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Tycho / on Wed, Sep 18 2002 at 7:21 am

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You have, no doubt, already heard of the hot EA/McDonald’s/Intel marketing three-way, for which paper towels and blue tarps have already been purchased.  However, you may not have seen our comic strip on the subject, because I just now uploaded it.

The cynical response is that this is nothing new.  The pragmatic response is that it is probably better than having your eyes eaten by ravens, a la Excalibur.  But I think it’s hard to deny that ad agencies - on the web and otherwise - have at least gotten more brazen about what they do.  I didn’t just pick up a copy of Adbusters and come up with this.  You’ve got the ladies with the cell phones over at the Space Needle, “hanging out and having fun,” delivering subliminal pitches.  People changing their names to products and advertising on tombstones.  My favorite one is more recent - this Starburst thing is awesome.  I mean, it’s super vile, but it is so eager to be vile that you kind of root for it.  Let me paraphrase the article.

Let’s say you want to advertise your candy - or “lolly” - on the radio and television.  You can pay a set amount of money for access to thirty-second or minute slots, let’s say.  Or, and here’s an idea, you can make a song by a “band” whose name is the product you’re trying to sell, and get it into rotation on stations and have them play it for you.  In the case of Starburst, you write a song called “Get Your Juices Going,” which exhausts every possible fruit-related sexual innuendo over the course of four excruciating minutes.  The production of Pop Hits being a largely mechanical enterprise, it will not be difficult to suitably emulate the music of the moment.  I don’t know what the going rate is for payola, but my hunch tells me it compares favorably with actual ad spots.  Customers can then go out and purchase your advertising, and they will, because they’re fucking retards.  The Starburst issue reveals so much about radio, marketing, and human nature that it casts a shadow over my entire life.  It is cold in my heart. 

Future robots have nothing on these guys in the grim efficiency department. 

So, eh, whaddya do.  Maintain a generally cynical air and stoke a rabid xenophobia that borders on a mental disorder.  Download that Starburst song, and experience your own psychotic break today!  You will stare at the palm of your hand for a half an hour, wondering if you’re actually alive or not.  That’s what I did.

(CW)TB out.

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