Recently in the news, you may have heard about Nike's new ad campaign which features former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick with the slogan, "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything." Of course, the conservative GOP base in America immediately lost their collective shit, and railed endlessly about how Kaepernick and Nike are disrespecting the flag, our national anthem, and the veterans who have sacrificed for this country. Personally, I feel that argument is bullshit. WTF are veterans sacrificing for, if not our constitutional rights? Did the GOP base forget that free speech, protesting and freedom of peaceable assembly ARE the rights they were supposed to be defending? The obvious answer is YES. But even after all the online outrage, the truth emerged that the people in America actually support Kaepernick's protests cause the numbers are in, and we all just went out and bought new Nikes.
Perhaps even more interesting than American's corporate support of Kaepernick's protests, are corporate America's support of him. Nike chose to politicize its products when it generated this ad campaign, and when people started burning their Nike shoes (in protest - dwell on that for a moment), Nike laughed all the way to the bank. It was announced the next day that Ford motors would also support an NFL player's right to take a knee, but for some reason there are no videos of people burning their trucks...
My point is that we are in a place and moment in American history when products and corporate brands are coming out and identifying with political issues, which might (or might not) detract from their customer base. Although the internet lashed out at Nike, for taking a stand (or knee) with Kaepernick, the American people spoke out with their wallets and Nike has reported a 31% increase in their stock holdings after an initial 3% drop when the ad was first released. This represents an all time high in Nike's stock prices compared to previous years.
The reason that I find all of this interesting is that I have been politicizing my own brand, The Dope Fiends Comics, since its inception. I mean let's be honest - it's hard to denigrate a brand that is literally named after Dope Fiends. My brand can stand for anything without any fear of negative repercussions, because that was the place I started from. I can represent my ideals and values through the products and services I offer because they ARE WHO I AM. If you don't like them, me or the things I create - fuck off. I'm not forcing you to participate.
Most (both) of you who are regular followers of this blog will have noticed that there is more than a fair amount of "Fuck Donald Trump" content. To that end, I present the following animation of a Trump Rally. First however, a small amount of background. Author and comedian @KeatonPatti (twitter) recently tweeted that he had forced a bot to watch over 1000 hours of various Trump rallies and then write it's own script for a Trump rally. I don't know if this is true, or if the page he tweeted out is a creation of his own imagination. Either way, it's fucking GOLDEN. (get it?)
I felt that my duty as an animator and patriot was to comment on this parody by the use of a satirical animation. Which can be seen below. The link to the original tweet is here -> @KeatonPatti on Twitter
The original script read thus:
I hope you can see why I felt compelled to act upon it. It's HILARIOUS! So without further ado, I will post the animation. I leave you with this thought however, about the political nature of the products and services you buy.
"United we Stand, Divided we Fall."
As for me, I would prefer to "Fall" standing up for what I believe in, than "Stand" united with the GOP and it's Nazi power base. Big corporations are running this country and being catered to by the GOP administration. That isn't likely to change. I support brands that have come forward in support of issues that I agree with, and put those corporations, like Nike and Ford on the stage - center spotlight, for us all to examine. If our vote is our voice, then our money is our voice in action.
"Actions speak louder than words."