Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Not a Place I Want to Be Thinking About Burma Shave

I remember an episode of Futurama where Fry was having a dream and an advertisement popped into his head for Lightspeed-brand briefs, an event which quite upset him, and he compared advertising in the year 3000 with that of our own modern age:

"Well sure, but not in our dreams. Only on TV and radio. And in magazines. And movies. And at ball games and on buses and milk cartons and t-shirts and written on the sky. But not in dreams. No siree"

Why do I bring this little factoid up... well, the writers of Futurama didn't anticipate a place advertising would pop-up: legitimate theatre.

I know they did that sort of thing for 1950's sponsored television and on things like the Tonight Show (mmm, Alpo), but I thought we were passed that kind of shilling. But then again, I should never underestimate just how low advertisers will go to get a message out. I just rue the day that the publishing companies find a way to get ads inside their novels seamlessly, though I am sure there are crack teams of professionals in some underground lair below Madison Avenue working on that problem intently. And cackling all the way. I mean, who wouldn't want to get a personalized ad about life insurance while reading War and Peace or a discount fare to Ireland while reading Ulysses.

Personally, I blame Andy Warhol for all this.

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