Advertising in 2030

-By Luke Davidson


I started in advertising 15 long years ago. In that time, much has changed. Way back in 2000 the agency I was working at only had one computer connected to the Internet and you had to book in advance to use it! It’s amazing how much some things have changed. It has me wondering what life will be like in another 15 years…


September 21, 2030

I wake up blissfully thanks to the new opti-sleep software in my bed, which judges the ideal time to wake you based on your biosignals. Of course the company did get hacked last month, which resulted in a very grumpy early morning where my bed kept waking me every five minutes. Rumour has it the hack was a viral advertising stunt gone too far by a coffee company.


“Lights on,” I tell Rosie, who is basically a way more powerful version of Apple’s Siri, designed for your home. She reads me my email as I shower and brush my teeth. “And your friend Jason Smith recommends the new ‘Still Pretty Fast, Still Pretty Furious’ movie. Would you like to view the trailer?” That last one of course was a sponsored message – that’s what you have to settle for when you don’t pay for the premium version.


I hop in the car and select ‘the office’ from my list of pre-loaded destinations, before settling back to watch the morning news on the TV. Self-driving cars are now mandatory and have made the commute to work much more enjoyable. With no one needing to pay attention to the road, the change has also seen radio effectively become TV, with almost all stations now transmitting visuals. Kyle Sandilands isn’t as popular as he once was.


It’s a slow news day. One of the lead stories is about a group trying to ban outdoor advertising. It is true that it has gotten more in your face lately, with the laws around outdoor advertising being loosened now that there are no human drivers to distract. Add to that the increased affordability of large video-screen displays and you have most stretches of road lit up like Vegas.


I finally make it into the office and begin work on the new summer campaign for Coke. There’s a lot of pressure riding on it, with the Cola Wars still fresh in everyone’s minds.


The Cola Wars were a particularly violent part of recent history. In 2024 The Coca-Cola Company formed its own country on a man made island. Here everyone was taught to live by Coke’s core brand values. The belief was that the shared environment would lead to greater team building and synchronicity of thoughts and operations.


Eventually Coke Schools were established along with all other essential infrastructure like hospitals, public transport and beach volleyball teams. Keen not to be left behind, the PepsiCo Company also established their own country, Pepsi Land, and went about trying to make it even better than CokeVille. Despite the fact that the two countries shared much in common (not limited to having upbeat pop songs for national anthems), Pepsians and Cokecasians constantly viewed each other with contempt and suspicion.


Tensions finally erupted when the PepsiCo president launched their country’s new tagline “The future’s Pepsi”. Believing this to be a veiled threat, Coke retaliated with its own tagline, “Coke – the only choice”. PepsiCo, viewing this as a blatant hint at a pre-emptive strike designed to wipe out Pepsi decided to launch a pre-pre-emptive attack on CokeVille and the rest is history.


The Cola Wars were among the bloodiest, cruelest wars the world had ever seen. Peace was finally declared in 2029 but lately there have been rumblings of a second war secretly being negotiated between the presidents. You see, the war was terrible, yes, but brand awareness has never been higher.


With millions of lives on the line, it’s very important we word all future ads carefully. After days of brainstorming, focus groups and diplomatic meetings we think we may finally have cracked the big idea.


I turn off the lights in the office and make my way home. As my car makes its way down the highway, I see our new ad go live for the first time across all the outdoor digital displays. Enjoy Coke! Or not. Both are valid options. It’s not bad, but not as catchy as Pepsi’s new campaign: Pepsi – the choice of whoever chooses to drink it.


It looks like they’ll probably scoop the advertising awards this year. But then, like most people, I didn’t get into advertising for the awards – it was always about saving billions of lives by preventing wars.


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