The Mountain of Broken Toys

I’m wrapping up a trio of posts about technology and marketing with this promotional video for British Columbia’s Whistler ski resort, in which tilt-shift imagery depicts the mountain as a vast playset.

On the one hand, the effectiveness of BMW’s consensually subliminal message turns on how fascinating we find our own manipulability; the LunaTik Kickstarter project‘s phenomenal success, on the other hand, seems to be about seeking an intimacy with tech that goes beyond wearable gadgetry. Whistler, finally, depicts skiers as gadgets of a kind themselves, reminding us of how appealing it is to escape into the clockwork certainty of toys, models, and virtual worlds—the snow so white and clean, the parking so simple and gearlike. Like with the BMW campaign, of course, we’re knowing participants in a shared fiction; the tilt-shift effect is charmingly, manifestly artificial.

In the end, maybe all three campaigns are about how much we want to be toyed with.

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