Adventures in Ethical Consumerism

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Czech Dream

Yesterday I went to see a film called Czech Dream, part of the Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival On Tour.

I've never seen a film like this before. Two Czech film students launched a massive advertising campaign for a new 'hypermarket' just outside Prague. They created a brand identity, a logo, tv adverts, radio spots, flyers - everything. They carried out extensive market research in order to make the most effective campaign possible. And they promised a big surprise for those attending the grand opening.

The surprise? I won't be spoiling the film if I tell you. It's clear form the very beginning that there is no "Czech Dream" hypermarket and there never will be. The whole thing is a hoax intended to expose people's obsession with consumerism.

Needless to say, there are some very unhappy consumers on opening day. But the film does an excellent job of prompting people (both viewers and consumers) to think about how easy it can be to sell something that doesn't exist. This all comes at a time (in the film) when the government of the Czech Republic is spending vast amounts of cash on a campaign trying to convince Czechs to vote 'yes' in an upcoming referendum on whether or not to join the European Union.

A very funny, short, clever, film.


Post a Comment

<< Home