Reassurance, pandering and ads

Courtesy of Artem Beliaikin
It’s difficult to be optimistic about a company’s intentions during the coronavirus pandemic, especially as the current administration favors saving large corporations over the working class. The ads every company throws onto screens solidifies that we are seen as product consumers, not people.  

Verizon is one company shouting from the digital rooftops it’s still there to assist. Its commercials feature employees affirming their commitment to infrastructure and you. 

Verizon’s focus seems aimed at what they are willing to do for you in exchange for your money. As one of the nation’s largest telecommunication companies, their response to the pandemic is quite generous. Verizon is waiving fees and payments for up to two billing cycles and lifting data caps for broadband internet. It’s awfully kind for Verizon to not throttle data speeds for crisis first responders like they did during California’s raging fires in 2018.  

COVID-19, or the coronavirus, is testing Amazon’s status as an online shopping powerhouse as employees voice concerns about contracting the coronavirus in warehouses. Some are walking out in protest for increased wages, safer working conditions and paid medical leave.

Amazon seems to be meeting those demands but has been known to suppress labor organizers and workers demanding increased pay. In August last year, a CNBC article discussed an Amazon training video that disapproved of unions. Amazon said they don’t show that video to new employees anymore, but the fact it existed in the first place should sound some alarm bells about who is benefiting during the pandemic. 

 Mazda’s new video advertisement depicts a young couple escaping the rain in the comfort of their snazzy new vehicle. Meanwhile, the narrator reminds everyone to wash their hands and stay safe. A gentle reminder from a billion-dollar car manufacturer? Sure. 

Forbes reported Mazda made $32 billion in 2019 and ranked 64th on the World’s Best Regarded Companies list. One of the company’s responses to coronavirus outlined on their website is to work with owners in financial binds to extend payments schedules. 

What sets the Mazda ad apart from others is its focus on people’s safety, not what the company is doing or offering in return for your dollars. 

I actually respect the gesture because it genuinely seems like Mazda cares. Everyone across the globe is experiencing a difficult time, and if a company can provide a sense of security, it helps. 

But the lingering feeling of being looked at as a consumer more than a person is overwhelming. What better time for a company to present a charitable face than during our most vulnerable? As millions are losing their jobs and the U.S. economy slows to a crawl, ads are still plastered across American screens, telling everyone to buy and consume. 

The ads reveal the ugly face of capitalism.

About Author

Shayden Joe is a Native American student journalist from Ganado, Arizona, and currently resides in Phoenix. He joined the Mesa Legend in January 2020 as the Opinions Editor. He has been writing articles for the past year and creatively since teenhood.

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