Ad Sense

One of the most impressive things about “Idiocracy” is that as time goes on, the little details are proving to be uncannily accurate – most vividly when it comes to advertising.  In Mike Judge’s vision of 2505, most of the brands we know have devolved into hand-job shops (i.e. Star8ucks and FedExxx), and additionally control the U.N. (pronounced “un”).  Fuddruckers is now “Buttfuckers,” Carl’s Jr. sponsors the government (“Hi, I’m the Secretary of State, brought to you by Carl’s Jr.”)  and water has been replaced by the Gatorade-esque “Brawndo.”  Indeed, advertising has become a seemless part of life.     

But Judge’s dystopic brand-hell society is just a highly imaginative projection, right?  In 500 years, won’t we be MORE evolved, aided by innovation and technology and better suited to take on life’s challenges? 

Not quite.  In fact, Judge’s foresight is proving to be spot-on – and it probably won’t take us 500 years to get there.

The Anti-Advertising Agency (www.antiadvertisingagency.com) does a great job of highlighting real-world ads and industry trends that are indicative of impending idiocracy.  Most recently, they featured California’s latest push – to possibly place ads on new digital license plates.

Credit: LA Times

In my eyes, this is yet another step toward brand intrusion on our personal space.  We’ve already invited brands to come play in our social media sandbox, and willingly “like their pages,” thus providing our endorsement.  Why not slap a billboard on our vehicles?  We’re already desensitized.    

My question is – with brands so intent on impacting consumer perception through word-of-mouth (WOM) and virla channels, how long until they irreparably dilute these mediums?

Note: The Anti-Advertising Agency has been added to “Jab the Idiocracy” at right.  Check them out.

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