Ad Saturation Approaches 100 Percent

We read today in the New York Times that the Publicis Group, described as the world's fourth largest advertising company, is going to meld with the Simon Property Group, the nation's largest owner of shopping malls, to present us with ... more ads. Thank God that every flat surface will soon have advertisements on it.

(OnSpot Eyesore(TM) Technology Monitor)

The Times dutifully provides us with other examples:

  • Clear Channel Outdoor digital billboards in London
  • Low tech sliding screen ads already in local malls
  • Giant screens in Times Square, stadia, etc.

I've already seen this future, and I thought it was funny when I read about it; I'm less amused now. And if you think that advertisers will be satisfied with just using existing surfaces for ads, think again. For example, in his remarkable but uneven 1975 work The Computer Connection, science fiction writer Alfred Bester writes about holographic ads that are projected right into the home; the following ad interrupts a dinner conversation:

A naked model appeared on all fours and spoke [with] a giant Irish wolfhound. "The only organic food for your beloved pet is Tumor, the new, improved energizer that gives fast, fast relief from the sexual separation between the species..."

"I thought this house was insulated," Borgia complained.

The voice of the Syndicate came from below. "It is my fault. I could not close the door."
(Read more about projection commercials)

In Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth's excellent 1952 novel The Space Merchants, savvy advertisers know you want to look out the windows of planes.

It wasn't a pleasant trip ... we flew low .. you turn your head and look out the window and just as you convince your stomach that everything's all right and your self that it's interesting country below, wham: a ... Taunton ad for some crummy product opaques the window and one of their nagging, stupid jingles drills into your ear. (Read more about airplane window ads)

The desire to put advertisements everywhere people might look is a disturbing example of horror vacui in what is sometimes called Outsider Art. Horror vacui is literally the fear of empty spaces; it often characterizes the work of mental patients, who obsessively fill every square millimeter of paper and canvas. Advertisers see themselves as outside of society, trying to manipulate it, filling every space with commercial messages and branding symbols; I'd like to see the people who can't bear space without ads institutionalized. Horror vacui? Get over it.

Why you would want to read more about ads, I don't know, but if you do, take a look at French Billboards Call Your Cellphone, A-170 Video Lightsign Airship Brings Bladerunner Ad Blimp To Sky Near You and Sky Billboards In Fact And Fiction (it turns out that even Jules Verne thought about excessive advertising).

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/12/2006)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Media ")

'Facetime Facelift' Beautifies Video Chats
Always look your best - on Facetime.

Meeting Wendy Of Wendy's
Wendy of Wendys meet Rondald of McDonald's.

Narrative Science And Phil Dick's Homeostatic Newspaper
'The structure... was once a great homeostatic newspaper, the New York Times.'

BookTrack Adds Sound To Books
I really don't think this is a very good idea. Readers?



Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.






Current News

Soft Robotics - Now With 3D Printed Sensors!
'A series of chemelectric afferent nerve-analogues, which permitted it to gauge to an ounce the amount of pressure necessary to snap a bone...'

AI Tool Lynx Insight And The Cybernetic Newsroom
'The structure,... was once a great homeostatic newspaper, the New York Times. It printed itself directly below us...'

Espresso Telescope Searches For Exoplanets
'These instruments were the wonderful ones our astronomers had perfected.'

Dune Fans! Metal-Organic Frameworks Make Science Fiction Real
'Dew collectors,' he muttered, enchanted by the simple beauty of such a scheme.

Manned Maneuvering Unit From 1984
'The glittering little rocket bolted to the black iron behind him.'

Astronaut Gets Younger In Space
'So what we're looking for now is not an antibiotic - an anti-life drug - but an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug...'

Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
'Any adult could punch into the phone his or her code, followed by a yes or no.'

IJOP Integrated Joint Operations Platform China's Minority Report?
'All day long the idiots babbled, imprisoned in their special high-backed chairs...'

HushMe Bluetooth Device Reinvents The Hush-A-Phone
'Talking into a hush-a-phone which he had plugged into the telephone jack...'

Ultrathin Brain Needle Developed At MIT
Putting drugs into a selected cubic millimeter within the living brain.

Tesla Semi Truck Now At Work
Why wait? Tesla Semi now hard at work.

Illustris: The Next Generation Of Universe Simulation
'This digital device was ... A machine able literally to contain the Universe Itself...'

Scaly Yet Soft Robotic Snake
Love those robotic sneks.

Cool Tinsley Lunar Unicycle Update
Great update of a timeless classic.

NASA's 'Armstrong' Soft Wearable Upper Extremity Garment
'Exact same articulation as your shoulder joint, and it holds your muscles out of the way...'

Kuri Robot Roams Your Home, Taking Pictures
'Small devices with cameras and sound equipment which could move freely...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise | - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.