A new promotion by CBS is offering one lucky winner a chance to spread their wisdom and words to the world (or at least the U.S.) on Superbowl Sunday. Contestants are given 15-seconds to say whatever they like on video. They post their video on You Tube through the link on the CBS site, and every week CBS selects five videos to post on the CBS website as finalists. From the finalist the grand prize winner is chosen.
The rules are simple: no obscenity (including but not limited to profanity, pornography, and nudity of any kind), you cannot use copywrited music, no product logos or images (not even on clothing), you cannot mention any product, and it has to be 15-seconds or less. Pretty simple. So what would you say if you had the chance to address the world (or the collective U.S.)
The five videos on CBS’ website this week include an Asian rapper, rhyming about pollution, insurgents, the disappearing middle class, the troubled ozone, drugs, and racial discrimination (all in fifteen seconds), an overweight man espousing a belief that you should stop watching football, who then promptly leaves to see a touchdown occur for his favorite team, a talking cat proving that pets are less racist than people, an animation reminding us of how preciously short life is, and a series of still encouraging, hope, love, and ambition for a better world.
Other videos on You Tube encourage social and civil responsibility and promote basic values such as education and equality and even encouraging underweight celebrities to eat up. One rather comic video states that “A handful of raisins, is like a bunch of smiles in your mouth.” said by an adorable red-headed boy that seems reminiscent of Ron Weasley. One slightly ironic video begins with “Kill terrorists” and continues to “teach your children equality” and “love one another” and finally concludes with the man giving the peace sign to the video camera. Twisted logic and inconsistency. That’s one way to go about loving one another and promoting peace… killing people… hm.
While almost all of the videos I’ve watched were either just funny or promoting worthy values. One has to wonder, however, the people promoting these values actually practice them. One woman who looked like the average stay at home mom encouraged community involvement and social activism to change the world. How much time does she have to devote to that? One could argue that a simple food bank donation would change the world for one person. On the other hand, how is the man who encourages terrorist killing encouraging peace? One could argue that terrorists are the direct opposite of peace and by eliminating them we better the odds of having peace. But I say that violence only begets more violence and strengthens their cause and motivation.
CBS’ promotion certainly is interesting and provides plenty of food for thought. What would you say to the world? What do you think about what others are saying? Perhaps, most importantly… do you practice what you preach?