Although ‘Branded’ (2012) is a science fiction film, the plot, which touches upon a dystopian future where corporate brands have established a disillusioned population, is not the stuff of fiction. The way marketing and advertising firms currently operate is quite similar. It seems that the minds of today (especially the younger generation) have become hypnotized and in some cases, brainwashed into making certain purchases. With a tagline ‘Crack the code. Take back your mind,’ how far away are we from a society where hidden forces aim to control the world? Many conspiracy theorists are in agreement, and also that the wheels have already been set into motion.
Released on DVD last month, ‘Branded’ chronicles one man’s struggle to unlock the truth behind a conspiracy involving marketing firms and the public. The main subject of the movie is mind control ”“ corporate brands are on a global rampage to get inside the minds of their consumers (literally) and keep the public in a passive, dependent, and disillusioned state. The concept is quite similar to the way the Illuminati and other secret societies are portrayed as they push for a New World Order.
The start of the movie shows the names of famous ‘visionaries,’ such as Joan of Arc and Albert Einstein ”“ followed by a caption that reads, “All of them saw things others didn’t see. All of them changed the world.” The movie then goes on to introducing a young character named Misha Galkin, who lives in Soviet Russia during the early 1980s. After seeing stars form into the outline of a cow’s head, he is struck by lightning. After being examined, a woman predicts that his life will not be ordinary.
Fast-forward to present-day Russia, and Misha is an adult who has attained a high-ranking position in society as a marketing executive. At the same time, a marketing guru meets with executives of fast food companies. He tells the companies that to make fast food profitable again, they have to transform the public’s perception of beauty ”“ to make ‘fat the new fabulous.’
Misha experiences a mishap concering his marking exec career that sends him to retreat into a rural community. Six years pass and Misha encounters someone from his past who tells him that the ‘fat is fabulous’ campaign has completely changed society. Everyone is overweight and the advertising only makes matters worse. Misha is plagued by disturbing visions of the commercialism that surrounds him, and he wishes to put it to good use.
The film heavily emphasizes the marketing and advertising ploys that companies use to attract consumers to their products while making others look inadequate. Fear tactics play an important role in the way advertising aims to sway the public.
For example, Misha returns to his old job and accepts a marketing campaign for a vegetarian Chinese restaurant chain. He uses the public’s fear of a mysterious virus similar to Mad Cow Disease to his advantage, and creates a fake anti-beef scare. This tactic successfully causes people to fear eating meat and vegetarian food becomes the popular alternative. As a result, sales for burgers greatly drop. Misha uses fear-based marketing to frighten customers out of eating the foods produced by major brands.
In a turn of events, it is announced that Russia and other nations across the globe have agreed to ban all advertising. Symbolism of an awakening taking place emerges throughout the film. The world is changed forever”¦just as the prophecy at the start of the movie suggests.