Movie Mom

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Target Spoils ‘Free to Be’

posted by Nell Minow

I’m glad to see I am not the only one who is sorry to see Target use the classic “Free to Be You and Me” song in its ads.

The song from The New Seekers is a special memory for many people who grew up in the 70′s and 80′s. It was the title song in an album about equality, tolerance, respect, and understanding our feelings. There was also a book and a television special.

Now Target has used the song in an ad, equating being yourself with buying stuff to express your individuality. It’s completely contrary to the original intent of the song and a real shame.



  • Toby Clark

    I haven’t seen that ad, but I feel much the same way about this ad’s rendition of What About Me? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzQCn8KT1fk

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Ouch, Toby. Thanks for sharing.

  • Anne

    I was making dinner when I heard the song come on the TV. As a child of the 70s, I have great memories of the song and TV special. When I looked up and saw it was a commercial for Target, I was pretty bummed.
    Interestingly, The Seekers also wrote “I’d like to teach the world to sing” which was a classic 70s Coke commercial!

  • Grumpy Old Person

    Considering Target’s huge monetary donation to an anti-gay politician, it seems they believe not quite everybody should actually be “free”.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Thanks, Grumpy. It has been very heartening to see the protests over that contribution — and to watch Target, previously given a top rating by PFLAG for their domestic partnership benefits and other gay-friendly policies, struggle to respond. As with Rupert Murdoch’s donation to the GOP this week, I suspect the post Citizens United corporate political contributions will quickly become an embarrassment and a risk to the brand and ultimately not worth any benefit.

  • Alicia

    Ads featuring folk songs appear to be a trend this season. Isn’t L.L. Bean using “The Big Rock Candy Mountain”? Not sure who is singing it but it sounds rather like Pete Seeger. Ifind it interesting that folk songs are in vogue again – so old they are new?
    I wasn’t aware that Target was giving donations to anti-gay politicians. Too bad. I’ve regarded Target as a good alternative to Walmart (particularly since I live half a block from Target). I hope they reconsider.

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