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I made this video and it was way too long, so I'm uploading the full version here and then cutting it down for the Vlogbrothers. Enjoy hankschannel watchers!!!
Good morning, Maureen and John and Nerdfighters. Today we're going to talk about something that pisses me off.

At the end of last year there was a battle in the UK. The kid who won the X-Factor, Joe McElderry, who I know nothing about, was apparently a shoe-in for the highest selling artist in the UK Christmas charts, which apparently to some people is a big deal. His cover of a Miley Cyrus song was apparently going to blow everyone out of the charts.

That is, until Rage Against the Machine decided to rage against the machine and get a profanity-laden song from 1992 to the top of the UK charts. And they did it using an online anti-establishment social media thing. Rage Against the Machine beat Joe McElderry by, like, 50,000 units, proving to the wolves that, "we're not just sheep in a capitalist monarchy," except it turns out that we were raging against the wrong machine, because Joe McElderry's music is owned by the same people as Rage Against the Machine's music.

Sony Music owns both Sony BMG, which Joe's label, and Epic Records, which is Rage Against the Machine's label. So, while the anti-establishment folk were fighting their battle, Sony was laughing all the way to the bank, and that is what I want to talk about today: brands and their hypocrisy.

Big corporations create these things called "brands" so that they can sell more stuff to more people. They can use these brands to create specific marketing campaigns to hit specific demographics of people who believe specific things. All the while, those big companies don't give a crap about those "brand values," as long as the brands continue to make money. Don't believe me?

So Dove Soap and Skincare--those people? You know those people? They have this great marketing campaign about how real women are beautiful, and they have a whole huge educational self-esteem-based-education campaign where they get little girls to believe they are beautiful for the beautiful people that they are. And that's so great!

And then you have a company like Axe Body Spray, and Axe Body Spray is like, "pssssshhhhh--I'll spray myself, and then I can use women for sex! Yes, I will smell good and they will sex me! Yesss!" And I'm sure you know where I'm going with this: Axe and Dove are both owned by Unilever. And many people have never even heard of this company, Unilever, especially in America, because there is no "Unilever" brand, 'cause there's no "Unilever" marketing strategy.

Things get even crazier with media companies, because they own, like, 10,000 different properties. For example, the company that owns the UK soft-core porn magazine, Nuts, also owns the Hanna Barbera cartoon franchise, that company being Time Warner.

The basic value statement of Nuts Magazine is that women are mostly useful for sometimes being naked, whereas Time has hundreds of other properties that have value statements like this one: "Serving values-driven American women." Probably the kind of American women who are not big fans of, for example, your soft-core porn magazines.

MTV has a similar structure, owning both television channels for young children and horny men, and Disney, in 2004, happily sold tickets to both The Princess Diaries 2, under their Disney brand, and Kill Bill, Volume 2, the bloodiest movie possibly in history, under their Miramax brand. No one complained about this!

I was personally extremely disappointed to find out that the National Geographic Channel is owned by the same people who run Fox-freaking-News. Uuuuhwwgghgh? Over here you're talking about the beauty and wonder of natural and cultural diversity and the power of science, and over here, you're FOX NEWS. huhhwh?

And then you have to be careful about anybody saying anything about being green. You've got General Motors talking about the most technologically advanced, and possibly greenest car of all time, the Chevy Volt, while still pushing Hummers as fast as they can. And Toyota certainly isn't immune, with its green halo around the Prius; still has the worst in-class mileage for both minivans and light trucks.

And then you have like, the ultra-healthy and excellent-for-the-environment health-food drink Odwalla, and they're just like, "Oh, with every little expensive sip you take, the world gets better!" And then, on the other side you have "Full Throttle--the energy drink for people who like energy, and sugar!" And, of course, both of those are made by the Coca Cola Company.

Food companies are no better! Kraft is busy boasting the importance of meatless meals with their Boca Burger franchise, while simultaneously shilling both hot dogs and steak sauce to, quote, "Satisfy your primal urges!" Kraft, until recently, was actually owned by Phillip Morris--the people who make Marlboro cigarettes, which was possibly the most intense brand hypocrisy of all time, with Kraft focusing on family meals and Phillip Morris focusing on... killing people.

And Unilever, going back to the beginning, is doing it again with their food brands, here, offering up Slim Fast with "keys to your weight-loss success," while pimping, like, 12 different ice cream companies, including Breyers, Klondike Bar, Good Humor, and Ben & Jerry's... And speaking of Ben & Jerry's! Aren't they supposed to be the, like, quirky, cute, independent ice cream company for the independent-thinking, Jerry Garcia-loving, kind of hippy person? And now I find out they're owned by one of the biggest food companies in the world? That's just depressing!


It all comes down to this, folks. There is only one corporate philosophy--only one set of brand values: make more money. [mouths: "that's all"] If this means spending money to do good things so that more people will buy our stuff, then they will do that. And it's kind of our responsibility to care about that stuff, because the only way we can change these companies is with our dollars. But these big corporations DO NOT have a conscience. They have one goal--one goal only--and sometimes it's easy to forget that, but it will always be true.

Maureen, I will see you on Wednesday.