Remember those weird Verizon ads that seemed to empower young women with statements like "air does not transmit the opinions of a man faster than those of a woman"? Really, they were co-opting feminism to sell phones from a company that is fighting against net neutrality—the idea that people and organizations should be charged more for access or speedier connection to certain sites and services instead of treating all access as equal—something many of us take for granted right now.
The Albuquerque-based New Mexico Media Literacy Project made a response video to the ads that does more than parody, it sends a strong message of its own about net neutrality and free internet: "Latinos aren't buying what Verizon is selling. Verizon says 'Rule the Air,' but Latinos say 'Libera el Aire!'"
Verizon doesn't exactly have a reputation for being an organization that's empowering its users. After all, it is Verizon that's leading the fight against net neutrality, which would amount to an Internet that is basically the opposite of user-friendly. Perhaps that's why they've launched a new ad campaign designed to convince us that, through powerful transmitters, Verizon is on our side in the fight against prejudice. (I know, right?)
OK, we are all pretty up on the concept of advertising at this point. Not to say that ads don't have an effect on us (they do), but when it comes to the reasoning behind most ad campaigns, we savvy media consumers are hip to what's going on. They're trying to sell us something. We get it. So what do we do with ads that let us "in" on the joke?