ADVERTORIAL TIME (2004)

Advertorial spot from an unidentified coalition of moneyed interests.
730 words
For distribution to local print media.

You’re Canadian. You work hard, and at the end of the day you want to enjoy the rewards. And what are the rewards? What you deserve. And what do you deserve? What you’ve got coming. How do we know? Because we’re in the business of knowing. We’re tracking your purchasing patterns, viewing your viewing habits, polling and prodding you — all to exactly what you’re going to do next.

And who are we? Part of your community. In a sense, we’re you! So really, it’s just you taking care of you, from the moment you wake up till the moment you fall asleep. Sweet dreams, Canada.

You might call us “the system” or some such thing, but why bother with names? Does a fish know it swims in water? We just want you to help us help you. Help us work our way into your media, your places of work, your schools, your hearts, your minds. Laugh when we want you to laugh, dream when we want you to dream, fear when we want you to fear. No need to ask a lot of questions, you’ll only get bummed out.

Whoa, hang on there, Canada. Watch this hand, not that one.

We’re real-time, in touch, on-side, and on-target. And true Canadians are with us on the ground floor, where together we’re going to think outside the box, finding a paradigm shift we all can live with. Because at the end of the day, we all want to be on the same page. That’s what we like to call win-win.

Rise and shine, Canada, it’s a brand new day. Stretch your arms and rub your eyes. We’ve cued the sun and brewed the coffee. Is it genetically modified, you ask? Relax, you haven’t even had a sip yet! Besides, there’s no way to actually know if it is or isn’t. Why? Because you wanted it that way. How do we know? Focus groups, surveys, that sort of thing. You told us that you’re afraid to find out. So we’re not telling you, just like you asked. We’re giving what you want, exactly the way you want it. Drink up.

You say you get a headache following orders, punching the clock, always running to stand still. You never seem to get ahead, have enough time to relax, or even get enough sleep. Relax, we have a pill for all that. And if you don’t like the side effects, we have a pill for that, too. We want you to feel good. And in fact, you will feel good if you play along. At the very least, we’ll ensure it doesn’t hurt too badly.

You say you’re afraid for the future. Don’t worry. We’ve crunched the numbers, massaged them a bit, and we’re happy to report you’re firmly in charge of your fate. All you need to do is vote every few years, and that’s it. What could be simpler? Democracy takes time, which is the one thing you can’t afford. But we can –we’re doing the planning for you right now, for everything from politicians to pop drinks. We give you the choices, and then let you make the selections. Rent or own? Regular or unleaded? Pepsi or Coke? Harper or Martin? So many decisions, Canada. You don’t always make the best ones, but when you don’t we always give you the opportunity to try again a few months later. You’ll get your nation right, we’re banking of it!

Yes, the future looks good. So set your mind at ease, and prop yourself in front of the television. There’s some great stuff on tonight, tailored just to fit your personal consumer profile. We’re working to ensure your cable package is configured to fit who you are. Who better than us – or rather, you – to give you the programs you like? You vote every time you press the remote. You press, and we respond. Right now we’re pressing your buttons, Canada, and you hardly even know it. Because you like it that way. No fanfare, no hoopla. Just all of us quietly working together for a brand new day.

You’re looking good, Canada. But you’ll be looking even better after you go under the knife. Relax, it’s not like it’s an Extreme Makeover. It’s more like a national nip-and-tuck. Call it a tuckover.

Up and at ‘em, Canada. Your new day is about to begin.