District 9 Advertising Campaign Makes Me Feel Like A Jerk

District 9 Advertising Campaign Makes Me Feel Like A Jerk

SPOILER ALERT: This blog post spoils a lot of the goodies from the movie “District 9” – if you haven’t seen it, please go watch it and then read this post.

The sci-fi movie District 9 had a truly brilliant campaign this summer. See how BC and DC interpreted these ad differently and why we loved the campaign.

ARTICLE – ‘Funny Bench Ad for District 9’ – http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=55931

district 9 bench ad - District 9 Advertising Campaign Makes Me Feel Like A Jerk

d9billboard - District 9 Advertising Campaign Makes Me Feel Like A Jerk

3622304121 8f955263b3 - District 9 Advertising Campaign Makes Me Feel Like A Jerk

d9busstop - District 9 Advertising Campaign Makes Me Feel Like A Jerk

3760496462 63aea96a5c - District 9 Advertising Campaign Makes Me Feel Like A Jerk

IMG 0481 - District 9 Advertising Campaign Makes Me Feel Like A Jerk

District+9+Target - District 9 Advertising Campaign Makes Me Feel Like A Jerk

DC Perspective ——————-

For me, I fed on a sci-fi fan’s righteous “us vs. them” mentality. It made me think “yeah, we don’t want any aliens in our area.” It fed into sci-fi fan’s long standing mistrust of aliens, always waiting to see if they are friend or foe.

What’s interesting about this campaign is how the advertising campaign takes on new meaning after you see the movie. District 9 explores many themes, but the most prominent is the segregation and the mistreatment of aliens from a foreign planet. The misunderstood aliens are restricted to shanty towns and repressed to create a counter culture of desperate violence and survival.

The message of the ads was simple, keep out aliens. The message is more powerful after viewing the movie in that humans are choosing to keep aliens out. Forcing the aliens to live a substandard life, forcing them to be criminals.

Honestly, I felt like racist scum after seeing the movie. I reflected on my righteous feeling of keeping the unknown separated. Ugh, I felt like a jerk!

What’s important about this campaign and movie is how it frames the civil rights movement for a millennial generation who don’t have first hand experience with segregation and overt racism. One of the great things about this generation is that racism is scarce and often an distant old-fashioned way of thinking. We’ve elected the first black president and also lived through the disastrous results of escalating racism in the LA Riots.

District 9 allows the millennial generation to empathize with Baby Boomers. We can understand the fear and misunderstanding of racism, but also see the heart-wrenching repercussions of segregation. It reminds us how easily we can regress into the disgusting world of segregation. We see how language, culture and appearance can divide and separate.

What’s inspiring about this story is how it remind us that we can make a difference today. There is incredibly horrible segregation and genocide going on right now across the world. Dafur, North Korea , Iran… there are so many.

If this movie does nothing more than inspiring people to do something, than that is success. Visit Amnesty International or the Human Rights Campaign and find something to get passionate about. We can make a difference and we will.

BC Perspective —————-

When I saw the ad campaign, I didn’t think of “us vs. them” but was reminded of the segregationist signs of Jim Crow times. Maybe it’s my perceptions, or because I’m too close (I’m an ad-geek) so I instantly look closer instead of taking an instant reading.

What I loved about the campaign is it framed the movie and the movie framed the campaign. In this era of DVR-skipping commercials this idea had some staying power for me. When I first saw the campaign I got the jist of the movie conflict, and walking out of the movie the events of the past 113 minutes threw the ads into an appropriately darker light that comes with confronting our own history.

[polldaddy poll=1940408]

Ready to Discover a better Review Process?

Whether it’s in-person or virtual, Dawn will help your team uncover ways to make your team’s feedback process more efficient. 

Dawn is ready to speak at your next event!

An award-winning expert on nonprofit communications and creativity, Dawn is ready to speak at your next gathering. 

Kate Runy


A passionate technical wizard, Kate thrives on managing online content, social media for communications, and development projects.  Kate is the workhorse of the team, pulling out amazing feats of content creation and management week in and week out. 

Prior to joining BC/DC Ideas, Kate coordinated website and social media content, communications, and advertising for Go Global NC and Alzheimer’s NC.

Things that make her happy: I love animals about as much as I love working for nonprofits.

Mishel Gomez Cespedes


Mishel brings a passion for video storytelling and quippy social media content to the team.  At BC/DC Ideas, she is most likely editing video or scheduling the next moving social media post for our clients.

Her ear for storytelling is her greatest asset. Mishel has a unique ability to assemble content into a concise story that moves audiences to action.

A graduate of Wake Forest University she spent a semester in Spain and years serving her community through the campus organizations. Now, she is putting her passion for good to work.

Brian Crawford

creative director

Mix equal parts nerd and creativity and that’s Brian. A natural problem-solver, Brian’s ability to cut to the core of any problem helps guide our creative team to the correct solution without wasted time or money. It’s the core, this little nugget of truth, that helps our clients take the next step with their audiences.

Brian gets the greatest joy out of helping our clients realize and connect with their story. He is a true believer that everyone and every organization has a compelling story to tell, you just have to listen with an open heart.

Things that make him happy: Hanging out at the park with family, toddler-speak, hitting the focus pull, and good coffee.

Dawn Crawford


The engine behind BC/DC Ideas, Dawn has dedicated her career to good. Dawn brings her considerable experience and expertise to helping elevate the nonprofit sector. Our team’s lead strategist, Dawn is often seen leading our IdeaStorms, penning communications plans, or checking in with clients.

Before launching BC/DC Ideas in 2010, she earned her chops in 10+ years of communications leadership roles for public health, healthcare and youth-focused nonprofits. Working for nonprofits is Dawn’s dream job, and she loves that her 40+ hours a week make the world a better place.

Things that make her happy: A glass of champagne to celebrate big wins, Basecamp, living in the South, seeing the world, and a well-formatted spreadsheet.