brave new world

Slumber party in-a-box

40,000 GIA Secret Agents are on call nationwide, ready to invite you into their bedrooms, to hang out with their closest friends...

So, as part of my new fiction-writing plan I am doing a little research into "what the younger generation is up to these days." So of course the first thing I come across is websites advising corporations on how to market to twelve-year-olds.

Oh my god.

This agency claims to have a "proprietary network of over 40,000 secret agent influencers nationwide." 40,000 twelve-year-old girls on their payroll, secretly promoting products to their friends. 40,000 walking product placements. It's like the freakin' teenage capitalist Stasi.

Of course "payroll" is probably too inflated a term. They're probably only getting free crappy products -- in exchange for promoting said crappy products to their friends. Their friends don't know they are agents of Conglomco. Only they know. They get secret meetings at headquarters. They get top-secret communiqués. They get to surreptitiously slide Conglomco's Crappyproduct™ into ordinary conversations. So they get a great fantasy out of the deal, too -- being a secret agent! It's like they're in a movie, or a video game.

And for Conglomco, it's cheaper than media buys, and doubtless more effective, and you get your own fantasy to slobber over: getting into the bedrooms of all those twelve-year-olds...


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