August 7th, 2013

Fair Trade

That Stephen Fry letter to David Cameron about the Olympics

A friend of mine recently put this idea forward. It's a good one. Spread it!

If you haven't seen it, Stephen Fry has written to David Cameron about the forthcoming Winter Olympics in Russie, making a comparison between Hitler's 1936 Olympics and Russia's recent passing of some really aggressive anti-homosexuality laws. You can read the letter here.

Fry encourages Cameron and the IOC to boycott Russia over this, and it's a very laudable aim with a weakness: it isn't going to work. Cameron got gay marriage through and he expended a lot of political capital to do so, and now he's got other things on his mind - rebuilding his political capital, pushing the economic recovery, winning in 2015. Whilst he's probably sympathetic to Stephen's point, he's not going to do it. He's not strong enough to push this issue any more than he has without damaging himself in other areas. Some might consider this a criticism, but it's not really. It's a recognition of political reality.

If the campaigners want to change things there's a way they can do it, however. As in all these things go where the money is, and that means the sponsors. There's tens of millions riding on their goodwill. The Coca-Cola company are one of the biggest Olympic sponsors, and they've been involved for a long time. Target them. And here's how you do it.

For as long as I can remember, Coke have marketed themselves as not a drink but as a lifestyle. A sharing experience of all people. Who can forget this advert:

There it is. Their vision. Their brand. Everything that Coca-Cola wants you to think it is. Teach the world to sing. Hold the world by the hand. Buy the world a Coke.

So here's what you do. Remake that advert. A choir of beautiful young people standing on a hillside, singing as one. And then one of them gets dragged off by the CIS police. And then another. And another. The song breaks. Fractures. And that last message: "On a hilltop in Italy, we gathered young people from all over the world". That's prime for changing. Young people from all over the world, except gay ones from Russia. 'cos they're in prison.

Upload to youtube. Put out the press releases. Get it in the press. Get it viral. And wait.

You can have that one for free.

I think it's a great idea. I'd try to make it as close to the original as possible. Maybe even use the original but edit it so that as you watch a few people featured simply vanish as you watch. Then use something like the slogan you propose. It's the kind of thing you could do with pretty much all of the big sponsors.

So yeah, please share this, especially with anyone who might be able to make something like this happen.