Sunday, October 03, 2010

Globe & Mail's "It's Our Time to Lead" Commercial

My computer is on the blink and will need a new hard drive, but luckily I have stuff backed up and it will only set me back a day or so. Until I get my backup up and running, several blog posts will have to wait.

I've been noticing this commercial for the Globe and Mail, meant to stir up discussion on the issue of the Canadian identity and the future of Canada::

The idea here is for Canadians to look to the future. The execution towards the end seemed a bit derivative of JFK's "We Choose to Go to the Moon" speech at Rice University in September of 1962::

The Globe and Mail accompanied the video on youtube with this description of what this is all about::
"On the first of October, The Globe and mail will reveal a new look.
This change coincides with the launch of a discussion that begins in our pages, but ultimately lives beyond them.
We hope, and intend, for this discussion to strike at the heart of how Canadians define ourselves, and our nation. It is meant to go beyond words. We hope it will become a turning point.
We need to re-examine Canadian institutions, and conceits, that we hold dear. Instead of locking ourselves in celebrations of the past, we want to explore our future -- and all we can do to make it brilliant.   But what really can eight discussions over two months achieve? We hope they ignite a million great Canadian debates, at breakfast tables and board tables.
Start with The Globe and Mail. From there, it's up to you."
Canada, it's our time to lead."
I think this is an interesting time in Canada and while earlier in the year I thought that the future was ripe with opportunity, now I'm not so sure. I will say that the institutions in Canada will make the future brighter than in the US, at least in the near term. All of this is fodder for a series of blogs on the future of Canada, particularly as it pertains to the economics and institutions that shape it.

Back to the ad.

The precocious girl on the bike is, ironically, speaking in a manner, which to me at least is decidedly un-Canadian. There's a smug, know-it-all quality to the whole execution that's "off code" and just plain off. It's all very postmodern in that it distills much of the discourse on the Canadian identity question and reflects upon the past while in the same breath derides such reflection. There is a subtext here. That something's amiss in Canada and it's time to shrug that off and shine, much like an episode of Glee.

There are things that are relatively right in Canada, but these things are threatened from time to time. Health care and the regulated financial sector spring to mind.

Is the ad effective? Well, I think it will strike a chord with some and put off others, which is evident with the YouTube comments. Will it drive traffic for G&M? I think it will, but I don't feel this was the best execution for doing so.

Twitterversion:: [blog+video] Globe & Mail's "It's Our Time to Lead" Commercial

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