The Product

The Product

A Story by Sodanlaulu

An advertising demonstration screens something very unusual...


Finally, a man with a beige suit dared break the awkward silence. Capalbo’s eyes quickly fixed on him. He was in his forties, with sparse, but ideally tidy blond hair, beady eyes, and a precisely calculated smirk on his face.

“I believe I have exactly what you need, Mr Capalbo.” He said calmly. A trace of exotic accent marked his speech. Capalbo guessed Eastern European.

“And you are…?”

“Oh, forgive me.” Beige suit apologised indifferently. “Vladimir Marinov, from Bulgaria.” The other presenters coughed in attempt to cover their surprise and amusement, but Vladimir apparently ignored them completely.

“Our company hires only the best designers and psychologists. Our advertisements make the product wanted and needed by addressing the precise factors to make impression. We believe in impact, Mr Capalbo, not flashiness.”

The gloating laughter that followed his words wasn’t even attempted to be covered. Some of the presenters snorted through tightened lips, others cackled, and Carl Jefferson, the designer of the previously demonstrated ad, went as far as to openly stand up and declare:

“With all due respect, Mr Marinov, this is ridiculous. Bulgaria doesn’t even have electricity and roads everywhere, what can you possibly offer to George Capa --”

“Enough.” Capalbo slammed the desk with his hand to produce silence. “Let’s see what Mr Marinov has to show.”

Vladimir Marinov sat down and hit a few buttons on his laptop before the big screen became white again. For a few moments, the only audible noise was coming from the air conditioners in the room.

And then suddenly an image of a middle-aged man appeared on the ad. The man wore ordinary, everyday clothes, and was smiling politely. However, there was something slightly disturbing, slightly out of place that made Capalbo stare the monitor without being able to look away.

The image was generic, and yet attractive in a way. Capalbo realised that the man’s happiness appeared genuine, unlike the forced smiles on the other advertisements. For a moment, he thought it was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen on television.

And the moment was gone, the spell was broken, as the man in front of him spoke.

“Look at me. I am happy.”

The voice. It was so flat; it was expressionless, hypnotic, monotonous voice. Somehow it bypassed the distance between the speakers and Capalbo’s ears and reached directly into his brain, echoing, tolling, reflecting itself around his nerves like in a tight tunnel, its strength magnified million times.

Now Capalbo wasn’t charmed anymore. He was horrified.

With effort, he managed to turn his eyes away from the screen, before the man started talking again.

“The Product makes me happy.”

The entire room, except for Vladimir, was staring at the advertisement in trance, the white light illuminating their blank facial grimaces. Terrified, Capalbo realised that the echo he felt before was actually the voices of the other presenters, repeating the very same words like a student choir.

“The Product gives my life a purpose.”

Every single man was hypnotised, unable to break away, unable to even twitch a muscle. They were crippled to their chairs, gazing unseeingly in front of them, quoting everything the man said.

“I present you, dear Capalbo, my advertisement model”, Vladimir proclaimed, walking towards the CEO, with the same shining smile.

“This is…”

“Insane?” He hinted. “No, sir. This is the future of the commercial business. Everywhere, at home, at work, at school, people will praise your product in unison, subconsciously, until it builds up and cements in their mind. They will believe they absolutely have to buy it, and it will make their lives happy. What else do we, humans, need?”

“…I must purchase The Product…”  The man and the audience kept chanting. Capalbo watched, unable to say a word.

“You are--”

“The human mind…” Vladimir interrupted again, ignoring Capalbo completely. “It’s such a wonderful, treacherous thing. So… vulnerable. Like a gentle harp. All you need to do is find the correct way to pull the string, to make it resonate. It’s all inside your head.”

“…I WILL purchase The Product…”

“And because I allowed myself a little session with you before our audition, I changed your mind’s fundamental frequency, and you were unaffected by the resonance in my demonstration. Nobody will remember anything from the commercial, even the fact they have seen it. All they will remember is how happy the product will make them, and the dire need to buy that product, at all costs.”

“…I will be happy.”

“So what do you think, Mr Capalbo? Shall we discuss my offer further?”

Capalbo hesitated for a moment, looking in pure horror at the blank crowd, the happy man on the screen, and the Bulgarian with the beige suit who was offering him the very chance to become a sick, tyrannical, twisted ruler of the entire world, like Mephistopheles himself.

“You are a genius, Vladimir. I accept your offer.”

© 2012 Sodanlaulu

Author's Note

Is the information enough? Does it read well? Anything in particular that annoys you? Is the impact sufficient?

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I found the story very very interesting! I really wanted to know what was going on! Personally, I didn't find anything bad. Well done!!!!

Posted 5 Years Ago

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Added on June 24, 2012
Last Updated on June 24, 2012
Tags: product, advertisement, company, demonstration, mind control, deal, devil




Loves character-driven writing (with a touch of disturbing images), psychology/sociology, scientific philosophy, nature poems and lyrics. more..

Wrath Wrath

A Story by Sodanlaulu