Friday, October 23, 2009

Canada's Economic Action Plan and stimulus for actors

The Conservative government in Canada has been working hard on a recession-busting campaign that they refer to as "Canada's Economic Action Plan". There have been a lot of complaints about its efficacy - about how the money has been apportioned and how much of it has actually been paid out. Equally disturbing are the things that the government is taking credit for - what should be routine maintenance, like replacing old door-knobs, is being touted as Action Plan spending, complete with signage. That kind of desperation isn't inspiring. (Nor is the partisanship of it all - the Tory-blue website and signs are not particularly subtle.)

Most recently, the joke seems to be that the Action Plan's only obvious economic impact has been in its own promotion: in the past couple weeks, $100k on a press conference and $50k plastering ads the side of a train have gotten a lot of attention. In total, the estimates vary between $35 and $60 million.

What's been mostly unremarked upon, though, are the numerous slick commercials that have been produced. I can't embed the commercials, but follow this link and click on the very first video and pay particularly close attention to the bit that starts around the 34 second mark. "What does the Economic Action Plan mean to Canadians?", it asks? It means that an out-of-work actor from Student Bodies can find a job in propaganda.

No comments: