Underground marketing shills "put it in your life".
July 16, 2001 10:46 PM   Subscribe

Underground marketing shills "put it in your life". Big Fat co. sends 18-34yr olds into the world to act out ad dramas promoting products. "I feel so great, so real." (I'm not sure what the writer means by "facially attractive, in that asymmetrical sort of way," though.)[via null device, NYT reg. req.]

Ten-day Ubik deodorant spray or Ubik roll-on ends worry of offending, brings you back where the happening is.
posted by aflakete (12 comments total)
Good idea to market products. No complaints from me.
posted by davidmsc at 10:48 PM on July 16, 2001

That's from Philip K Dick's novel Ubik, in which a spray can prevents the characters' reality from decaying. Use only as directed.
posted by aflakete at 10:53 PM on July 16, 2001

i think pkd could have used such a spray can for himself.
posted by moz at 12:30 AM on July 17, 2001

where he got the idea, I reckon.
posted by aflakete at 2:04 AM on July 17, 2001

Listen to the wooden dialog:

''I feel so great, so real,'' says a slight young woman with spindly arms and wide eyes. A blue bandanna is tied tightly around her head. ''It's this drink!''

''This drink'' consists of vodka mixed with bottled water. Not just any bottled water, mind you, but the new, lightly flavored variety. Apparently, it is doing wonders for the group as they flamboyantly pour it into half-full glasses of vodka and ice.

''Would you feel the same way with soda?'' a more uptownish brunette excitedly asks her bandanna'd friend. ''No!'' She raises her glass. ''I feel alive!'' And with that, the two heartily clink glasses.

You expect Lady Penelope to jounce in.

We will see churches and political parties doing this next.

''I feel so great, so real,'' says a slight young woman ... ''I'm so glad I'm voting for [candidate]. It's what I've always really felt but was afraid to admit, even to myself. I really am a [party name].''


''Jesus, you look happy tonight, Sue," says a slight young woman ...

''Jesus? Jesus has nothing to do with it, Tracy. It's [other loony religious figure] who's got me feeling this way," says her pal. "I only wish I had a good [religious type] man I could share it with. It's like a fever. I feel so hot tonight!"

posted by pracowity at 3:14 AM on July 17, 2001

They are facially attractive, in that asymmetrical sort of way

Facial symetry is a classic hallmark of beauty. I guess the author here is trying to say that these young people are beautiful in an unusual way, which is actually more common than not in the modeling world.
posted by aphelion at 4:04 AM on July 17, 2001

Dong Resin: "I am surrounded by whores."
World: "Yes. Yes you are."
posted by dong_resin at 7:45 AM on July 17, 2001

There is a PR/ad company that pays people to do editorial advertising on bulletin boards, forums, and on their own personal sites - I am always sceptical when people wax poetic about their new anti-persperant, lipstick or tax preparer, because I know there are people out there being paid to convince me that they are just spouting off their opinions because the product is so good.

But it always comes down to why you would make a decision about anything based on what a total stranger told you.

Have I ever told you'all what a lifesaver my Swiffer is?
posted by kristin at 8:44 AM on July 17, 2001

Um, not such a new idea, this.

Way back in 1976, I was a volunteer for somebody running for mayor of New York. A bunch of us would attend his rallies and disperse among the crowd. If people didn't seem to be responding to his speech, we'd start chanting his name as if we were deliriously in love with him, to try to whip the crowd into a frenzy. It often worked (at least in the short run; he placed way far back in the actual election).
posted by agaffin at 9:03 AM on July 17, 2001

Sorry. 1977, not 1976...
posted by agaffin at 9:04 AM on July 17, 2001

swiffer rocks.
posted by rebeccablood at 9:17 AM on July 17, 2001

I think it's about "mindshare", as they say. In the same way that, say, you read a word you've never read before, you'll notice it around you five times that day.

Something that has always been there never registered on a conscious level, but now that it has been named, exists for you in a new way. This sort of advertising amounts to the same thing as hearing a commercial on the radio and thus becoming aware of a product. But, I think this MO is sleazy because it lies to you. The idea of people discussing something loudly and disingenuously with the sole purpose of producing this awareness in the listener is unethical precisely because it operates on the idea that the listener is unaware that what he or she is hearing is advertising.

But I guess the advertising industry isn't the greatest place to look for moral fortitude and ethics.

And, of course, I can say for myself that overhearing the facially beautiful gang at the end of the bar talking about the wonders of the new lightly flavored water doesn't influence me, because, well, I don't think it will. But, as an example, at my office the guys in the comunal cube near me listen to nothing but trendy popular mainstream corporate radio. I was discussing this fact with one of them the other day. This sentence actually came out of his mouth: "If all these people like it, it must be good, right?"

There's your target group. Might as well have a big target on his ass. And on his wallet.

Ooops, sorry! gotta go drink more Dew and listen to Infinity Broadcasting.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:56 AM on July 17, 2001

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