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2011 February 25 Friday
Modest Proposal: Monetize Revolutions With Advertisements

Watching any video from Libya as the revolution progresses? Did you watch video from Cairo? Something was missing: Advertisements. Marketers have missed revolutions as settings for pitching their wares.

Picture street scenes in Cairo and Tripoli with big decals added to tanks by paid marketing insurgents. Protester could be given free signs where they could write their message on the top and where the bottom would say "Pepsi for the new generation" or "Sprite for freedom". Or how about "Break on thru with Coke"? These signs could also be placed on barricades put up by protesters , and on the walls of buildings overlooking key protest squares. When the cameras train on them the world will be reminded to log onto Facebook or tweet their reactions to bloody scenes.

Also, security ads (e.g. gun brands) could easily go on helmets and the sides of tanks. The tanks in urban settings do not need camouflage. Huge noisy tanks can't sneak around cities. So why not carry advertisements? A slide show of revolutionary street scenes, eagerly watched by readers, could include protestors wearing CAT, John Deere, Ford or Toyota hats. In daytime scenes major figures in street protests could be given Oakley sunglasses to wear for free. And why shouldn't Coke or Pepsi smuggle in soda to distribute in Tahrir Square?

Many corrupt dictatorships have monopolies on an assortment of goods and services. When a dictatorship is going to fall previously excluded brands can use the very memorable experiences street fervor to impress upon rebels and protesters that some brand of cola or blue jeans or sunglasses stands with them against the ancien regime. So the advertisements would work on both the local population and international spectators.

Update: Question: What are the best brands to advertise in a revolution? Why?

By Randall Parker    2011 February 25 12:42 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (1)
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