposted it as “Insane Guitar Skills “Passionflower”” on their own channel; it became so popular that it ended up on the front page.

So what can we learn from this experience? The title is really important, because its the first thing that makes contact with the viewer – make it simple but catchy. I think that this is the hardest step, because the most important thing is to make people watch it for the first time. Once they have played it and listened it once, the content is the one which will actually matter. Furthermore, in terms of content one of the most important things is to get emotional reactions, by making it impressive, unusual and remarkable. After you see that people are interested in your video, try and upload it on platforms such as blogs and websites which are in correlation with the topic used in your video.

The problem with a viral video is that it doesn’t last too long, so you must make everything you can when its happening. Try to answer every message received, try and create a relationship with every fan that comes across and try and think how you can attract more and more people.

Another important step is to make people feel comfortable, so you have to be careful at everything from the visuals to sound, voice and background music. People tend to share things that makes them feel good, that are easy to understand and that have a message. So if you have all this, you will be more likely to make your video go viral.

And last but not least, try to be yourself, try to be unconventional. You need to make a piece of media that says  something about you, that represents you or a part of your beliefs or feelings.  The best way to have success is to distinguish yourself among the rest of the people, by being more fully self – expressed.

In my case, for this task I choose a video that I made almost one year ago: My poetic Eyes. So I’ve uploaded it to Youtube, Facebook, Vimeo, Google Video and Yahoo Video, Metacafe and Revver. Unfortunately, I didn’t get as many viewers as I would have liked, and I think this is especially because I haven’t used appropriate tags and the title could have been more catchy. Not to mention the fact that the quality of the image was not that good. On the other hand, I tried to comment on my work, I tried to attract people through emotions and feelings.

The theme of this video was the devastating earthquake from Haiti, in 12th of February 2010. I remember that in 2010 when I saw on the news what happened I was really shocked to see what damages produced the catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake. What was really disturbing and touching was the fact that almost 3 million people were affected: more than 316.000 lost their lives, 300.000 had been injured and more than 1.000.000 remained homeless. What is worse is the fact that Haiti is one of the most poorest countries from the Caribbean islands. In a country routinely referred to as the poorest in the western hemisphere, the devastation has been dramatic and widespread. In addition to the mounting casualties and loss of life and property, the damage to the country’s already fragile infrastructure has been severe.

Is hard to lose your home, your money and all your goods, but is terrible to lose your family and your loved ones. I can’t imagine what those people felt back then and how did they get the power to go further. All their life was destroyed in that day, all their work, all their feelings, all their goods…everything. Thousands of people lived then the worst moments from their entire life. They’ve lost all that have been valuable for them, and after that they had no reason to live.

For Assessment – Documentary and video for change

What impact can a documentary actually have? Think about it… All documentaries have a purpose, a reason that make us viewers learn some of the most important aspects of life, whether we are aware of them or not. So their role is to put ourselves a question, that brings in us a change and a new attitude. This impact is not only on us as individuals, but on us as a society, because only together we can make changes.  Its great impact becomes in this way global from networks to consumer brands, campaigns, corporations and government departments.

 

I think that what impress us the most, is that a documentary shows us the both sides of the hand, presenting different perspectives and opinions. It makes us realise that we should start and due something from the general good, it makes you realise that this world can’t work if we continue and act indifferent. These documentaries become internationally successful because they all cause a major change in the world.

A good example of such a film is Koni 2012, which reached 76,614,482 views on Youtube in one week. The idea behind it is that “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come”. The Guardian presents us the reaction of the public and the responses that this story has received. The CEO of Invisible children, Ben Keesey declared the the aim of this film is to stop the violence, by connecting brand new people to the issue, by getting them involved and by mobilising global communities. Invisible Children sick to get an emotional response and an impulse which will make us react.

This vast genre includes all types of topics such as health and medicine, drugs, evolution, physics, environment, geology, technology, nature: Top ten movies that changed the world. 

Using ourselves as a subject we had to create a short documentary, and we had to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. The purpose of this documentary was to realise that life can have many forms different from our own perspective. People tend to misjudge people who have disabilities, so we decided to explore this empathy.

Through this empathy task we decided to prove people, that we can be superficial sometimes and that we should go deeper and see beyond the appearance of someone. So I decided to be blindfolded in order to experience the dark for half of the day.  Through the entire documentary I discussed about how I feel about it, how things change when you have such a problem, how every little thing as easy as it seems can become a real challenge. Sometimes I got scared and nervous because I felt insecure, I didn’t had control over myself. At the end of the documentary I’ve expressed all my feelings and my thoughts, and we ended with a sentece: Don’t take it for granted. What we meant to say is that people seem to think that they are unbeatable, but life shows you that you can’t prevent what’s next. So show a little bit of compassion and try to treat everyone as equal, because you don’t know when you fall in someone else’s shoes.

Comedy, Satire and Change

From its inception, the world had never been a perfect place, so human beings make attempts to improve the world through many strange and varied forms. So, comedy and satire became tools of “punishment” and “shame”, in order to draw attention to our habits, reactions, acts etc..

We can define two forms of satire: Horatian – which is the bright and humorous form of satire: Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest and Juvenalian which is bitter and darker: Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal.

Tools of satire:

Irony – is one of the most common tools of satire, and it expresses something that opposes itself or what is expected. Bender defines irony

Exaggeration – overstating something in order to highlight your point http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfkz2cLlRnQ&feature=related.

Juxtaposition: put two unconnected ideas into correlation

Incongruity: to present something inappropriate, obscene or vulgar.

Oxymoron:  combine two contradictory terms.

Parody: to imitate, to impersonate in order to ridicule him. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clPcFp14I_M&feature=pyv

Satire is an art form which has existed since Antiquity and which endured through the years as a form of cultural critique.  Nowadays, thanks to Television and Internet we have endless resources of comedy and satire, but it seems that it doesn’t create the same impact as it used to create before. So the question is: has satire lost its attributes, its purpose? Is it still relevant? My opinion is that satire lost some of its impact especially because people don’t seem to understand its meaning, and they find it rather stupid, immature or cruel. More than that, nowadays the majority of people tend to avoid everything that highlights their mistakes, their behaviour and their level of culture.  So, this is why this type of audience has shrunk so much and therefore the impact of satire has decreased. A perfect example for this can be the show South Park, which is by far one of the best comedy and satire programmes ever made, and yet is permanently criticised by people who can simply not understand its meaning; they seem to judge it as a despicable program with foolish content and ‘toilet humour’.

Despite all these things, comedy and satire are are some elements that we can not miss in a free society. The comedians are those who point out our mistakes, who remind us that some of our convictions are not as right as we thought they were. What is strong and valuable about satire is its sincerity and humanism, and we must understand the importance of being able to criticise  and point fingers to those who need a change. Unfortunately, satire and comedy will not make major changes upon individuals but at least it’s heard by people who had ears to hear it.

For assessment – Culture Jamming and Aesthetic Resistance

“All that was once directly lived has become mere representation.” (Debord 1967: Thesis 1)

If the medium is the message then advertising is the portal to our deeply rooted needs and wants. Guy Debord was a member of the Situationists International – a group of avant garde thinkers and artists set up in 1957 in Paris. Their ideas were based on concepts of commodification, reification and alienation, meaning that we label products not for their usability, but especially for their market value. In 1867 he wrote the book  Society of the Spectacle, where he sees everyone as victims of a power than can’t be controlled.  He states that “I showed what the modern spectacle was already in essence: the autocratic reign of the market economy, which had acceded to an irresponsible sovereignty, and the totality of new techniques of government that accompanied this reign. The disturbances of 1968, which in several countries lasted into the following years, having nowhere overthrown the existing organization of the society from which it springs apparently spontaneously, the spectacle has thus continued to reinforce itself, that is, to spread to the furthest limits on all sides, while increasing its density in the centre. “

Many of the ideas related to that book, have influenced and inspired the apparition of movements including Punk, Culture Jamming and more recently Remix.

Culture Jamming 

Culture jamming is an intriguing form of political communication that has emerged in response to the commercial isolation of public life. The messages that are being transmitted can be humorous or provocative. The term is defined by Klein in one of his books: “No Logo: taking aim at the brand bullies” as follows, “The practice of parodying advertisements and hijacking billboards in order to drastically alter their message” (Klein, 280).  So in fact, this move emphasise the fact that we are the victims of consumption, that it’s not our call  to be exposed to advertising and that there’s nothing that we can do, except alter their message.

Here is one of their Manifestos:

Culture Jammers Manifesto

We will take on the
archetypal mind polluters
and beat them at their
own game.

We will uncool their
billion-dollar brands
with uncommercials
on TV, subvertisements
in magazines and anti-ads
right next to theirs in
the urban landscape.

We will seize control of
the roles and functions
that corporations play
in our lives and set new
agendas in their industries.

We will jam the pop-culture
marketeers and bring their
image factory to a sudden,
shuddering halt.

On the rubble of the old
culture, we will build a new
one with a non-commercial
heart and soul. [Lasn, p.128]

Rodriguez de Gerada, Adbusters,  Reclaim the Streets (RTS) and Carly Stasko who is only 16 years old are some of the activists who fight for this cause. More and more groups start to appear, and this might be a problem, because culture jamming becomes a brand itself. As Goldman (1999) astutely points out, “Lasn’s career shows that good de-marketing works just like good marketing does”.

The Yes Man managed to raise the attention of a social issues. The idea of this film is to raise awareness  of a practice that is called ” identity correction”. The Yes Men operate under the mission statement of telling the truth and exposing lies. Ben Ayer, co-director of the Kalamazoo Peace Center stated that: The Yes Men are a culture jamming organization that poses as executives and representatives of companies to disrupt the everyday flow of assumption, business and culture. Due to its great success there was made a second film called: the Yes Man Fix the world.

I choose to make a campaign against the consumption of Coke, especially because the slogans that Coca Cola is using are totally inappropriate, ignoring the effects that this drink might have upon people. Here are some example os the slogans used in their advertising campaigns. These slogans made Coca Cola one of the most persistent and loved brands from history, so people have a feeling of comfort when they buy this particular drink. They don’t even care or think at the negative effects anymore. Through these campaigns it became more than a product, it became a need for most people. SO wake up, it doesn’t bring you any good!!!

BEFORE

AFTER

For Assessment – Advertising, Media, Power and Our Mental Environment

People are watching more television, reading more news, playing more video games, spending more time updating their social networking profiles and using more video on demand services than ever. It is clear that this is the age of consumption in terms of media, when we spend more than half of our time consuming some type of media. People are more and more attracted of media, because it gives them exactly what they want in every subject area.

Advertising is one of the key elements which attract people to this industry. Like we found out in the class, the advertising industry worth more than £16.7 Billion A Year, hasa massively significant role in determining what that media might be. There is an entire market strategy who analyses in depth every aspect of the advertisement process, so that it has the desired result. There are key points which assure the sustainability of this industry, and specialists must make sure that they went through every aspect such as: context for the changes which are taking place in the market, an examination of convergence based on content, methods of distribution and consumption, accessibility, innovation etc.. Here is a report which summarises some of these issues, by taking than a closer look to the television, radio and telecoms sectors.

It is clear that media has a strong impact upon our life, health, attitudes, behaviour etc.. Media consumption may affect a person’s thoughts, emotions, or behaviors in ways that could be direct or indirect, immediate or delayed, fleeting or lasting, things which cannot be controlled by anyone, especially because we are constantly exposed to it. Some researchers state that there should be strict rules, especially when its concerning vulnerable people such as children. But its impossible to stop this effects. As an example, a scientist can’t control all of the mediating factors, from levels of media consumption to demographics such as age, race, and socioeconomic status to harder-to-measure variables like environment, upbringing, values and previous experience of every media consumer. As an example, it make no difference that a child has been influenced by a video game or film to act violent,  because you can’t prove that that piece has the same effect on every consumer. So it is a vicious circle with no end.

In addition to this, there are some Theories which have emerged from these kind of studies upon media effects:

Catharsis theory – media is a way of venting our own frustrations.

Aggressive Cues Theory – media increases the chances of acting in a certain way, depending on what type of media are we watching.

Observational Learning Theory – the way in which we are related and positioned in terms of the act we are being exposed.

Reinforcement Theory – we all have a preconceived way of viewing media, especially due to our background.

Cultivation Theory – the symbolic realm of television actually shapes our conception of the world, our values, attitudes.

Media and Power:

Media has a significant impact on the ideologies we experience as ways to live our live.  The book Manufacturing Consent analyse how media creates Propaganda by Noam Chomsky and Edward S Herman (1988) describes five editorially-distorting filters applied to news reporting in mass media:

The size, Ownership and Profit Orientation – few big firms develop into conglomerates, in order to serve the interest of making profit for the owners.

Advertising – the dominant narratives, the dominant fears.

Sourcing Mass media News – “the large bureaucracies of the powerful subsidise media”

Flak and the Enforcers – corporations have great benefits and resources at their disposal, to set up “flak machines” to manage public information and discredit true information.

Anti – communism – undetermined the ideas around other forms of social organisations

So advertising and media have a negative effect upon us, when people try to imitate something we had seen or heard.  Are they capable enough to distinguish between right from wrong? Young people often imitate their role models blindly. What is being highlighted in the entertainment industry is the wrongdoings of these celebrities whom the young people idolize. And because they are heroes in the youth’s minds, they are still celebrated despite the bad behavior they have been showing to the public.

Creative activism – Introduction

The aim of this course is to explore the potential of creative activism, by developing a lateral thinking and creative strategies through the lectures and workshops, followed by weekly challenges.

Creative activism refers to a type of art which takes the shape of a protest. Usually creative activists refer to a wide range of problems which include the well being of the human. The issues that are being discussed cover a wide range of issues such as human rights, racism, poverty, environmental health, power and more other.

The aim of these creative acts is to inspire people to act, by creating provocative forms of expression like articles, images, art, discussion etc.

Creative activists are change makers – they turn their ideas into action in order to create awareness on important issues and to make this world a better place. Here are some creative activists who seek to ignite positive change.

If you wonder what fuels creative activism, here is the answer: inspiration is the key. Inspiration means everything that surrounds you, your personal experiences, injustices that you’ve learned about, your concerns about the future, your desire for a better world. So every one of us can make a change, everyone of us has something to say, something that bothered you at a certain moment in your life. We can all become involved in this process of making positive changes for a better world.

Here is a guide for creative activists who are at the beginning of their way.

Here is a story that proves the fact that every small act counts, even if it seems to be unnoticeable or even if it doesn’t make that point well:

The avant- garde is to know your cause and your benefits and to use it in your advantage.  Every organization, either big or small has as a principal purpose to enlarge their base of appeal and to reach their message, by introducing in more traditional forms of organization this notion of culture. Here we have an example of a School for Creative Activism. One of the participants of this project declares that: “While I always believed that the creative was the way to go, I now have an historical and social/theoretical framework through which to articulate it, to share it,  to give it legitimacy, and to give myself confidence.”

As part of the first workshop, we were introduced to our first task. We had to create an image that provokes people to think about one of the issues that concerns me. Here are some of the issues that I thought about:

So, after a close look I decided that I should focus on violence, an issue which become global a long time ago. I decided to restrict the circle, so I focused on youth violence, an issue which become more a health public concern in the same measure as any other type of crime. Youth violence includes various behaviors. Some violent acts—such as bullying, slapping, or hitting—can cause more emotional harm than physical harm. Others, such as robbery, assault, or rape, can lead to serious injury or even death.

So after reading more articles about how to understand young offenders or the problem and its potential solutions I realised that in our contemporary society, many of the violent acts made by young teenagers have as an aim the irony of the police or of the society. This is mostly due to the fact that teenagers are over policed and they are seen by society as threatening, because of their rebellious attitude, even if their acts are not harmful in most of the cases. In this picture, I wanted to emphasise  how young teenagers are trying to portray an act of violence, mocking police forced entry in some cases. 

For Assessment: Case study – McDonalds

McDonald’s is the leading global foodservice retailer, with more than 33000 restaurants around the world.  Nowadays there is hardly anything more universal than McDonald’s and Coke, especially in the western and westernised world. The McDonald’s logo is one of the most recognisable symbols in the whole world.

In order to realise what impact McDonalds has, just think of the fact that McDonald’s’ daily customer traffic (62M) is larger than the population of Great Britain. This and more mind blowing facts about this huge company can be found here: http://www.businessinsider.com/amazing-facts-mcdonalds-2010-12.

McDonald’s adopts different strategies to attract customers of different age groups, but still the main target remains to be children. So in order to attract them, McDonald’s use a key tool: the Happy Meals, which seem to fascinate children due to the toys included in the menu. In addition to this, they have a tie up with The Walt Disney Company for the Disney characters included in the menu, in order to make sure that they offer the kids a wide range of toy options. Moreover, McDonald’s provides the children with a special facility, unique for food venues and fast-food restaurants: a playground. This strategy is aimed at making McDonald’s a pleasant and fun environment for both kids and parents. Even the exterior of every restaurant is also strategically designed using bright colours to invite in the customer, especially kids who can easily be influenced by these aspects. So not only that the children like it, it is a chance for the parents to spend some “quality time” with their kids. Another aspect of their marketing strategy is the fact that every McDonald’s restaurant provides Wi–Fi facilities, a detail that adds to the attractive qualities and is aimed at teenage customers.

In addition to this, what is representative for this chain is their clown mascot, Ronald McDonald, who is essential for creating the bond with children and entertaining them. They can even have private birthday parties in the facilities, again part of McDonald’s aim to induce happy memories in children’s minds, and to make them associate the McDonald’s brand and logo with happy moments.

McDonald’s’ impact on the population of the world is huge, with nearly 50% of U.S.A.’s population living within a 3 minute drive from a McDonald’s outlet. The food served at McDonald’s has raised concerns among health professionals and nutritionists since it can directly influence the occurence and the development of a number of serious diseases. The list includes obesity – especially among children, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and more severe ones such as diabetes and cancer – due to the unhealthy ingredients used to prepare the products.

“As health professionals engaged directly in the largest preventable health crisis facing this country, we ask that you stop marketing junk food to children,” health professionals wrote in a letter to McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner recently.

“The rates of sick children are staggering,” says the letter. “Health care costs and an overburdened health care system make treatment more difficult than ever. And we know that reducing junk food marketing can significantly improve the health of kids.”

The letter continues, “McDonald’s and industry front groups have refused to address the dangerous toll that fast food predatory marketing is taking on our kids.”

Furthermore, McDonald’s have incorporated a very effective way of advertising, by using charity as a pretext for infiltrating into the educational system. Is there a better way to lure kids than to indoctrinate them directly at school and earn their trust? They make organised trips to McDonald’s so that children can learn about nutritional health. What is worse is that even the educational system seems to be supportive towards it.

‘Staff at Hartridge High School, in Newport, and McDonald’s in the town centre have joined together to give good attenders free vouchers which they can exchange for a Big Mac, fries, and milk shake if they have not missed a day for three months.

Since the scheme was initiated in September the truancy rate has plummeted.’

We think the solution of this problem is to prohibit McDonald’s from giving away toys in their kids’ meals unless their food meets nutritional requirements. This measure was already taken by a law in San Francisco. “Our efforts are geared towards addressing childhood obesity epidemic,” said San Francisco City and County Supervisor Eric Mar, who proposed the ordinance.

In its defense, McDonald’s, in a statement to the Wall Street Journal, said, “We are committed to responsible advertising and take our communications to children very seriously. We understand the importance of children’s health and nutrition, and are committed to being part of the dialogue and solution. We serve high quality food, and our Happy Meals offer choice and variety in portions just for kids. Parents tell us they appreciate our Happy Meal choices.”

Other creative practitioners managed to raise the awareness of this problem, especially by mocking some characteristic symbols of McDonald’s:

After years and years of trying to convince the American population, the worldwide famous chef Jamie Oliver finally managed to make his point  with strong arguments and campaign that shocked the US. Through his US television he did a presentation that has completely changed the perspective of people when it comes to fast food and one particular succesful food chain, McDonalds. He accused this big chain of restaurants along with Taco Bell, Burger King fo using no called ‘pink slime’ as burger filler. The presentation was absolutely disgusting and its purpose was to raise awarness and I have to say it has definitely reached the target since people were horrified. The consequence of this victorius campaign by Jamie Oliver was that McDonalds had to remove these meat products supplied by BPI (Beef Products Inc). They say that their hand wasn’t forced by the TV chef however the timings is more than coincidence.

Here is what McDonalds had to say:

Todd Bacon, Senior Director of U.S. Quality Systems and Supply Chain with the fast food chain, said: ‘At McDonald’s food safety has been and will continue to be a top priority.

‘The decision to remove BPI products from the McDonald’s system was not related to any particular event but rather to support our effort to align our global beef raw material standards. ‘McDonald’s complies with all government requirements and food safety regulations.

‘Furthermore, we have our own food safety measures and standards in place throughout the entire supply chain to ensure that we serve safe, high quality food to every customer, every time they visit our restaurants.’
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2092127/Jamie-Oliver-Victory-McDonalds-stops-using-pink-slime-burger-recipe.html#ixzz1pb967M1O

And finally here is the video: Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

After Jonathan posted his comment with the information we should also include I have started searching about films or documentaries that treat this topic. ‘Supersize me’ was one of them along with ‘Fast Food Nation’ so I wanted to see how huge was their impact, if they have made their point and what people thought about them. What did these films achieve? In an article last update on the 13th of January 2011, the author, Bobby Coles affirms:

‘These films have impacted the fast food industry in such a manner as to bring about more awareness of the health risks posed with a steady diet of fast food, which has resulted in some menu changes at some major fast food outlets.

 Fast Food Nation shows far more than one should see inside of an abattoir (slaughterhouse), but it does so in an attempt to make the audience take a second look into what their diet is consisting. Super Size Me gave the audience a glimpse into the repercussions of a fast food diet, and together these films have painted a negative picture of the fast food industry.

The impact on the fast food industry of these two films, however, has not been as harsh as had originally been hoped. At first, these films helped the public to come to the realization that fast food is unhealthy, but in the end, people still tend to eat at these establishments.

While both films were well done, and certainly presented fast food in an unsavoury light, the fast food industry is still thriving. Big corporations have a way of getting you to forgive them, and to return to their fold. If anything, the same restaurants are still being visited, but perhaps a different menu option is chosen.’http://www.helium.com/items/1481420-super-size-me-fast-food-nation-impact-on-health

Now that the Olympics are close, McDonalds is going to open the biggest restaurant so far to meet the need of athletes and spectators since they affirm that one in five meals purchased during the games is going to be McDonalds.

‘A member of the Olympics team told the Daily Mail: ‘McDonald’s has been a supporter of the Olympic movement and sport in general for decades’.

McDonald’s has been a long-standing sponsor of the Olympic Games since 1968, when the company airlifted hamburgers to home-sick American athletes in Grenoble, France.

‘In our main restaurant at Olympic Park, every hour will be three times as busy as our current busiest outlet in the UK,’ said UK vice-president Steve Easterbrook
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2016769/London-2012-Olympics-Worlds-biggest-McDonalds-open-Stratford-site.html#ixzz1pbHPYA8q

It is really frustrating that no matter how hard some people struggle to promote healthy lifestyle, fast food chains are always the last ones who say the last word. This probably due to their popularity among a significant number of the population. I think that even now when we are talking about sports and when its meant to be about healthy food, things are going in the right direction and they are opening a new, bigger than ever McDonalds to serve more unhealty food rather than promoting the healthy one whne such a huge crowd of people will be attending.

As media practitioners we can produce documentaries, films and interviews with health specialists and individuals that are directly influenced by this aspect, which will raise the awareness of the population about this growing problem if it is put in front of the right people. We can also produce educational films aimed at children about the food industry – either how burgers and fries are really made, or trying to educate them about healthy foods, working with local food producers, and farms, taking them to field trips to see real food.

Creative campaign: This photo suggests the idea that there are numerous secrets about the company that people don’t know about, aspets kept behind the curtain that are indeed disturbing.  The red room suggests the place where the secrets are kept and the photos on the walls some of the  ’thruts’ (the aggressive advertising that makes children eat the food even though they are not aware they are being manipulated-hypodermic needle)  people maybe aware of but they don’t seem to take them into consideration because McDonald’s has become so comman, natural. The ‘monster’ fries suggests the unhealthy food that can cause damage to our bodies if consumed frequently, Ronald of course to attract the kids and the child in the corner frightened because of the monster fries. We have to add a slogan for our campaign that we are still thinking about.

McDonalds torture room: