|USS Haddo, unwelcome: Akld, Jan.1979|
Big Bully America was trying to force lil' ol' Noo Zuld to accept visits by nuclear-armed/nuclear-propelled warships as part of its ANZUS obligations. There were many kiwis who saw these vessels as symbols of possible nuclear annihilation, arguing that New Zealand should make a moral stand and ban such visits. They launched protest flotillas to 'greet' visiting nuclear warships and hinder their passage into port.
Various NZ towns and cities declared themselves 'nuclear-free zones', a token gesture in global terms but locally adding momentum to the government's eventual ban on nukes entering our
The photograph is an Auckland protest against the Thresher-class nuclear submarine USS Haddo in January 1979...which, as you can see, has been used by PowerShop as its latest ad.
But once again, PowerShop is off-target.
It has in the past proved itself either blind, stupid or insensitive to public feeling, using images of Saddam Hussein, Colonel Qaddafi and other globally-vilified tyrants in its ads. In the face of public backlash, PowerShop toned its campaigns down.
So this latest ad is curious. It has no shock value whatsoever, but it completely misses the point of the image it's used.
Sure, I understand the company is making a word-play on "people power" - consumers having the power to choose their own power company. But imposing the word 'Electricity' over a NUCLEAR submarine indicates the ad-man creating the storyboard and the media buyer approving it do not understand the difference between two completely different sources of submarine power: nuclear vs diesel-electric!
What level of education/social awareness do these people have?
Once again with PowerShop, it seems the answer is: very little.