Hey there, hop stuff
Content to spark conversation.
Heyo! Thrilled you’re joining me for this week’s newsletter which covers: Budweiser's new ad promoting vaccine awareness, Facebook's monster data breach, WWII history-making pilots, and why Charlie Chaplin was blacklisted by the FBI.
Now let’s have some fun around here!
Imagine this sentence in 2019: A beer company promoting vaccines in a new marketing campaign.
Now? It's peak 2021.
This Bud's for you
Budweiser launched their “Good Times are Coming” commercial showcasing all the fun we could be having again soon if enough of us would hurry up and get vaccinated already.
Watch these joyous times for yourself, I’ll meet you after the jump:
Mingling in large numbers looks so tantalizing
Social responsibility or a gimme?
When Budweiser bowed out of this year’s Super Bowl, they pledged to shift their $5.6M ad budget to "critical Covid-19 vaccine awareness" instead.
This was a smart move since research revealed 60% of consumers felt corporations were “obligated” to get more involved in spreading vaccine awareness.
That means we’re bound to see more vaccine related ads from big brands because it’s an easy marketing win for them since they aren’t really risking anything by chiming in.
The nature of the beast
While it’s positive that consumers are demanding more responsibility from companies taking their money, there’s still a tinge of ickiness for me. Budweiser, movie theaters, cruise lines etc have a keen eye to the post-covid future because they’re acutely aware their revenue depends on us being in close proximity again.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s fantastic that companies are using their platforms to amplify vaccine awareness during a pandemic—but do they still deserve equal brownie points when it’s blatantly self-serving?
Put your money where your mouth is
For me, it would be more powerful for companies who rely less on social activity for revenue to speak up. That would signal a genuine commitment to their values by putting marketing money behind the social contract—even when it doesn’t directly benefit their bottom line.
I don’t begrudge corporations promoting vaccinations to end the pandemic, but at the end of the day, their strong vested interest in this outcome undercuts their point.
Tornado readers, I know there are no easy answers, but what say ye? Ick or no ick?
Tornado Watch 🌪️
Here we are again.
Another massive data rupture? Oh, just another Tuesday at Facebook.
Over half a billion users had their email, birthdate, geo-location and other personal data scraped. Apparently the data is “widely circulated and available for free”
I have no idea
(wait, that doesn’t sound right)
What I meant to say is...
Because Facebook left the barn door wide open again. They quietly patched the “vulnerability” (an understatement similar to when the captain of the Hindenburg said “I smell smoke”) in 2019 after having it brought to their attention.
The breach wasn’t public knowledge until CTO Alon Gal recently tweeted about it after seeing the stolen data on a hacking forum.
Thanks for nothing
As usual, Facebook shrugged and told users to change their info, but our birthdays and email addresses don’t often change. This leak makes users extra susceptible to hackers, marketers and scammers for years to come.
I know I’m a broken record on this, but we need to regulate the f*ck of out Facebook. Plus, saving democracy and humanity will be happy bonuses to wiping that smirk off Victor Frankenstein *I mean* Mark Zuckerberg’s face.
A hopeful possibility
Recent rumblings from the Supreme Court discussed regulating big tech similar to utility companies. This is a promising sign of tangible regulation! The powers that be need to chase the dragon and break up big tech once and for all. No better time than the present.
Enjoy With Enthusiasm
The WWII legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen
History was one of my favourite subjects in school, but we didn't see photos like this.
The Tuskegee Airmen were the first Black military aviators in the US. During WWII, the US and the military were still segregated, which meant the Airmen faced discrimination and harassment from other units.
Tuskegee Airmen at Ramitelli Airfield in Italy, 1945
Nonetheless, the Tuskegee pilots boasted some of the best talent in the armed forces and their impressive combat record quieted many of the naysayers.
When you're really fly
The Tuskegee Airmen had an excellent record of protection on bomber missions (losing a total of only 27 compared to 46 among their peers), they were highly effective on combat missions and while destroying enemy targets like barges.
When segregation was ended by Truman in 1948, the Tuskegee Airmen were highly sought after by military divisions, flight schools looking for instructors, and for their valuable contributions to aviation.
These photos have been newly colorized, you can check out the original black & white prints here.
Kirsten Explains Things
Why Charlie Chaplin was blacklisted by the FBI
Branded a communist during the era of McCarthyism, Chaplin had lived in America for nearly four decades and was a bonefide superstar before being placed on a blacklist in 1948.
This effectively barred him from working in Hollywood.
In 1952, while Chaplin and his family set off to holiday in England, the Attorney General revoked his re-entry permit. Chaplin was informed that he would be arrested if he tried to re-enter the country. While in England, the FBI even asked MI5 to open a dossier on him.
Coming to America
Chaplin stayed far away from the US and later said “I would not go back there even if Jesus Christ were the president.”
Why was Chaplin labelled a communist, you ask?
He was a vocal critic of war, fascism, capitalism and weapons of mass destruction in his movies.
Charlie and Oscar
Chaplin’s only return stateside was in 1972 to accept an Honorary Academy Award. He received the longest standing ovation in the Academy’s history at 12 minutes.
Spotify Song of the Week
The vibe this week is "Good Evening Mr. Hitchcock" by Gramatik
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