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Escape Pod teamed up with Wondros to make some lucky kids dreams come true. They think they're merely going on a field trip to learn about the majesty of nature, but nope! Instead they are whisked away to a big box chain store for free stuff!
Thankfully it isn't all about rampant consumerism, as production reached out to underprivileged kids via the Boys & Girls Club of America, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Neighborhood Housing Service to ensure they got the toy of their dreams (as well as payment for being in the spots.) Nice one!
Some choice comments form the Toys R Us Facebook wall:
What a lousy message for our children: "Nature is boring/consume more material goods." I will spread the word about this ad and thus discourage customers from shopping at Toys R Us.
"Horrible ad and I cannot believe you are still promoting this on your facebook. You are some sick jerks."
"Terrible theme, you should be ashamed of this type of promotion for consumption!"
I certainly agree there could have been a better set up to this "prank," to avoid the rabid environmentalists who overlook the fact that as they furiously type with their self-righteous word, they are most likely using electricity to power their computers from coal-burning power plants. What really bugs me is that it seems most of these people neglected to mention that this was a bus load of poor kids.
Apparently a bunch of privileged parents in the first world think poor kids shouldn't have toys. Or even like them. They should be content with trees because nature is free.
I wonder how many outraged parents were typing those comments on their $600 smart phone toys? Or their expensive iPads? Or computers?
Last time I checked It's not called Trees R Us. They're selling the joy that comes from play. You may not like it but I guarantee the same outraged parents aren't getting their kids pine cones and bonsai trees for the holidays.
Understand, I'm by no means defending the ad as being particularly good, because how hard is it to fool and eight year old any way. The premise is dumb. the set up is dumb. The ad is overall dumb. But Toys R Us tried to do something nice for kids who need it. And people are upset about that. I presume all these people grew up without toys.
I am getting particularly tired of the perma-offended who go on Facebook and like a page just to foam at the mouth on a comment wall.
These parents should ask themselves if this kind of over the top behavior is a good thing to teach their kids and if perhaps, maybe, just maybe, their kids are picking up on it in the wrong way, and bullying other people instead of brands.
If that's hard for parents to understand I suggest they take a hike and enjoy some nature and think about it for a few hours.
Agency: The Escape Pod
Managing Director: Norm Billow
ECD: Vinny Warren
Executive Producer: Kent Kwiatt
CW: Matt Wilcox
Associate Producer: Mary Ann Holecek
Director: Ray Dillman
Executive Producer: Gina Zapata
Head of Production: Kimberly Bryant
Line Producer: Greg Ferguson
Casting: Beth Melsky Casting
Strickman-Ripps Casting + Research
DP: Stefan Czapsky
Editor: Graham Metzger
Executive Producer: Don Avila