The Glowing Reputation of Advertising

You’re at your local supermarket. ASDA, Morrisons, Tesco, or if you’re socio-economically superior – Waitrose. You peruse the same products, on the same shelves every single week. Mindlessly and mechanically using your winch-like extremities to pick up and deposit the same items into the same wheeled cage that you have for the last 20 years.

With the robotic monotony of supermarket shop shelving it’s very difficult for brands to break your habits and persuade you to buy something new, something you have never bought before. When every product looks the same as it did last week, and your tunnel vision takes you up and down the same aisles, to the same multipacks of crisps and teabags, how can brands catch your eye?

Well I’ll tell you – they make their products literally glow.

Introducing eCoupled, courtesy of Fulton Innovation

Demonstrated at CES earlier this year, the technology uses inductive coupling to transform surfaces into power sources for battery-powered devices. Surfaces are equipped with a primary transmission coil which provides power for the devices equipped with a secondary receiving coil.

Fulton Innovation intend to standardise the technology and attempt to sell it to stores. This may never happen, but for the sake of the forthcoming hyperbole, let’s assume it will.

Introducing this form of branding will not only cause an increase in epileptic fits, it will cause rival brands to take increasingly drastic action to convey the appeal of their products. There will come a time when we’ll bask in the beaming ambiance of every cereal box. But it won’t be enough anymore. We’ll be desensitised to glowing and Fulton Innovation will be forced to innovate a new form of visual distraction. Then not only will boxes glow, they will feature artificially intelligent animated mascots who roam the shelves, bounding from box to box in a merry attempt to be adopted by you.

The cereal section will resemble a sick CGI zoo. The Honey Monster will systematically and repeatedly rape Snap, Crackle and Pop while the calamitous curator – Professor Weeto looks on in abject horror. Tony the tiger will finally lose it and begin mauling every hand that stretches toward his box. Quiky the Nesquick Bunny will be skinned and stewed by Klondike Pete [whom I’ve always suspected of serious mental instability. No-one should be that friendly with a mule]. There will be so much animalistic chaos that when you finally get home to tuck into your Corn Flakes you’ll open the box to find nothing more than feathers, giblets and chicken shit.

Once other brands see all the fun the animals are having, they’ll jump aboard the bandwagon too. Then it won’t be just Coco Pops that feature a monkey mascot who suggestively beckons you to his chambers before raping your wallet and sending you home with enough Coco Rocks to last until the inevitable fiery demise of the Earth, it will be every item on every shelf.

The alcohol aisles will resemble an inebriated Noah’s Ark. Complete with bats, deer, geese, grouse and toucans, and helmed by Captain Morgan.

But what happens when we’ve become so accustomed to animated box fronts that we ignore all other products and fall back into our old habits of buying the same products week in, week out? We’ve already animated the print on the products. Why not move the products themselves?

Magnetised biscuit barrels will roll up and down the aisles. The entire sweet section will resembles a scaled up Donkey Kong with more Jump Men and more jeopardy than ever before. Even innocuous products like tinned tuna will rise up on miniature hydraulic legs and unashamedly snap at our ankles until we place them in our basket.

Motorised tomatoes will rally around our feet as potatoes pirouette like brazen ballerinas, and bananas hang from the ceiling like freakish yellow fruit bats. Onions will permanently spin like tops in some insane scene from a veggie Inception, while the Jolly Green Giant wreaks havoc, pissing sweetcorn in every direction.

Apples and pears will swing back and forth across the aisles like healthy pendulums, forcing you to sprint through the hysteria. By the time you reach the tills you’re as bruised as the peaches you just purchased.

The entire fruit and vegetable section will look like a themed episode of Takeshi’s Castle. It will be fun, but both physically and mentally exhausting.

They say hindsight is 20-20. I predict that by the year 2020 we’ll all be blind. Our eyes will have been forced to absorb so much advertising that they will take strike action. Immediately and permanently shutting down. Leaving us a nation of newly feckless consumer clowns.

We’ll stumble down the aisles of our globally- local gigamarkets like disabled gimps. Shrieking as baguettes sound their air horns and slices of bread slap us in the face. Blinking in awe at the flashing broccoli and the dancing carrots.

Even then we’ll still rush to the shops to purchase whatever product has just been announced on PISSAS [Personalised In-ear Supermarket Shopper Advertising System]. Where they perpetually pump 24/7 rolling broadcasts of their latest deals directly into our minds. Even though our eyes have taken a moral stance against such an infringement of our basic human right of refusal, our imperfect brains can’t get enough.

We’ll happily stab a child to get our hands on a folding 107 inch TV, an iPad 7D XTREME or a Microsoft Megatron Dildo. Whatever vaguely electrical item the stores are currently demonstrating. If it’s got wires we’ll take it! If it hasn’t got wires, shit that’s even better! We’ll take that!

Fulton Innovation’s innovations may never make it to market. I probably took this entire thing wildly out of context. But c’mon, glowing Cheerios? Glowing. Fucking. Cheerios? What’s next? Pillows with built-in headphones?!? Don’t make me laugh.


Article first published as The Glowing Reputation of Advertising on Technorati.


3 thoughts on “The Glowing Reputation of Advertising

  1. You’re too fucking late. Sleepsonic ( already has a pillow with headphones. I’m sure you were being factious but it’s quite frightening that we’ve wasted natural resources on this crap.

    Personally I’d enjoy my Lucky Charms talking to me with an Irish brogue, telling me it’s, “magically fucking delicious,” while condemning my milk for being made of almonds. It’s like Minority Report (the movie, not the story) where Tom Cruise’s retinas are scanned in the mall and everything is geared towards him. Then again, I don’t think I want certain mascots vying for my attention at the market; Mr. Clean looks like a mean motherfucker and a potential rapist – no thanks. What about the Zoloft blob, creeping into my brain like those bugs in Star Trek II and controlling my serotonin levels? I’ll pass.

    • Haha. I was being facetious ye. I’ve already come across that shit over here at some stage. Minority Report did spring to mind while I wrote this. And it’s already underway with ads now being tailored to us as users via Google and Facebook. It makes sense, but at the same time I’d rather find the things I want myself, than trusting an ominous superfluent presence with my superficial desires.

      I wasn’t aware of the Zoloft blob, but I had seen Mr. Clean before. We have a whole host of different mascots over here in the UK. We’d be fighting a very different war. I expect both our nations would lose.

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