Tonight in Seattle:  

MTV vs. Martial Law

'Tis the season to get political, so I thought MTV's latest outcry might stir up a good conversation (or, in the very least, bring some conspiracy theorists out of the woodwork).

The popular music network has recently released commercials depicting modern day Martial Law in the United States, making comparisons to 20th century/WWII concentration camps:

As much as MTV is a medium for America's youth, their opinions, and their politics, I was a little taken aback by these commercials. They're certainly thought provoking, but it's sort of shocking to see such a large entity produce an ad/concept that might otherwise be labelled conspiracy hogwash.

Should there be a concern over the state of our nation when MTV is warning us? Or do you think the commericals was done for shock value, to put an edge on an otherwise dulling teen-fueled, reality show-centric network?



This is truly bizarre. What is their motivation for running this ad? I mean, I admit I'm not happy with the state of the government these days, but it's a far cry from the holocaust. That's a little insulting, frankly, to everyone involved.

Yeah, I'm not entirely up with things news-wise, but I'm under the impression London is a lot closer to martial law than we are.

Maybe the UK-gov is just more obvious with their actions.


New York, NY – January 24, 2008 –, MTV’s youth-focused online activist community, today exclusively premiered two arresting 30-second public service announcements that recreate events from the Holocaust in modern-day America. The concept for the spots came from the same group at the Boston office of Arnold Worldwide that created the highly acclaimed truth® anti-tobacco campaign.

In one spot, a family lounges at home. Teen boys play a video game. Their sister carries schoolbooks in to begin her homework. Mom begins to prepare dinner. Suddenly, a team of soldiers bursts into their house and rounds up the entire family into a waiting truck, already holding dozens of others pulled from their homes.
In the other spot, people stand in a crowded subway car. At first, it looks like it could be morning rush hour in New York City. But then the train slams to an abrupt halt in a station and soldiers with dogs and machine guns order everyone into one of two huge lines on the platform.
Both spots end with a freeze frame that dissolves to an actual historical photograph, provided by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.
They can be viewed at

Director/photographer Michael Franzini worked with the group at Arnold for six months to craft the most compelling message to engage U.S. teens with an episode in world history that is in danger of being forgotten.
“My generation, Gen X, barely knew what the word Holocaust meant,” said Franzini, referring to a 1993 study by the Roper Organization which found that 53% of U.S. high school students could not say what the Holocaust was. “We were horrified to find that teenagers today know even less.”

Franzini sent out video crews in four cities last year, approaching teenagers on city streets, asking them what the Holocaust was. Responses included speculation that the Holocaust took place in Iraq and that Hitler was a Jew fighting against the Nazis. Almost 2/3 of those questioned had little or no idea what the Holocaust was. The interviews can be viewed at
“We all recall black and white images of the holocaust in our minds. But the Holocaust happened to real people, in full color,” said Roger Baldacci, EVP, Creative Director of Arnold Worldwide. “We hope to make these ads relatable to young people by illustrating what some of the events of the Holocaust would look like in the context of today’s world.”

“To prevent the humanitarian crises of tomorrow, we must never forget the tragedies of the past,” said Ian Rowe, VP of Strategic Partnerships and Public Affairs, MTV. “These striking PSAs from Michael Franzini and Arnold Worldwide serve to reawaken our audience to this dark chapter of human history – and inspire them to help fight against the atrocities being committed in the world today.”

Through a partnership with Facing History and Ourselves (, MTV will offer its audience a way to learn more about and take action on the lessons in the PSAs. Facing History is an international educational and professional development organization that engages students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and anti-Semitism – in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry. The group has just launched a profile on, allowing young people to learn about the historical development of the Holocaust and other genocides, then make the essential connection between history and the moral choices they confront in their own lives.

Michael Franzini is a director and photographer who has created eight on-air pro-social campaigns for MTV over the past ten years. His TV spots has twice been highlighted by The New York Times as being among the best advertising on television, and two of the MTV campaigns received Emmy Awards. He is the author of One Hundred Young Americans (, released in November by HarperCollins. The book tells the true story of youth culture in America through images and biographies of a cross section of 100 teens from all 50 states.

Arnold Worldwide is a highly creative communications agency focused on strong business results for large, national brands like truth®, TAG, Fidelity Investments, ESPN, Jack Daniel’s, Hershey’s, Amtrak and Ocean Spray. Arnold is owned by Havas (Nasdaq: HAVS) (Euronext Paris: HAV.PA) and represents one of the lead agencies in the system, with three fully integrated service offices in the U.S.: the Boston headquarters, New York, Washington.

thinkMTV is the umbrella for MTV’s on-air, off-air and online pro-social campaigns that engage, educate and encourage young people to take action on some of the biggest challenges facing their generation. The backbone for MTV’s pro-social efforts is, a new online community where young people, their friends and some of the biggest names in pop culture come together to effect positive social change. The Think Community is dynamic, multimedia-driven and enables youth to easily learn more about the issues that matter to them most, share their opinions – via uploaded online videos, podcasts and blogs – and connect with others to make a difference. The site is one of the only to reward members for positive actions taken online or off, serving up chances to hang out with socially conscious celebs, access to exclusive MTV events, exposure on MTV and other national media outlets, as well as grants, scholarships and more. was built with the help of financial support and expertise from founding partners the Case Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Goldhirsh Foundation and MCJ Amelior Foundation. For more information or to build a profile and become involved, visit

Wow. This could not've answered our questions better. A thousand thank you's!

Where did they find these people who didn't know about the Holocaust? I recall learning about the Holocaust every single year of middle and high school, more than any other historical event. In fact, I had no idea about the MILLIONS who died at the hands of Communists or the firebombing of Dresden, killing thousands of civilians in three days, until after I was out of school.

MTV is trying to inform US citizens what could happen to us, but I think they should educate the citizens on the atrocities we are currently committing ourselves.

Like, how about a PSA on the thousands of people currently subjected to horrific conditions in sweatshops, many of which are not even 18-years-old, to make all the crap we consumerist Americans are mindlessly driving to the mall to buy?

The second commercial depicting a family at home doing their normal routine only to be violently yanked out of their homes by militant forces seems an awful lot like what our military is currently doing in Iraq to their civilians.

Or are these not important because it's the US, not Nazis, carrying out these acts?

I think to not take this issue seriously is self condeming. We are being warned. FEMA has built camps to hold American citizens and Martila Law is coming soon. Research FEMA camps. SERIOUSLY!!!!!!!!!

The history repeats itself. And if you ask most kids they do not know or understand history, which is scary and wrong. But if you think this is only a history lesson, to remind us of Nazi invasions etc, you are blind. Take a look up in the sky lately. See the military operations? Found over 17 cities where this is taking place. And many more places since early 2000. I find it insulting that people lie to themselves in order to feel okay instead of see the rights being taken away daily in this country. And no Obama did not start it but its the continuation of a bad bad plan. Even Charles Mingus warns of Nazi's Rockefeller brainwashing and hate teaching as well as Faubus's use of the National Guard against American citizens, school children no doubt (see Original Faubus Fables or Fables of Faubus but make sure lyrical content, he was censored to a instrumental for years until the original was released). This is a warning for the people to watch their government. Look up Gerald Celente. on you tube. Also KRS-one is speaking out. Prof Grif is speakin out. Alex Jones of course. Do the research and see what is going on around you. its your responsibility. Look up Obama is a filthy liar on you tube. Times they are a changing.... look up denver warfare helicopter drills. keep looking thing up. research and discuss. if it bothers you speak to others. peace to us all.

Oh and thanks for the other info and the director for making these commercials and mtv airing them as much as i hate mtv. could be part of the chaos theory too. right in time with the slow diving economy. Amero anyone? That could cause the chaos. Or the cutting off of welfare and unemployment. and did you know that in declaration of marshall law it is illegal, even if all is well with you and yours in your home, it is illegal to keep your residence. Thats why the commercial with the roundup. We have been discussing the elite movement since the eighties. And the peeps who opened my eyes had been watchin it since the forties. So in listening to my elders and looking around, i would say to pay attention, be good to one another, rely more on community and less on government, and pay attention to your police and the way they are acting and the rights we are losing. Also look up jekyll island secret millionaire billionaire meetings and in new york etc. So there is some homework. And dont just say oh conspiracy blah blah, go look it up, check it out, find many many sources not just one or two and research them as well. it does not take long. also look up Denver International Airport Murals. i believe is a good place to start or google images. starts looking weird and linked up. hopefully we are all wrong and everything is fine. But viewed these commercials a while ago.....not good.

You'd think Franzini & MTV would, were they serious, pay attention to some of the actual, real, contemporary tragedies unfolding around the world. Ginning up fictional martial law not only feeds the delusions of the Michelle Bachmanns and other such loons, but cheapens the horror that people are actually suffering all over the world. Ersatz horror from an plasticine ethos.
And dont just say oh conspiracy blah blah, go look it up, check it out Hmm yass, good idea: Real Oklahoma Students Ace Citizenship Exam; Strategic Vision Survey Was Likely Fabricated.
Did anyone see this?
Its a Holocaust awareness video made in 2008. It was part of a campaign called "remember" trying to educate young people about the Holocaust. Its trying to show people what the Holocaust would be like in modern America. Its attempting to give context to a generation that have been only shown historic imagery who may feel that its something of the past, but not relevant in today's world.
I admit it, I myself will occasionally get caught up in conspiracy bull, even though I know it's false. Naturally, I wondered what was going on with the ad. Really, it's just for holocaust awareness. The tone seemed warning, which threw everyone off. The strange thing is how an ad like that came out of a channel for dumbasses.

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