Friday, January 27, 2006

the "revolution" is just another cellphone company

indy residents have likely seen the neon green fliers with the stupid backward R in a circle (what is it with the R in a circle anyway? radio shack's logo is already dangerously close to ®). virago's apartment is near the murat center, and someone totally papered the area tonight with the damn things in hopes of generating buzz at the moe concert.

the fliers just have the logo and ridiculous tagline "the revolution is coming". no policy information is given. no grievances are given. no clues are offered for how this new revolution intends to overcome the military strength of the current administration, etc.

revol is just a cellphone company. that's it, folks. just another silly guerilla marketing campaign for another corporation trying to use "urban" and "revolutionary" iconography to pimp you more consumerism. indy isn't alone: the website ( no link because i don't want to give them the traffic) suggests they're fliering in major cities all over indiana, ohio, and western pennsylvania.

don't waste your time thinking about it or talking about it. unless you're talking about how stupid it is: that's okay with me.

i'm disappointed: not because i thought "the revolution" had any chance of being cool, but because guerilla marketing techniques apparently haven't improved that much in the last 10 years. i saw almost exactly the same campaign in college.

i went to school at southeastern missouri state, in cape girardeau. one day pink fliers started appearing with an arc (sort of like the nike swoosh) and the query "what does it mean?" "what does it mean?" went all over the place. fliers everywhere. kids chalked it on the sidewalks. some kids were even paid to walk around one day wearing "what does it mean?" t-shirts. this went on for weeks before they finally told us what it meant: our local baby bell was changing its name to ameritech. (they've probably since changed their name to SBC, but maybe not.) the sound of the student body simultaneously rolling its eyes was so loud that it blew out the power station, causing a blackout on campus.

this time, they didn't build up the suspense so well. the ameritech campaign of my college days was somewhat effective (if the most anticlimactic part of my college career, and that includes dating) because it built up a sense of mystery, over the course of weeks, regarding wtf it meant. the longer we went without knowing, the more we inevitably discussed it with our friends. the revol street team is still out there fliering, trying to generate buzz about what revol us, but revol already has ads on tv that explain what it is. and the revol website already features a webstore and completely absurd marketing copy about how you can squash the staus quo and stick it to the man by... buying more cellphones. they're so revolutionary and anti-corporate...

oh... wait...

This Agreement (the "Agreement") contains the Terms and Conditions of Service (the "Terms") with Cleveland Unlimited, Inc., doing business as Revol and formerly known as Northcoast PCS...

things to say if someone asks you what revol is:

1. "it's hungarian for vulva."
2. "it's stupid."
3. "it's lover spelled backwards."
4. "i don't know, but i'd like to get inside your revol!"

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