Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Gatorade Takes Us One Step Closer to Idiocracy

Have we learned nothing from the movie Idiocracy?

Well this morning I discovered that we are one step closer to living it thanks to Gatorade. In the 2006 film by Mike Judge, a man mistakenly gets sent to the future only to learn that mankind has become VERY unintelligent. In this future, water has been replaced by a sports drink called Brawndo. It is "The Thirst Mutilator." There are advertisements everywhere and people have come to believe that it is better than water, stating "it has electrolytes" although none of them even know what that means. Brawndo eventually replaces water. They even spray it on their crops, which to their great surprise has led them not to grow. Water is only used to flush their toilets.

Yesterday food activist Nancy Huehnergarth revealed, in her article Water is the Enemy, Gatorade Mobile Game tells Youth, how Gatorade with clever marketing is trying to make this a reality. Gatorade learned through a case study video that teen athletes often chose "to drink water during practice because they thought it provided the proper hydration they needed." Umm yeah. So what did Gatorade do? They hired a media agency to get the message out that Gatorade is superior to water. The agency worked with a game developer to integrate Gatorade into a mobile game called Bolt!, featuring Usain Bolt, a Gatorade athlete and the fastest man in the world. Ok this next part made me choke on my water, the game has Gatorade as the force helping drive better performance and high scores. Water is the enemy that hinders performance. So the point of the game is to get Usain through a course in the fastest time possible. Now I have played video games (ok they were like on those old Nintendo boxes in the 90s, but ok) where you gather up fruit and earn speed, but oh so cleverly this game has the player gather none other than Gatorade to help him go faster along the way, and oh this kills me, avoiding drops of water that will slow him down. That is a pretty clear message and if it isn't totally clear it is definitely subliminally clear for sure.

Not surprisingly, as I am starting to suspect that many of us are well on our way to living like the characters in the movie Idiocracy, the game was a complete success. People are loving it. Four million online fans! and according to the video "a network of influential celebrates to generate buzz around the game" including Justin Bieber. It has had 2.3 million downloads and has been played 87 million times. Oh I am so sad for the future.

(Thank you to The Lunch Tray for bringing this craziness to my attention with her post)

You should watch Idiocracy. It is hilarious.
Click on it to get it:

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