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"I've got this beautiful panoramic three-dimensional painting of Mars based on Martian photos. It's 30 feet wide. You can pick out every pebble on the Martian landscape. And who'd have dreamed you could do that?"
- Arthur C. Clarke
|Tiny disks attached to products in stores that received transmitted ads to share with consumers.
The essential packaging for the product (the bottle, can or box) also came with a tiny disk, just for receiving home versions of the advertisement. The Buy-Me-Discs received the sales versions of the ads for the products.
|What was it Grandmother used to call their supermarket? Hell on earth, hell on wheels, something like that. Mavis, of course, understood that simultaneous MV messages were necessary in the stores in order to give every product a chance at its share of the consumer dollar, but just this afternoon she did wish she could skip it.
Having promised, though, there was nothing to do but get it over with. Billy had to come along too, naturally — both the children loved visiting the supermarket more than most anything else. They made their way down the aisles through a chorus of “Try me ... Try me . . . Here is the newer, creamier . . . Mother, your children will . . . Kiddies, ask Mom to pick the bright green and red package . . . Here I am, right here, the shortening all your friends have been telling you about. . .
Billy listened to as many as he could while they were passing by, and for the thousandth time wished that he could hear the store-type commercials at home. Why, some of them were just as good as the home-type! He always tried to talk the supermarket checkers out of tearing off the Buy-Me-Discs, but they always grumbled that them was their orders and they didn’t have no time to bother with him. That was one of the reasons Billy had long since decided to be a supermarket checker himself when he grew up. Think of it! Not only would you hear the swell home-type commercials all day while you worked, and be hep to the very latest ones, but you’d get to hear all the store commercials too. And what with the thousands of Buy-Me-Discs he’d be tearing off, as a Checker, he bet he could slip some into his pockets from time to time, and then wouldn’t his friends envy him, being able to receive store-type commercials at home!
They reached the cereal area, and as always the children were entranced. Their faces shone with excitement as they picked up one box after another, to hear the commercials more clearly. There were sounds of gunfire; all kinds of snapping, crackling, and popping; there were loud shouts of “CRISPIER! NUTTIER! YUMMIER!” There were more modulated appeals, addressed to Mother, about increased nourishment and energy-building; there were the voices of athletes, urging the kids to come on and be one of the gang; there were whinnies of horses and explosive sounds of jets and rockets; there were cowboy songs and hillbilly songs and rhymes and jingles and bands and quartets and trios! Poor Kitty! How could she ever choose?
|Technovelgy from Captive Audience,
by Anne Warren Griffith.
Published by Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1953
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