The following promotional video was put together by TBWA Vancouver and is one of the best :30 ads I've seen in a while. It hit home for me, because it's a topic I feel passionate about. Thought-provoking and well-executed, the video provides statistics that argue that we need to get outside and play more (and eat less) - and asks the question, "What happened to community?"
Do you remember when kids used to disappear after school? No, Nancy Grace, not because they'd been kidnapped. Because they used to play outside. They'd jump on their bikes and head to the local parks to play with friends. Getting together with classmates back then didn't mean coordinating parent's schedules to arrange structured, supervised playdates. "I'm heading to Billy's house." "OK..." our parents would reply. "Just be back in time for dinner."
According to Nielson, last year kids aged 2-11 spent an average of more than 30 hours per week in front of a TV, the most in close to a decade. Add time spent on computers and now cell phones, and the fact that only 8% of elementary schools provide daily physical education, and it's no wonder kids' waistlines are expanding as fast as the pace of technology.
In his new show, Food Revolution, chef Jamie Oliver, says "The children in America of today, of 2010, are going to live a shorter life than their parents." Scary thought. Jamie's not just looking to promote his latest endeavor, this is something he's been doing for seven years, promoting a sustainable movement that "will inspire people to change the way they eat." Earlier this year, Jamie was a recipient of the prestigious TED Prize, given annually to a "world-changer" in Technology, Entertainment or Design. (Previous recipients include President Bill Clinton and Bono.)
Luckily, folks like Jamie and organizations like the NFL's PLAY 60 Movement are not just recognizing what's happening - they're doing something about it.
And yes, as I sit here, in front of my computer, typing away and sharing my thoughts and YouTube clips, I realize the irony. Time to take the dogs for a walk around the neighborhood.