Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Using the fictional series "Man Men" to sell the California High-Speed Rail Program

If  you like irony, you're going to love this!

The United States Public Interest Research Group is a Democratic PAC. In California, the state arm of this organization, CALPIRG is a super high-speed rail supporter.

Tomorrow, Wednesday March 8th, they will launch a video using several members of the Mad Men cast. Is there anyone who doesn't know about the TV series, Mad Men, please raise your hands.

Hey, guys, do you know you are using slimy, lying, fictional bad guys to promote your high-speed rail agenda?

Let me just say, editorially, that Mad Men represents public relations at its worst. These guys are scheming, manipulating, back-stabbing, corrupt, sexist, racist, homophobic, devious, snake-oil salesmen. I'm not exaggerating. They lie, cheat and steal. It's the worst spin on what Madison Avenue advertising was all about in the '60s.

Now, USPIRG has commissioned a high-speed rail promoting video from the actors from this series. We will be watching them "sell" high-speed rail.

Why this organization would choose the concept of corrupt advertising to sell HSR is amazing. Do they not see the irony in this?  The snake-oil salesmen in this fictional advertising firm are shown to be no different than the real people populating the California High-Speed Rail Authority board, staff and contractors, especially the Ogilvy Corporation which is just exactly such a Madison Avenue advertising firm.

I can only hope, with the USPIRG, that this video does go "viral."  It portrays very sleazy guys selling a very sleazy project.  The former is fiction, but the latter, the HSR project, is real but no less sleazy.

It's like telling a joke at which everyone laughs, but the teller says, "I don't get it." 

Stand by this channel for tomorrow's events on this highly anticipated video.

'Mad Men' for high-speed rail
Two cast members from the popular show star in a video in support of high-speed trains.
Mon, Mar 07 2011 at 5:07 PM EST

 Love “Mad Men” — and love high-speed rail? Get a double-dose of things you love by watching car-free Angeleno Vincent Kartheiser and Rich Sommer of “Mad Men” talk teasingly about high-speed rail.

 That’s a teaser for a video about high-speed rail coming Wednesday from U.S. PIRG — a public-interest advocacy group that promotes high-speed rail as a transportation solution. On its website, U.S. PIRG has rather prematurely dubbed the “Mad Men” piece a “viral video” — before it has even made its Internet debut.

On Wednesday, we'll find out if the video indeed goes viral. High-speed rail certainly is big news in itself these days — especially in California, where efforts to build a bullet train have widespread support — and some opposition from farmers and residents who live near the proposed rail line. California’s project got an extra funding boost when federal funds were diverted away from other high-speed projects in Wisconsin and Ohio.

Last week, Florida also rejected federal fundsCalifornia lawmakers have already expressed their interest in getting that money for the Golden State.