You’ve probably seen the video of the ‘World’s Toughest Job’ interview by now, where candidates unknowingly interview for the position with completely impossible demands. For about 30 seconds, the slickly produced video is quite intriguing as you don’t know exactly what is going on, and the list of demands on the candidates gets increasingly ridiculous (no sleep, no breaks, no benefits, and no money etc). But it doesn’t take long for anyone experienced in heart tugging viral nonsense to realize what is going on (you can see it here, as we’re not reposting it).
The job of course, is the toughest, most important job of all – being a mother.
There’s nothing wrong with the message, per se, because obviously we should all love our mothers (unless you had a particularly horrible one), but what about the messenger?
It turns out that the fake interview is actually an ad campaign by online greeting card seller Cardstore.com. Essentially, it’s a very effective use of guilt to prompt people to get ready for Mother’s Day in 3 weeks time, as the front page of their website would indicate:
The video basically states: “You are a crappy son/daughter and you don’t think about your mom. So buy her (one of our) cards to show her you care!”.
Predictably, websites are jumping all over the viral potential of the video with annoying click-bait headlines like: “24 Applicants Were Terrified To Do This Job. Then They Found Out Why Billions Already Do It.”
Just as Christmas, a religious ceremony originally created to celebrate the birth of Christ, has been mercilessly exploited by capitalism to sell us crap we don’t need, so too have our mothers. It is no longer enough to show our mothers love by spending time with them, cooking for them, or simply giving them a call. On Mother’s Day, we have to buy them stuff, and lots of it. Not only that, sickly sweet viral videos about how much we are supposed to love them must also now be turned into viral posts to improve click rates on websites desperate to generate ad revenue.
This might be an overly cynical take on a generally harmless video, but the ensuing orgy of social media sharing, nauseating facebook updates (OMG, you HAVE to see this!! So true!!!) and greedy reposting from supposedly reputable sites is enough to send anyone over the edge. negate any positive effect it may have had.
Because increasing the love for your mom was never the point. It was selling greeting cards.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.