Monday, June 28, 2010

UPDATED: American Red Cross: Drawing Class Lines And Telling It Like It Is

The Red Cross ad shown above was spotted in an elevator in a New York City office building. The subject boldly claims: "I don't hang out with you, I don't dress like, but I'm ready to save your life."

Frank commentary on class frictions in America? It appears so, surprisingly so, as recognition of class divisions is not commonly observed anywhere in American life, particularly in advertising. It is a refreshing and welcome deviation.

But so many questions. Was this ad purposely targeting this elevator population? Where else does the ad and campaign exist? A search online for more information was not helpful. Is the subject a Red Cross volunteer or someone who donates blood? Emails to the national and New York offices of the Red Cross looking for more information were not returned.

UPDATE: The Red Cross Director of National Advertising Andrea Koslow responds, and told NYC The Blog the ad is from an old campaign, in 2005:
Its intended message was that America is comprised of many people from all walks of life. We are all unique individuals with different interests, activities, lives, locales. However, we all have in common a shared humanitarian instinct. The spots were intended to be a provocative, contemporary interpretation of our fundamental principles of impartiality and humanity. Red Cross provides the skills and training for us to look out for each other—no matter who/what/where/when/how. If you need help, you can count on the Red Cross, period.

Some of the ads in this series didn’t accomplish their intended goals. When this became clear, we worked quickly to address them. Yet some of the old creative, it appears, still exists, as in this case.
The Red Cross blog also chimed in and provided some info.

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