An argument gone awry

Gavin Gaddis

A puddle of pink popped up on the Quad last Wednesday, causing quite the ruckus.

To my cynical eyes the demonstration looked like a pink pro-life anglerfish, drawing in people hoping to get a “save the ta-tas” bumper sticker. Several students who passed by while I was present seemed stunned to have anti-abortion literature thrust upon them.

Bearing that in mind, this week I thought I’d highlight a couple of their missteps to give advice on how not to present yourself as an organization.

To illustrate a point, the well-meaning organization put 897 pink crosses on the Quad. I found this to be an interesting way to visualize a number until I noticed what was holding up the crosses themselves.

A large number of these tiny crosses were jammed into thin sheets of Styrofoam. Those that did not fit were jammed into an alternative: upside-down Domino’s pizza boxes.

Disregarding the theological implications of shoving a religious icon into greasy cardboard, it simply looked tacky. Some white masking tape, A bit of cloth or a tub of White-Out could’ve given the display a bit of credibility.

Instead, I was standing before this protest telling me the evils of abortion while quietly deciding if I should get pizza for dinner.

Then the color of said crosses, signage and handouts caught my attention. They were neon pink, suspiciously close to the shade of pink commonly used in relation to breast cancer awareness.

From a distance the protest appeared to be some sort of breast cancer event to raise awareness. The professional-looking signs and cards look as if they should have a Susan G. Komen trademark.

Two possibilities come to my mind: either they simply like the color pink, or they intentionally wanted to draw people to their display with this assumption.

One could argue this tactic worked, as I saw many of these cards littered about campus later in the day. The literature was getting into the public’s hands, but was it for the right reason?

If an organization is making an argument based on moral grounds, one would assume it’s only fair play to use those same morals when constructing their brand and advertisements.