MTV Puts Modern Spin on Holocaust Horrors

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For Think MTV (MTV's conscience?), Arnold produced two takes on what the Holocaust would be like if it happened today.

See Subway and Family Room. Tagline: "The Holocaust happened to people like us."

The spots scared us and filled us with quiet somber feelings. We don't even feel like making Hitler/Xbox jokes anymore.

by Angela Natividad    Jan-24-08   Click to Comment   
Topic: Cause, Commercials, Good, Television   

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Comments



Comments

I like the end, message, etc. but I feel like it could have been much more dramatic and get more of the effect they're clearly going after.

Posted by: Chris on January 25, 2008 2:06 PM

Well, it's a nice effort, but it's what my old copy chief used to call a "single entendre". And not even a very meaningful one at that. Sorry, but I think it is facile and doesn't hold up under even lightweight intellectual scrutiny.

I mean, of course the roundup of the Jews, Homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Communists, Socialists and other "undesirables" by the Nazis happened to normal people, "people like us" -- IF you happened to be like them, that is. But if you are not part of the targeted group, the victims are NOT "people like us": they are "those other guys", and obviously must have done something bad. Japanese-Americans in 1942, all those in Guantanamo -- the government usually knows best, right?

The concept and importance of Due Process is not very easy to make into an emotionally moving :30, but if an agency could somehow create a spot that expressed the famous poem by the German Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemöller, then THAT might make us think more deeply. (NOTE to the Arnold creatives: a version is inscribed on the memorial in downtown Boston, not far from you.) Here is the wording that Niemöller himself preferred (courtesy of Wikipedia -- line breaks removed for brevity):

"In Germany, they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist; and then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist; and then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew;

And then ... they came for me ... and by that time there was no one left to speak up."

Posted by: Paul Z on January 25, 2008 8:21 PM

Well, it's a nice effort, but it's what my old copy chief used to call a "single entendre". And not even a very meaningful one at that. Sorry, but I think it is facile and doesn't hold up under even lightweight intellectual scrutiny.

I mean, of course the roundup of the Jews, Homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Communists, Socialists and other "undesirables" by the Nazis happened to normal people, "people like us" -- IF you happened to be like them, that is. But if you are not part of the targeted group, the victims are NOT "people like us": they are "those other guys", and obviously must have done something bad. Japanese-Americans in 1942, all those in Guantanamo -- the government usually knows best, right?

The concept and importance of Due Process is not very easy to make into an emotionally moving :30, but if an agency could somehow create a spot that expressed the famous poem by the German Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemöller, then THAT might make us think more deeply. (NOTE to the Arnold creatives: a version is inscribed on the memorial in downtown Boston, not far from you.) Here is the wording that Niemöller himself preferred (courtesy of Wikipedia -- line breaks removed for brevity):

"In Germany, they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist; and then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist; and then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew;

And then ... they came for me ... and by that time there was no one left to speak up."

Posted by: Paul Z on January 25, 2008 8:22 PM

What would the Holocaust be like if it happened today? It would be like Rwanda, Darfur, Iraq, Yugoslavia etc etc.

These things also happen to people like us. The problem is people only care if it is happening to us. When will MTV be doing some ads about what's happening right now?

Posted by: Ted Re on January 28, 2008 5:17 PM

Actually, on reflection my earlier comment (although incisive, articulate and well thought-out) was beside the point. The real point should be that we ought to care if persecution happens to people who are NOT like us -- rather than because they are like us. It should matter, it should be an outrage even if the victim dragged away has long ringlets and a skull cap, or a turban, or follows a different religion or has a different skin color. "People like us" is completely beside the point -- it's people who aren't like us whom our laws and common decency are meant to protect and respect.

Posted by: Paul Z on January 28, 2008 5:34 PM

fascism relies on having a passive sizeable minority, one that doesn't really want to think. enough sheep, in other words.

i'd say we've got that in this country. it's been demonstrated over and over in recent years.

that's why the spot works. that they are in any way relevant and make one think of America in 2008, should be the frightening and obvious thing.

instead we get hair-splitting. which is precisely why we need to see things like this.

Posted by: veedub on February 2, 2008 11:23 PM

the ad also directs you to to a place where people can voice opinions about things that are going on and that place can (and probably is) monitored. So, you could say that it has many uses; it will be preparing people, getting us used to thinking it "could" happen to you, serves as a warning, ie, toe the line. And as a net to gather free thinkers. If I was paranoid, I would stay well away from it.

Posted by: Hoffman on March 12, 2008 5:42 AM





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