resistance is futile


For some reason today, an old slogan for Lay’s potato chips popped into my head: “no one can eat just one.” And for some other reason, I thought it could so easily be paraphrased to have a somewhat different meaning:

No one is permitted to eat only one.

I imagine a totalitarian society, where potato chip-eating quotas are strictly enforced. And why just potato chips? Why not have a nation-state that dictates other product use, and daily life in general? Advertising slogans abound that need only the gentlest nudge to conjure up such a society:

  • Do you have your required dairy products?
    “Got milk?”
  • Orange Juice is now mandatory at meals other than breakfast.
    “It’s not just for breakfast anymore.”
  • It is strictly forbidden that anything should surmount these batteries
    “You can’t top the copper top”, Duracell Batteries
  • Enjoyment is compulsory
    “We’re gonna make you smile”, SeaWorld
    “Don’t get mad! Get Glad!” Glad
  • Viewing is obligatory.
    “Must See TV”, NBC
  • All youths over the age of 10 are required to enroll
    “Join the Pepsi generation”
  • Establish your approved identity by drinking an officially sanctioned beverage
    “Be a Pepper. Drink Dr Pepper”, Dr Pepper
  • Only certifiably genuine and approved products may be consumed
    “Can’t beat the real thing”, Coca-Cola
  • We will tell you what you need to have.
    “You Gotta Have It!”, Lisa Frank
  • We will tell you what you need to know.
    “You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.” RadioShack
  • Rest assured: all your decisions are being made for you.
    “Your true choice.” AT&T
    “You’re in good hands.”, Allstate Insurance
  • Continued productivity is imperative.
    “Keep Going”, Energizer Batteries
  • There is no need to leave your community.
    “Your World. Delivered.” AT&T
  • Cooperation is rewarded.
    “Membership has its privileges”, American Express
  • Unmutual individuals will be broken.
    “You deserve a break today”, McDonald’s
  • If you are not with us, you are against us.
    “Stick together”, T-Mobile

And some of the slogans don’t really need any help to be Big Brotherly:

  • “You need us for everything you do”, The Weather Channel (We control everything.)
  • “Don’t leave home without it”, American Express (You must have your card with you at all times.)
  • “Wherever you go, our network follows”, Hutch in India (You can’t run.)
  • “VISA ; It’s everywhere you want to be”, Visa (You can’t hide.)
  • “We’ll leave the light on for you.” Motel 6 (The better to see what you are doing.)
  • “You Watch, We Listen”, British Satellite Broadcasting (Your neighbors are watching you, and we are listening.)penny_farthing.jpg
  • “The Listening Bank”, Midland Bank (I told you, we’re listening.)
  • “It’s the Internet that logs onto you” SBC, ca.Yahoo! DSL (We have access to your thoughts at all times.)
  • “The more you hear, the better we sound”, AT&T long distance (Our propaganda is very effective.)
  • 9 thoughts on “resistance is futile

    1. Scary slogans, and it’s not too much of a leap which is even scarier. I like your take on Motel 6. How about: Beef. It’s what’s for dinner (mandatory beefness, don’t even think about chicken)

    2. maja-
      Hee hee. I guess I’ll have to pay special attention to the ads in Germany while I’m over there.

      KC-
      Yes, the beef one is good, too. Could also be modified to “Vegetarians will be prosecuted.”

      jen-
      Thanks! And it does seem that State Farm is always nearby, peering into our windows.

    3. I love the way your mind works.

      And no, New England is not far, and I know a few people who could now direct you to where I live. BUT, I’ll be in YOUR neck of the woods at the beginning of December…

    4. “Sometimes you feel like a nut. Sometimes you don’t” (Almond Joy & Mounds candy bars)

      I agree. Here is another prime example of ad executives going beyond the normal behaviorial demands to use their products and reaching into our minds to manipulate our sanity. Those rotten b@st@rds!!!

      Let us storm the media castles and take back our lives!!!! But would it be hypocritical if I put some Almond Joys in my backpack for AFTER the battle?!

      -sj

    5. sj-
      Perhaps it would be best to stock up on the candy bars before the battle. You know, just in case. And since they might help to give some energy for storming the castle.

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