Friday, July 15, 2005

Support the Troops; Boycott their Corporate Sponsors

Maybe it's because I've lived in Navy towns for so long I seldom notice how much advertising is aimed at the military. Maybe I've been so outraged at the blatant war profiteering of Halliburton that I haven't seen who else is getting away with it until now. Or maybe I haven't noticed what this particular company has been up to because I've been a big fan of its products for so long.

An old Navy buddy sent an MPG file this morning. You may have seen it. (I may have seen it before too, and it just didn't register against the background of the rest of the phony patriotism we see everywhere these days.)

This particular video takes place in the waiting area of an airport; I’m not sure which one, it may have been a set on a soundstage. People sit around, doing what people do while they wait to board their flights. Someone stands and starts clapping. Folks start looking around, and then everybody stands and applauds. Through the concourse amble a group of soldiers--presumably just home from the war. Boy soldiers and girl soldiers. White, black, Hispanic, Arab, and Asian soldiers. A pretty red haired little girl in her mother's arms--a pretty red haired little girl the soldiers have ostensibly been overseas protecting--stares at them with eyes full of wonder.

As the soldiers pass into the baggage claim area, the shot fades to black. "Thank You" appears on the screen. Then the logo for Anheuser Busch .

And it hit me: these bastards are using the war and the troops to sell beer.

Well, it took me long enough to notice, but I'm clued in now. This business of using the military and firemen and policemen and you name it to sell products is the most crass example of exploitive commercialization I've seen in this country to date; a neo-con job on par with anything Karl Rove's cowboys have come up with.

I won't be drinking Budweiser again any time soon. Looks like I'll have to change to Coors. Oh, no: I just remembered, Joseph Coors was a neo-con man himself. (Coors was a key figure in the establishment of The Heritage Foundation, one of the most visible (and heinous) neoconservative think tanks.

Hmm... Who makes Mike's Hard Lemonade?


  1. I recommend Samuel Adams, Jeff. Beats the hell out of either Bud or Coors.

    I agree re: advertising in a way that uses soldiers and the war. You know Anheuser-Busch isn't sincerely thanking anyone, as you rightly point out they just want to sell beer.

  2. Well, these ads aren't coming out of the "patriotism" budget. (Unless they've renamed the advertising budget.)

    Yeah, SAs good stuff.


  3. I wonder...has AB made donations to veterans? Are they *supporting the troops* in any way other than padding their shareholders' wallets?

    Inquiring partisian wants to know.

    ...Off to AB's website...

  4. Free one day passes to their amusement parks for one active duty member and up to three dependents--which costs them nothing, and actually makes them money of food and drink vending.

    Trust me, they're making money on this deal.

    The slime bags.