Corporations Are Like Prostitues

Below are two short commercials from two different companies.

The first is a Sprint commercial with the CEO walking through Times Square talking about the features of the network and then inviting the audience to be a part of that network. It tries to dazzle me with the black and white cinematography and the flashing big city lights.

The second is a Discover Card commercial reacting to the recession with an invitation to partner together to be better consumers. It uses a Biblical reference to Ecclesiastes and attempts to candy coat any guilt of over-consumption. It essentially says, “You’ve done nothing wrong, just be a little more careful by changing nothing about your spending except for the credit card you use.”

I don’t trust corporations which is why I do not like commercials that don’t make me laugh. These two pissed me off. I won’t get into the McDonalds commericials’ aiming for a fresh-cool-young-hip-sexy look.

I’m not going to buy your product even if the CEO is talking about it and asking me to be his friend. Unless it’s Steve Jobs or Tom. Also, I’m not an idiot. I over spend money I don’t have and I don’t need your credit card to help me manage that. You aren’t here to be my friend or to help me. So don’t pretend that you are.

I would like you better if you were honest and upfront. Even if all you said was “I hate your guts and I want your money.” Then we’d get into a conversation about what you would do for me and how much I’ll give to you. It’s sort of like I’m picking up a prostitute, which isn’t a bad way to look at it, because Corporations are very much like whores. In the end I’d be slapped because I don’t have any money anyways.

The Hybrid Economy and the Importance of Community to Commercial Properties

This is what I learned from a Charlie Rose interview with Lawrence Lessig, a law professor at Stanford and an author of a bunch of books. His latest is called Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy.

Lessig explained that two economies exists on the internet. There are the commercial economies, which is the buying and selling of goods, and there are also the shared economies, where enormous value is produced mostly for free (ie. Wikipedia, Flickr, Facebook, etc.). It’s important for the commercial properties to show the proper respect for creativity produced in shared economies, giving it space where it can grow and create value to the commercial property.

I found the interview very interesting because I’m trying to pitch the idea of a shared economy for the business I work for. I think what is scary for the business is the new idea of a community being created within the shared economy. The key will be showing the business how important that community is to the commercial property. The other key will be to show how important it is to create a safe space that is also passionate about the business’ goals and focus.