You see a commercial for sneakers, and then you buy a pair of sneakers. Sometimes, it’s just as simple as that. At other times, of course, the advertising industry works in almost impossibly complicated ways, with psychology and celebrity and many other factors working to help move the behavioral needle. Consumers can rest assured, however—at least for right now—that our current blend of advertising art and science is nowhere near as diabolical as that involved in the upcoming thriller, Branded.
Directed by former marketing executives Jamie Bradshaw and Aleksandr Dulerayn, the film takes place in a future where an advertising agency unleashes a secret campaign that fosters a plague of uninhibited consumer consumption, capable of turning us all into the passive, gelatinous blobs of Wall-E, only a whole lot sooner. We’re betting the hero, played by Ed Stoppard, will be able to come up with a 360, integrated marketing campaign to sway everyone against the rogue agency, and save the day.
Below, have a look at the spiritual predecessor to this movie, John Carpenter’s 1988 anti-consumerism opus, They Live.