December 15, 2006

Canadian Forces ads thoughts

Long-time reader and occasional blogger in her own right Nina writes, re my John Doyle comments, below:

A long time ago, I came across Doyle's review of the latest episode of "Friends" or something equally innocuous, which began "As the United States slides into a dictatorship..." You can neither use nor expect logic with someone like that.

I am actually pleasantly surprised by the amount of fair and positive coverage the Canadian Forces have been getting. A couple of months back, there was an item on the CBC News about what the work of someone in a submarine and of a pilot was like, which made those jobs sound almost reasonable -- not the final resource of racist illiterates.

I'd love to know what you think of the new [TV] ads, actually. They seem to be aimed at someone who wants to travel to new and interesting places, meet new and interesting people, and then shoot them. Which I suspect is what one wants in soldiers, no?

I like the ads, because I do think they're more honest than some military ad campaigns I've seen. (Here's the link: third from the top is the most controversial one.) I don't know whether they actually work as recruitment ads, but I'd say they're true to soldiers' picture of themselves, and I happen to think that sort of thing is important in government communications. It's not just about convincing parents to let their kids take a year off college anymore: there are important secondary audiences in average Canadians, and the soldiers themselves, that need to be considered. A less honest campaign would likely have backfired with those audiences right now.

One of the dumbest things I've ever heard a politician say, though, came recently in this context: NDP Defence Critic Dawn Black:

"They do need recruits, but I'm not sure Rambo ads are the way we want to portray military service," Black was reported as saying. "I think there's a lot more to the Canadian military than fight, fight, fight and war, war, war."

Um, like what? Cause if we're doing that other stuff you'd think we should be cutting it out, because we seem to be kind of busy with the fighting thing at the moment.

Posted by BruceR at 11:35 AM

Prof misses the point

I liked this comment, from an article about the cops putting a surveillance video from a deadly hip-hop concert on YouTube:

But Mariana Valverde, a criminology professor at the University of Toronto, said while the Internet remains a law-enforcement tool not unlike the telephone and television, officers shouldn't mistake it for a crime-fighting panacea.

The best type of information gathering comes from the "old-fashioned person power," she said.

"I don't think there's anything magic about the Internet," Valverde said. "Just pick up the phone or the TV. Using the Internet isn't necessarily going to provide better or more accurate information than putting out a call to citizens on the evening news."

Wow, way to miss the point, professor. Here's the cluebat: the demographic group of people likely to be attending bloody hiphop concerts does not spend much of their time watching Peter Bobble-head Mansbridge, believe it or not. They do email, IM and blog to each other, which is what the YouTube posting enables. It's an inspired bit of creative policing: I hope it bears fruit for the officers who no doubt took a significant career risk on this one.

UPDATE: It worked.

Posted by BruceR at 11:06 AM