We’ve been super giddy since last week when we picked up the latest copy of O Magazine at the newsstands and saw Suite 2046 quoted in their cover story! We wanted to post it right away, but the story didn’t go online until a few days later…and well, we got lazy. Anyway, read it here in cyberspace, but if you can go out and buy the pretty pink issue with Oprah blowing bubbles on the cover, EVEN BETTER.
In the article, Jessica Winter talks about all the various things people are doing to try to lift their spirits during all this economic doom and gloom. Whether it’s sharing a laugh over a funny YouTube video (did somebody say fishsticks???) or taking yoga and meditation classes, people are really seeking out ways to take a break from all the negativity. In the haze of the post-election hangover, one of the big things we saw people doing to try to regain their mojo was to do more volunteering. The 75% increase in prospective New York Cares volunteers from Feb 08 to Feb 09 that the article mentions was palpable on a recent 3-hour volunteering shift I did for a Passover Seder at a home and hospital for the elderly. It drew 14 volunteers on a weekday afternoon despite it requiring only half that number. And while you may be tempted to make the cynical assumption that it’s because everyone there was unemployed, that wasn’t the case at all. Almost all of the people I met there were students or had regular jobs that they left early!
The point is, the hunger for community isn’t just something that people felt temporarily during the campaign — it’s a fundamental human need. Some brands like Starbucks were quick to try to seize that opportunity, as we’ve blogged about before. And while it’s nice to see brands like Hyundai and Saturn run recession-sensitive campaigns that focus on the struggles of individual households, it would be great to see more examples of brands stepping up to the plate and offering people platforms for genuine connection and solidarity in the face of global crisis. So forget about the Buger Kind dude for a second and let’s think about finding our generation’s Rosie the Riveter. What will be our equivalent to Britain’s “Keep Calm and Carry On” message of yesteryear? Can someone please present us with a rallying alternative to teabagging??? Help us Oprah!!!