There’s more happening in Canada right now that curling and figure skating. Earlier this week, the country wrapped up its version of Eating Disorder Awareness Week and, to raise awareness, the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) and ad agency Zulu Alpha Kilo partnered in a controversial campaign, giving fashion designers a taste of their own thinspo medicine by mailing itty bitty baby-sized bodysuits that say “I’m a size negative 8,” accompanied by the message,“Please try this on to experience how your ads make us feel.”
Their overall intent – promoting the powers that be to “Cast responsibly. Retouch minimally.” – was also conveyed with the Hallmark-style greeting cards they mass mailed, with the words “Thanks for helping to make me such a successful anorexic" written in romantic red cursive inside. (To see the card – which I’m sure we all would have been happy to send to an offensive company ourselves – click here and scroll down to “NEDIC Greeting Card – Download” on the left.)
"We want advertisers and marketers to be more accountable,” said Zulu Alpha Kilo President and Creative Director Zak Mroueh. “We have the power to change the criteria for the casting process."
I am totally digging their efforts, and, feeling inspired, I’ve hatched a few more concepts. Should Zulu Alpha Kilo happen to stumble across this blog and is intrigued by my ideas, they can feel free to leave their contact info and first financial offer (nothing less than four digits, please) in the Comments section below.
-A hardcore, PETA-style protest in front of Dr. Rey’s 90210 office, where a bunch of women of all shapes and sizes lie in hospital cots set up on the street, painted with fake blood and special effects-worthy fresh liposuction and breast augmentation scars.
-Sneak in to the Burberry and Rimmel London corporate headquarters and secretly replace their soda machines so that, when a drink is selected, a special can of Coca Cola drops down. When the tab is pulled, a cloud of faux cocaine explodes into the air, along with a skinny blow-up doll of Kate Moss and a banner saying, “Nice work keeping an avowed drug user as your spokesmodel!”
- A celebrity Public Service Announcement in which a somber-faced Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Lebron James each silently appear on-screen wearing tee shirts that read “I’m overweight,” followed by a screen shot that reads, “In 1998, nearly 30 million Americans became ‘overweight’ overnight when the government suddenly reduced the BMI criteria for the ‘overweight’ category.”
- A “Moo-In” at Southwest Airlines terminals nationwide, where men and women dress up in cow costumes and lie around in front of the gate, blocking the flight crew from boarding and chewing fake grass. Prank cow patties in the seat back pockets optional.