Sunday, February 3, 2008
The AgBell Letter Screamed "Show Me The Money!"
Stole the AgBell letter from Mishka's Blog - thank you so much for making a copy available. Her blog also raised some excellent points such as this:
Deaf people only communicating using sign language? How does AGBell Association know the Deaf people don’t speak orally, too? They may be wearing hearing aids and can lipread, too.
This situation brings to mind an event that occurred about a year and a half ago in Italy. There is an international television program called "Lo Zecchino D'Oro" that is a contest for the best international Italian children's song. There are children from all over the world competing, singing songs in Italian. Every year this program generates a cd that becomes the torment of all pre-schools in Italy. And, every year there is a choir that signs the songs in LIS...every single year, until last year the FIADDA (Associated Families for the Rights of Deaf Children) protested as AgBell did with their letter. The purpose of the FIADDA protest was to increase awareness of all approaches in deafness, which is so necessary here in Italy as the support network is practically non-existent - the complete opposite in respect to the USA. This protest gave my son the opportunity to become a member of the audience during one of these historical programs and the television camera fell quite often on his cochlear implant and the bilateral cochlear implants of the child sitting next to him.
In respect to the AgBell letter, I view it as an attempt to solicit financial support from a business -PepsiCo- that is obviously interested in promoting diversity:
We would be very willing to work with Pepsi to develop some creative ideas to promote other facets of the deaf community and to highlight positive role models who have met the challenges of this condition and thrived using spoken language. In addition, we invite and encourage your participation at our 2008 convention to be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 27-30; the largest gathering of families with deaf and hard of hearing children in the world.
Paula on her Hearing Exchange Blog wrote the following about her reaction to Pepsi's bold advertising strategy:
Unlike many deaf bloggers, I purposely did not post the video online at HearingExchange. Quite honestly, I was put off by the audacity of their strategy for free publicity.
Here’s the email I received from Pepsi’s “people”a few days ago:
I wanted to share with you an innovative advertising spot which will be debuting during the Super Bowl on behalf of Pepsi, who is sponsoring the closed captioning for the game. Bob’s House is an ad which illustrates a popular joke in the hearing impaired community, and was created and performed by EnAble, a network in PepsiCo which supports diversity and the inclusion of persons with different abilities. I have included links to the spot, as well as to some behind-the-scenes footage which I think you and your readers will find interesting.
Kristin Montalbano | New Media Strategies
[Phone and address removed]
Gosh, wasn’t that nice of them to share their innovative advertising spot with me? Of course me and my readers would find it interesting. But Pepsi, don’t you think you should compensate deaf and hard of hearing bloggers and website owners if they agree to put your ad videos up on their sites for all of their readers to see?
This was my response on Paula's blog:
Guilty of taking the publicity to another country *smile*...but I'm a sucker for creativity and innovative advertising with an effective message...so I'm cool with it, don't mind being a pawn, as long as I'm conscious of being one sendin' some huggin' your way,
Let us all not be so naive...there is a helluva lot of money involved in all of this - money goes a long way in raising awareness - for all parties involved. Why not take advantage of the opportunity?
BTW: Luca's going to dinner with his football team tonight at 10 and they will watch the Superbowl live here in Grosseto at midnight. I'll be home with the kidlings. I doubt they will show the Pepsi commercial here in Italy, but he has been forewarned to be on the lookout!