Radiohead – All I Need
After showing us a day in the life of two children – one in school and the other at work – the All I Need video ends with a surprise. It really is true, some things cost more than we realize – and the video does a good job explaining this.
Radiohead are well-known for cutting out middle-men, most notably through allowing fans to legally download their album In Rainbows (the one containing All I Need) from the band’s website. The album didn’t have a fixed price, instead allowing the fans themselves to decide how much they want to pay. Nevertheless, Radiohead partnered with MTV EXIT for this project. MTV EXIT is a campaign to raise awareness about exploitation and human trafficking.
“All power to MTV for taking this on because it’s obviously going to be difficult for them in terms of the advertisers. With the video, their lawyers had to beg to make sure there wasn’t a single white trainer with a logo on it because the implication would be a little too close. But the implication is still there”, said Radiohead singer Thom Yorke.
Thom is presumably referring to Nike, infamously known for their use of sweatshops. So, I guess this is a good time to remind ourselves of some creative Nike sweatshop cartoons.
According to ateaseweb.com, a website specializing in Radiohead news, guitarist Ed O’Brien cited Naomi Klein’s classic book No Logo as one of the things that got the band interested in the issue. Ed O’Brien also said Radiohead didn’t receive money for the use of their music: “For things like this that would just not be right.”
In addition to donating a song to the campaign, Radiohead continued raising awareness of the issue. During the tour that followed the release of the video, youth activists from local anti-human trafficking organizations handed out leaflets at the concerts.
Ed O’Brien also said the creative way of sharing the message was what convinced them to support the project: “We were happy for our music to be used for this film. If we had been asked to appear in a straight TV ad we would have said no,” he said. “I’m not sure TV would have been effective – in many ways it might have put [viewers] off.”