Sears Complaint - Sears' Christmas Slogan Takes Gandhi's Quote and the Concept behind it - applying it to consumerism
"Be the santa you want to be" (Sears) versus "Be the change you want to see." (Gandhi)
Each year, corporations across the US come up with their new holiday jingles - their new slogans - to attract, through advertising, the shopping crowd. It is a sad day though, when consumerism is so rampant that somehow it is acceptable to casually twist a quote - not any quote, but perhaps the most cherished, moving quote in the history of the world - into an advertising jingle to intice shoppers to come buy products.
Gandhi was advocating for peace - not consumerism - how dare Sears steal his vision for their advertising needs. They even have applied for a servicemark (basically the same thing as a trademark). How could they possibly trademark something that doesn't even belong to them? Sears literally changed two words (santa for change and be for see - and the second one really has just about the same meaning, it is as if they decided to put in the second "be" (which makes the jingle sound real awkward) in for "see" because they didn't want to be so obvious about using Gandhi's work).
I know that if I kept the same sentence structure (as Sears has) and changed just two words in an academic paper that I wrote, I would, likely, be committing plagiarism - opening myslef up for serious sanctions. Yet, with that said, I doubt this is illegal (for a couple of reasons). However, just because it's legal doesn't mean its right. Some may try to argue that really - they changed the meaning here because "change" and "santa" are not synonyms. Yea...But, really, the concepts are still the same - they are saying "shop to make the Christmas you want to make," which is a clever twist on Gandhi who basically says "do the work to make the world what you want it to be." Gandhi's message is a great one - it empowers people and motivates people to make the world a better, more peaceful place. Sears' decision to use the concept of this message to try to empower people to shop at their stores for all of their needs in this ridiculous age of consumerism makes a mockery of anyone who tries to live out Gandhi's messsage on a daily basis.