Funny Friday: The Idiocracy Effect

What is it about post-apocalyptic tales that so often capture our imagination? Maybe it’s the science fiction behind it all. Maybe it’s the fact that they so often grapple with deep philosophical questions about human nature at its core. Maybe it’s just because, hey, who doesn’t like a good disaster flick here and there? I’m betting you didn’t answer that first question with the word “humor,” though. I’m also betting you, my friend, are not famed cult comedy director Mike Judge.

Let me set the stage for you: it’s the year 2505. Fields run dry, and crops won’t grow. People live next to mountains of trash (as if they were any other landscape feature). Not seeing the humor? OK, let’s add this fun fact: Mountain Dew is the President’s middle name.  A Dr. Lexus runs a health clinic. People are named BMW, Hormel and Beef Supreme. Brands are everywhere else, too—Costco has essentially become its own city (complete with a law school), and a Gatorade knock-off called Brawndo has such a tight monopoly on everything that they not only drink it exclusively, but they use it to water their plants, too. The film? Judge’s Idiocracy, released in 2006 and starring Luke Wilson as an Army librarian and subject of a military experiment that leaves him stranded in the future. If it’s not bleak, it’s at the very least incredibly, incredibly idiotic (at least the people are).

 

 

Think about how much branding has already become a part of everybody’s identity. Are you an iPhone or a Galaxy person? Nike or Adidas? Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? I know my answers (even if I’m not planning to name my unborn children after my Nike basketball shoes).

Brand loyalty–it’s a thing. But that doesn’t necessarily make us all blind followers and sheep.

People want to be educated consumers—they want to know what makes one brand preferable over another. Often they want to look at the products they buy with a more critical eye, and with these demands for more information come increased efforts by marketers to give the people what they want. (Anybody care to ask Microsoft how many of their fans have turned on them since the Xbox One reveal?) Still, with the premium we as a society often place on brand loyalty, it’s nice to be able to laugh at the extremes to which we sometimes take it (even those of us in the industry). Nokia highlighted this in a recent ad which used the iPhone-Galaxy debate to promote their new Windows smartphone.

 

 

So what about you guys– any brand names you’ve thought about adding to your own or logos you feel like tattooing on your chest?

Cover Photo Source: By Rayouaz (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

 Kevin is a junior executive at SJG. A Texas native, he is currently working on obtaining a BA from Northwestern University in Comparative Literary Studies and Creative Writing, with a special interest in media and pop culture in Latin America and the Latino U.S. His love of TV is only outpaced by his love of his hometown San Antonio Spurs.