One of the biggest issues surrounding the Internet today is that of net neutrality. Rather than try to explain it myself, I’ll give you the important parts, and let Wikipedia fill you in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality
Net neutrality is the idea that all data on the Internet is treated equally. Streaming Netflix from your dorm room will be given the same priority as government email or file downloads from Dropbox. Net neutrality ensures that people using the Internet are not subject to rules and regulation by a third party, and can conduct business and communication freely.
However, recently there have been blatant abuses of net neutrality. Everyone’s least favorite company, Comcast, essentially forced Netflix to pay for faster streaming (yes, the fact that Netflix users were using a ton of broadband may have also been a factor, but this does set a troubling precedent). Other, more technical cases, such as the use of deep packet inspection, to name one, have also raised eyebrows among advocates of net neutrality (1).
Where this becomes funny, interesting, and relevant to an advertising class comes about through a company called Thinkmodo.
Thinkmodo is a viral video agency based out of New York, and has risen to prominence through creative ads such as a “demon baby” that was a promotion for the horror film “Devil’s Due,” (http://www.fastcocreate.com/3024885/theres-a-marauding-devil-baby-scaring-people-on-the-streets-of-new-york), and an ad for the Master’s golf tournament that featured Bubba Watson and a hovercraft (http://vimeo.com/64573697). Unfortunately, Bubba didn’t bring the hovercraft to the tournament.
For net neutrality, Thinkmodo was at it again. Rather than trying to explain the technicality of what can easily turn into a frighteningly dense discussion of technology, they put people on the toilet, asking the FCC not to “flush our rights away,” and created an online petition that incorporates a stop-motion video they also created.
The ad, or PSA, is something that may shock people. If you look closely, the people on the toilet actually have their underwear pulled down, and, while they may not be “in the act,” this is a little more authentic than people just sitting on a closed toilet. The video is a stop-motion video, and was pulled from more than 1,440 stills over a period of three weeks.
The biggest thing Thinkmodo was trying to do was inspire discussion about the upcoming FCC decision. As an ad, the ultimate measure of success is if people take action. As of 7:45 PM on September 3rd, more than 17,000 people had watched the video. Hopefully, this will inspire debate and maybe, just maybe, a change in the way we use the Internet.
- Anderson, Nate (25 July 2007). “Deep packet inspection meets ‘Net neutrality, CALEA”. Ars Technica. Retrieved September 3, 2014.