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More Lighthearted Evil

March 13, 2011

This spot really struck me the first time it came on. It’s emotional, sincere, almost a tear-jerker. The narrative is moving, the imagery inspired. It makes me proud to be made up of the same stuff as everyone else on the planet.

But, like GE’s elephant, it leaves me wondering ‘why?’ Why go through the trouble and cost of making such a fantastic ad when you are not selling something I can buy. I am not going to watch this ad and get a hankering for chemical shopping. But it puts a warm feeling in my head. And right next to that good feeling is the DOW logo, burned into my retinas.

I will not delve too far into Dow’s sordid history, but I would encourage any readers to do some quick research to understand what this company has been responsible for in the past. Similar to GE, Dow has a history of weapons manufacturing and chemical disasters that have ruined lives and communities across the globe.

Check out their Wikipedia page for a short list of grievances. Also check out the Bhopal disaster to get an idea of the terrors that a large chemical company can cause when ethical conduct is forgotten (Dow purchased the company responsible for this tragedy several years later, but has not yet made amends with the local population – and yet they have the gall to exhibit these third-world children in their advertising. The company was recently embarassed and lampooned by a group of comedic activists known as the ‘Yes Men.’ The special edition of this documentary is freely distributed by torrent sites. It is actually very entertaining – links here.)

A for this work of art. I can only hope the company learns to hold the same respect for human life that this ad instilled in me.

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