Glengarry Glen Ross and Oxfam Land Grabs’ campaign

In the previous post we showed a publicity campaign which manipulates pictures. In this one, we show a video which reinterpret a classic film. Oxfam America, for its campaign on land grabs, decided to copy and at the same time, to modify a famous scene in “Glengarry Glen Ross” (1992).

Glengarry Glen Ross, adapted from a play by David Mamet, tells two days in the lives of four salesmen and how they become desperate when the corporate office sends a representative, Blake, to “motivate” them. Blake, among a series of verbal abuse on the men, announces that only the top two sellers will stay in the company and the rest of them will be fired.

Here is the scene:

Here is Oxfam America’s interpretation:

I imagine that the intention of the video was not only to create surprise on the audience through the script but also to make a link with the original film. In such a way, the message will be made more powerful through its references.

Does it work in this sense? I have some doubts. It is well filmed and staged and obviously it refers to a film which had an excellent casting (Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey, Ed Harris and  Alec Balwing among others) and which received good reviews. But, do you know the film? I did not. Do the receptors of the campaing know the film? Probably not, it seems that in America it did not have commercial success.

So, was it worthy to recreate the whole scene – and obviously invest the money- to refer to a film that probably very few people have seen? And if they do not make the connection to the original film, will they able to stand the shouting to get the message and to make sense of it?

(Many thanks to Shani Orgad for letting me know about these two videos)

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