Space

Hitler vs. Doritos

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Hitler

Remember the movie Contact, where aliens find us because we accidentally sent them a broadcast of Hitler speaking at the 1936 Olympics? Wouldn't it be better if they find us because of delicious Nacho Cheese Doritos?

The British public is being asked to shoot a 30-second ad about what they perceive life on earth to be as part of Doritos 'You Make It, We Play It' user-generated-content campaign. The winning advert in the competition will be beamed past the earth's atmosphere, beyond our solar system and into the Universe, to anyone 'out there' that may be watching. The winning ad will also be broadcast on terrestrial TV.

This might seem like an insane publicity stunt. But don't worry, it's actually very practical:

Dr Darren Wright, Lecturer in the Radio and Space Plasma Physics Group, Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Leicester has played a pivotal role in realising this project. "There could also be potential commercial interest in enterprises like this. Imagine one day that companies on Earth might wish to advertise to other planetary colonies within our solar system –for example if man ever moves to colonise Mars!

Ads! In! Spaaaace! 

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  1. This is pretty risky, we could spread the obesity epidemic to other civilizations!

  2. This is genius. They will totally tap into the stoned alien market having the munchies.

  3. Wouldn’t something stupidly simple be much better? For example, we could count to 10 with amplitude spikes with an analog signal, as in:

    —^—^^—^^^—^^^^…etc

    It would likely be obvious to anyone looking at the signal that someone is doing that intentionally.

    It would be difficult even for alien super geniuses to sort a video clip out from noise and then figure out the format of the audio and video (assuming the concept of digital or analog video and audio transmitted over the electromagnetic spectrum even exists to them).

  4. —^—^^—^^^—^^^^…etc

    That’s how the alien’s respond to us.

  5. Oh sure, let’s commercialize space. Next we’ll have giant billboards being dragged along by dead satellites blocking our view of the stars and stuff.

    What do I care. It’s always cloudy here anyway.

  6. Doritos were a great invention because, for the first time in history there were commercially available chips that tasted good with beer.

  7. I see the logic here. Since Doritos ads work on illegal aliens, they must work on space aliens too.

  8. Oh, and somehow that analog signal will be transmitted without noise? Though I do agree that sending them something complex and formatted is a bad idea, I just don’t think anything we shoot out in space is going to work to our liking.

  9. Off world civilizations are already aware of us, having a version of “warp drive”. We are currently overseen by a local “Council Of Worlds”; about 40 or so worlds in our local area.

    We are quarrantined from participation for now, as we are still considered a violent, dangerous, and genocidal race of beings.

  10. I have sworn off Doritos ever since Frito-Lay ignored my numerous entreaties to bring back the ORIGINAL RECIPE Taco-flavor Doritos. (Yes, I sent them real, postal letters via snail mail, and provided feedback via their website, too.) No attempt at “new and improved” Taco flavor has ever measured up to the original recipe: the “Taco Bell” version was a hugely disappointing travesty, for example.

    There also used to be a round tortilla chip (sold in my part of California and perhaps elsewhere in a tube like Pringles), with a flavor that was close enough to original Taco Doritos to keep me happy for awhile, once Frito-Lay abandoned their recipe, but I haven’t seen the acceptable substitute on grocer shelves for many years, perhaps two decades now. (It wasn’t Tostitos.)

    I can understand why companies might want to play the “new and improved” game, to gain incremental (sometimes more than incremental) increases in market share and revenue, but what’s wrong with letting long-time customers, who know their own tastes, go back to the thing they like, if the new version is found to be wanting?

  11. # DG | March 13, 2008, 5:42pm | #
    # Off world civilizations are already aware
    # of us, having a version of “warp drive”.
    # We are currently overseen by a local
    # “Council Of Worlds”; about 40 or so
    # worlds in our local area.

    # We are quarrantined from participation
    # for now, as we are still considered a
    # violent, dangerous, and genocidal race
    # of beings.

    Says the shill for the Kanamits. Likely story!

  12. This afternoon while walking back from lunch I spotted a billboard for “moonvertising.” I thought somebody else might be looking into outer space ads, but apparently it’s some lame ad campaign for Rolling Rock.

  13. Oh, and somehow that analog signal will be transmitted without noise?

    I know, there’s a lot of microwave radiation and other interference in space, but I’m terribly ignorant as to how far a radio signal can travel through a vacuum before being distorted beyond intelligibility.
    Perhaps there’s someone on her who can illuminate the subject for me.

  14. on *here

    or out there?

    lame, I know.

  15. Doritos? What about Bachelor Chow? You know he demands it!

  16. J.A.M.:

    I loved those original Taco flavor chips too.

  17. Off world civilizations are already aware of us, having a version of “warp drive”. We are currently overseen by a local “Council Of Worlds”; about 40 or so worlds in our local area.

    We are quarrantined from participation for now, as we are still considered a violent, dangerous, and genocidal race of beings.

    Well that just pisses me off! I say we go and kick their bug eyed, ooze dripping, tentacled asses.

  18. OK, I’m reminded of the inverse square law. It’s an FM signal, right?

  19. I know, there’s a lot of microwave radiation and other interference in space, but I’m terribly ignorant as to how far a radio signal can travel through a vacuum before being distorted beyond intelligibility.
    Perhaps there’s someone on her who can illuminate the subject for me.

    IIRC, we are now the brightest star in the galaxy at certain frequencies (UHF?). This is of course a recent occurance, detectable for less than 100 light years. But that bubble is growing. If somebody is out there, they should eventually notice us.

  20. IIRC, we are now the brightest star in the galaxy at certain frequencies (UHF?).

    That’s cool. I had no idea.

  21. My concern is the hyperbole or “puffery” found in our commercial broadcasts may unduly heighten expectations in the galactic marketplace. If hungry aliens come here expecting more from Doritos than we can supply, well, we may encounter some difficulties. Ranging from trouble with the Galactic Trade Commission to the conversion of our planet into a cloud of gas.

  22. IIRC, we are now the brightest star in the galaxy at certain frequencies (UHF?). This is of course a recent occurance, detectable for less than 100 light years. But that bubble is growing. If somebody is out there, they should eventually notice us.

    Eventually depending greatly on how far away they are at the speed of light.

    But interesting nevertheless.

  23. There’s also the “Tales from the Darkside” episode where a supposed alien finances concluding episodes for a TV series, 20 years after it was cancelled, so that his planet’s inhabitants can have some closure.

  24. EJM,
    That explains the Gilligan’s Island movies and the Brady Bunch reunions.

  25. the Brady Bunch reunions

    I love those newer movies where they parody the “Brady Bunch” TV show, though. Gary Cole (as Mike), Shelley Long (as Carol) and Jennifer Elise Cox (as Jan) are f’n hilarious IMHO.

    *btw, really off-subject, but Ice Cube is the obvious choice to play B.A. Barracus if they ever make a new A-Team movie.

  26. If the purpose is to entice the aliens here, Doritos ought to do it, but if we want to keep the bugged eyed fuckers away, beaming clips of Ron Jeremy porn ought to do it.

  27. er, why am I sounding like George H Bush these days?

  28. IIRC, we are now the brightest star in the galaxy at certain frequencies

    Typical Earthnocentric jingoism.

  29. I love those newer movies where they parody the “Brady Bunch” TV show, though. Gary Cole (as Mike), Shelley Long (as Carol) and Jennifer Elise Cox (as Jan) are f’n hilarious IMHO.

    Never seen the movies, POG, but the “Marcia” in them is Ben Stiller’s wife Christine Taylor who makes me crazy.

  30. I’ve read at http://www.centauri-dreams.org that the only Earthly transmissions that are likely to be detectable at interstellar distances are powerful radar bursts from big radio telescopes like the one at Arecibo, and maybe some military radars (I think). Not regular television or radio broadcasts … and not the Dorito commercial, either.

    So the Zeta Reticulans are probably not watching our broadcasts of The Beverly Hillbillies or The Fall Guy.

  31. I think you underestimate the sexiness of Heather Thomas and Nancy Kulp.

  32. Stevo,

    Sure, you say that now, pre-contact. But when a ten-foot alien comes to your door, asking you for some Doritos that he traveled 5,000 light years to get, you’d better be prepared.

  33. DORITOS? DORITOS!

    DORITOS?

  34. “This is pretty risky, we could spread the obesity epidemic to other civilizations!”

    Bingo: I think you just made the case on why the military should pay for this. Get other civilizations out there obese so they have more difficulty taking over us! So who wants to present this to the DoD and snatch up a lucrative contract?

  35. Ohhh…that gives me an idea. (Probably someone else has thought of this…)

    Have a “laser” (Dr. Evil quotes) that traces a path on the moon, like an electron gun on a cathode ray tube. One could advertise on the new moon or on the dark side of a crescent moon.

    In fact, the Bush Administration could, in their waning days, develop the laser broadcast system to tell us what the terrorism alert level is. A yellow spot on the moon? Terrorism level must be amber. (Or at least yellow.)

    If someone is an engineer with way too much time on his or her hands, I’d be interested in whether the technology already exists to do something like that, or how far laser development is from being able to do something like that.

    P.S. From a brief Google search, it looks like Arthur C. Clarke may have thought about this way back in 1956. The guy’s amazing. But I guess it wasn’t using lasers, so I’m safe.

    P.P.S. I see from wonderful Wikipedia that a movie version of Rendevous with Rama is due out in 2009! Cool!

    P.P.P.S. But I’m still angry with the Clarke for stealing my idea of a space elevator, before I thought of it. (Of course, other people thought of it before Clarke, but it’s still annoying for him to steal from me like that.)

  36. If I had such a broadcasting chance, I would not share with the universe an ad for Doritos, but rather the very best of culture humanity has to offer. To wit:
    http://tinyurl.com/37ws8e

  37. “…the very best of culture humanity has to offer. To wit: http://tinyurl.com/37ws8e

    Oh come on! I liked that video in the 80s and still smile when I see it today! Let’s hear it for UK government-grant pop stars! You KNOW he would have done well on Pop Idol (or American Idol, if he had been willing to relocate).

    And while we’re at it, even the Bee Gees were a lot better than people give them credit for. Show ’em some love, people!

    Yeah, that’s how I feel. Whatcha gonna do about it?

  38. Then we will just have to frighten them off with our advanced alien defeating technology.
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=wieStI7kN-I
    (it worked against the Zentraadi)

  39. “How to Best Serve Man”.

    IT’S A COOKBOOK!!!!!

    CB

  40. No Forge of God comments? Dont advertise, there are wolves out there.

    One of the themes of the book is that the reason we have never received contact or picked up anything from SETI is that everyone is masking themselves. Civilizations that broadcast get destroyed quickly.

    The sequel Anvil of Stars sucked.

  41. There’s also the “Tales from the Darkside” episode where a supposed alien finances concluding episodes for a TV series, 20 years after it was cancelled, so that his planet’s inhabitants can have some closure.

    First they use “TV Party” in the soundtrack…and now I find that Futurama ripped off this plot.

    The depth of their cultural referencing is staggering.

  42. NM,

    I knew Futurama ripped off something, I just didnt know what.

    You do realize, in that ripoff, that “Single Female Lawyer” was also a ripoff, right?

  43. robc,

    Literary allusions are not rip-offs, but homage.

  44. I realize in introduced the term “ripped-off,” but I don’t want people to get the idea I am criticizing the show for it…Futurama kicks ass largely because of their astute cultural references.

  45. NM,

    Im with you on homages and futurama. I just kept using the term becasue you did. I thought about using the term parody, but thought ripoff was funnier.

  46. I think a much better idea would be a spacecraft loaded with doritos and other goodies from earth and send it into deep space. I would hate for them to get the advert and travel all the friggin way here and not like doritos.

  47. If we start our intergalactic advertising with Doritos, it won’t take much before we degenerate to flashy, poorly produced ads for the local used rocket lot.

  48. Nobody appears to have considered the possibility that, due to differences in alien biology, doritos and other junk foods could actually affect them as methamphetamines do us humans: help them LOSE weight, and give them alertness and stamina to devastate earth population centers all night long and into the next morning. Sure, they would ultimately crash hard, but would we still be around to take advantage of it?

    I’m just sayin’.

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