Editor, Daily Nexus,
Frequent readers of the Daily Nexus have certainly noticed the full-color ads that have been running in which Israeli students recount their experiences with terrorism. These ads have been running in many of the major college newspapers in California. Posters replicating the ads have now started to appear on our campus.
These are expensive, very well done ads, with an obvious political message. In fact, according to the Monday, April 7, 2003 L.A. Times, the ads are part of a $400,000 media blitz sponsored by a group of up-and-coming Hollywood players. This group includes Internet entrepreneur Dan Adler; Art Levitt, chief executive of the Internet movie site Fandango; and writer-director Michael Tolkin (“The Player”). The chairperson of Paramount Pictures, Sherry Lansing, is lending her support.
This campaign isn’t just limited to the ads but is part of a comprehensive campaign that will include postcards, a website and town hall-style meetings across the country. The website, student2student.com, which I have visited, is of course included in the ads.
However, as we can see, this is not a student-run movement but a slick propaganda campaign out to influence students and recruit activists. The ads running were chosen from a variety of approaches, created by the firm Kovel/Fuller, which created the ads for free. Among those rejected were a picture of a Palestinian infant with a gun (deemed by youths to be too unbelievable) to trying out the tag line “pray for another way” (considered too polarizing on a religious level). They used focus groups. These are creative people who are using all the tricks of the advertising game to reach a specific demographic group: you. What are they trying to sell? Are you going to buy?