The Occupy Wall Street movement has become a global phenomenon, with sympathetic protests cropping up around the world, grassroots support and growing mainstream media attention. Still, if it’s going to keep growing, the movement needs to incorporate one more crucial element. They need corporate sponsors.
There’s a lot to be gained for the sponsor. They get zeitgeisty buzz, they appeal to a “hip” young market, and they might just get the ironic attention of the wealthy 1%. Here are some companies that would be a natural fit for the Occupy Wall Street movement.
The Olive Garden
A no-brainer. Representatives in Olive Garden aprons come down to protest sites and supply each protestor with a never-ending pasta bowl, salad, and breadsticks (only 8.99 all this month at participating locations!). All the company would require in return is that whenever a protestor is interviewed on camera, he or she ends the Q & A with a hearty mouthful of pasta and the assertion: “Occupy Wall Street! When you’re here, you’re family!” And a big wink.
Walmart is a giant, thriving corporation with money to burn as a consequence of its savvy decision to stop its employees from unionizing. They would gladly hop aboard the OWS train. The only problem is that Walmart has its family-friendly image to protect, and some of these protestors are using fairly unsavory language. There’s no way the company that wouldn’t carry Prince’s Lovesexy would permit cardboard signs accusing the government of “Class Warfare.” The scary pictures of machine guns are a no-no, too. How about a nice big yellow smiley face with the slogan “Roll Back Taxes for the 99%.” Boom. Problem solved. Walmart’s onboard.
NASCAR is the unparalleled sponsorship acquisition champion. Every race car and driver’s uniform is spackled with advertisements like a collage of the first thirty pages of a Maxim magazine. NASCAR understands the financial windfall at stake better than anyone. You may be wondering whether the hardworking racing fans from the South (and New Hampshire) will sympathize with the OWS participants, who are largely portrayed as shiftless hippies. Fair point. While NASCAR and Occupy Wall Street have several differences, they can find common ground in their willingness to sit in one place for a really, really long time until a winner is declared.
With the hype following the release of the iPhone 4S subsiding, Apple needs to make a move to keep itself in the headlines. The world isn’t just going to sit around and wait for their next OS update. On site video and Twitter updates provide much of the public’s insight into Occupy Wall Street activity. If only there were some way for everyone’s phone to be an advertisement for the Apple corporation. Like if every tweet or e-mail announced its allegiance to Apple, unbidden.
Oh, wait. That’s already happening. Never mind. Maybe Apple isn’t going to pour any more money down this rabbit hole.
Coors Light has a new bottle that tells drinkers when the beer has gone from “Cold” to “Super Cold.” That’s pretty useless for beer drinking, but with winter approaching, it could be a handy aid for determining whether the temperature at an outdoor protest site is “Chilly” or “Potentially Hypothermia Inducing.” There’s always been a blurry double-line between civil disobedience and disturbing the peace. Let’s honor that tradition by making Coors Light the official beer of the 99%. Here’s the slogan: “When you want to eliminate your inhibitions and also the legal allowance of corporate personhood: Coors Light.” Thoreau’d!
With these sponsorships under their belts, the Occupy Wall Street protestors should have the financial support they need to fight the corporate powers controlling the nation’s political interests! Not to mention, the big corporations get some serious indie-cred for supporting a DIY political movement. It’s a win-win! You’re welcome, America!