My View on Escape The Stall
I’ve noticed growing, controversial talks about the new CCFA campaign in the Crohnie community. Check out A Guy With Crohn’s and Keeping Things Inside is Bad for My Health, as well as, Inflamed and Untamed.
These talks have spawned me to submit my thoughts for your viewing pleasure.
My first gut reaction was that any attention brought to the subject couldn’t be a bad thing. The more, I’ve read and thought about the matter, the more I feel it’s not as easy as that to answer.
I still feel that awareness of any kind is a great thing. After all, 19 years ago the public didn’t know what Crohn’s (or any other IBD) was. I can’t tell you how many times someone would ask what was going on with me and I’d respond by asking if they had ever heard of Crohn’s Disease. Up until about 6 years ago, their answers were always no. Then, I’d have to try to explain it. About 4 of 5 years ago, I didn’t have to ask at all. I’d say I’m having problems with my Crohn’s and they knew what I was referring to. They may not have fully understood what I was going through but they at least knew enough.
This is due, I think, to the ongoing efforts of the CCFA and their continued attempts to promote awareness. So back to my thoughts on the Escape The Stall campaign. Again, awareness is a good thing! However, I do feel that they went a little easy on the public. I’ve heard talks of how various PSA’s use actual cancer patients hooked up to tubes or portray car accidents telling you not to text and drive. These are meant to shock you. They grab your attention immediately. You don’t forget images like those easily.
So why didn’t CCFA follow suit? Just like cancer, IBD has different degrees of severity. Some people can lead almost entirely normal lives with no issues. Some people, however, are tied to hospitals with testing, surgeries, or any other number of complications associated with their disease. Hell, at one point I thought my local hospital was going to reserve and name a room after me. My point is, that the general public may know about IBD to one extent or another but, until you live it (or live it with a loved one) you can’t possibly wrap your head around all that it entails. The other PSA’s chose to show the worst-case scenarios. Whereas, CCFA did not. However, those worst-case scenarios do exist with us.
Ultimately, I feel that the Escape The Stall campaign should be viewed as an introduction for the public and that the next round of ads should be more involved. I look at it as “baby steps”. CCFA is easing the population into the subject before hitting them over the head with what we really deal with. That is my hope for the future of all this anyway.
**It’s not asiz if you edit… That’s why I’m Creative too…**
After recent events, I went back, reexamined the campaign, and then realized that I had left something out of this post. Above, I was focused on the print ads and didn’t discuss the video.
I am sure that Amy Brenneman is a nice person and good at what she does. I am not faulting her for any of this. However, the video just lends more proof to my aforementioned “softness” of this campaign.
The video shows the stalls and Amy saying, “Someone you know may have IBD”. She says that we suffer physically and emotionally. We do but someone that has a near death experience with a car accident suffers that as well. My point is the ad doesn’t tell you why or how we suffer. It does, however, show a pretty woman with a soft voice telling you who CCFA is and that “people with IBD can’t wait”. Wait for what? A trip to the bathroom? A cure? Treatment? WHAT?? We deserve more than such a soft illusion of what IBD is. The public should hear the real facts of our everyday lives.
Don’t misunderstand, I am thrilled for Amy in that she has overcome Ulcerative Colitis and, more to the point, come out of the bathroom, so to speak. However, the CCFA has a few small, vague sentences and claims that’s all to her story. She accomplished so many things. Ok, was she sick when she did them or was after she had the surgery to remove the UC? Speaking of the surgery, how long did she suffer before having the surgery done? Those are but a few of my questions and I have Crohn’s. The general public wouldn’t think to ask them. I’m offended that the CCFA didn’t think I would to know her FULL story. How else am I supposed to connect with her as a spokesperson?
Personally, Mike McCready would have been far more effective. He is very vocal about what he’s had to deal with on and off stage. He commands a presence when he plays. Moreover, let’s face it; a tall guy with tattoos is far more memorable than a soft-spoken woman. Not to mention, he’s been active in the IBD community for years. He’s done numerous fundraisers, benefit concerts and appeared on the cover of Crohn’s Advocate. After dealing with this for half his life, Mike knows all the facts and strife. He would make a serious impression on the public. Even if Mike McCready wasn’t available, there are plenty of other IBD sufferers that would command attention and convey the right message more so than Amy.
**Listening to Taproot**