The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

A Very Poorly Advised Attempt at Zombie Outreach, Or Perhaps Worse

Unfortunately I came to this story a bit late, but it’s still a fascinating example of how a complete lack of cultural sensitivity can lead to even initially well-intentioned people making terrible faux pas.

Case in point:

Creators of a railroad safety mascot named Brainy are sending him to the Memphis Zombie Massacre on Friday night to tantalize the crowd and film a public service video.

The pink, wrinkled spokescharacter for Norfolk Southern Railroad’s Train Your Brain rail-safety awareness campaign was crafted at the suggestion of an engineer who’s obsessed with zombies.

Memphis-based marketing communications agency archer>malmo administers Train Your Brain for the railroad. archer>malmo has been seeking zombie volunteers to participate in filming of a video near Central Station Friday afternoon before the zombie walk.

Train Your Brain emphasizes that train-car collisions and trespass injuries and deaths can be prevented if people pay attention to warning signs and signals, observe caution at highway-rail crossings and keep away from railroad property and equipment.

Brainy makes the rounds of festivals and rail-safety events, posing for pictures with kids.

The Memphis Zombie Massacre will be held for the fifth time at 6:30 p.m. in the South Main arts district. People dressed and made up as the walking dead will pretend to seek out human flesh for feeding purposes. Gray matter is considered a delicacy.

Here we have an individual ‘obsessed’ with Zombies who comes up with a brain-like mascot for an informational campaign
about railroad safety, a laudable goal. From there, the soulless marketing drones and railroad higher ups get the idea to send ‘Brainy’ not just around to local festivals and rail events, but to anything Zombie-themed. In this case to a ‘Zombie Massacre’ event where Living people in Greenface mock the plight of the Differently Animated.

Because, of course, Zombies are obsessed with brains, and therefore the Brainy mascot would be a big hit at a festival full of Zombie Intolerant people playacting as their favorite boogeymen.

*rolls eyes*

Spare me. I’m sick of talking about this particular myth, actually. Zombies are not all universally fixated on grey matter, and promoting that ugly stereotype in the name of public safety is a pathetic spectacle, one for which Norfolk Southern Railroad should be roundly condemned I might add. Attending a ‘Zombie Massacre’ at all is a disgrace for a mascot supposedly meant to educate and inform rather than divide and conquer.

Meanwhile the actual ‘mascot’ is just terrifying in its own right, a nightmare image walking the Earth.

Cleanse it with fire!

*violent shudder*

Judging from the photos page, Brainy is marketed primarily at children. The ZRC takes particular umbrage at marketing Anti-Zombie propaganda to children; the absolute last thing we need as a society is to have hatred and distrust instilled into the malleable, err, brains of the next generation with a ‘lovable’ mascot like Brainy.

I can’t say for certain whether this was an intentional insult to the Differently Animated community or just the result of profound ignorance, but on their behalf, the ZRC wants to say: you should be deeply, deeply ashamed of yourselves, Norfolk Southern Railroad. Your outreach and attempts to educate the public have now turned into open hatemongering.

I don’t know how you sleep at night.


About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.

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