February 28, 2002

On The Wire

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What exactly is “mlife”? This was the question on every viewer’s mind during the array of commercials debuting during the 2002 Superbowl Game. As belly buttons, children, and motions to accompany sappy music traversed the screen, many viewers were utterly confused as to what in the world the “m” before “life” truly meant. Not until a good portion of the game had passed were viewers finally let in on the secret of the “m,” as AT&T commercials were once again the culprit of making emotional people tear to the thought of staying in touch with family (including myself).

Not only has “mlife” brought digital technology into the public’s view, but it has also provided television viewers with new commercials to add to the display of advertisements that appear more like miniature movies than promotions for new products. And this appealing form of advertisement doesn’t end with as just a somewhat annoying interruption on the small screen. Especially for a product like “mlife,” the web is the prime source of information on how to “jump start your mlife.” As viewers finally found out that the “m” in life represented “mobile,” AT&T had already reeled customers into their flair for alluring advertisement.

According to www.mlife.com, the letter “m” represents the “mobile generation.” It represents (according to the site) “your life made truly mobile. It brings you new, more wonderful ways of communicating with the people and information you care about the most. It’s wireless reinvented.” With text messaging, the ability to access live sports, and color photos, this technology promises that soon the world can digitally become putty right in the palm of your cell-phoned hand.

Nevertheless, I still think that the most interesting part of the entire phenomena is the entertaining commercials that left viewers questioning what the “m” added to life really meant. Of course, with the right computerized media player, these commercials can be downloaded from the site and played on your computer for your immediate viewing pleasure.

It is only logical that as technology progresses and products advance, the promotional methods used to sell them must also be enhanced. Nevertheless, competition has also made everyday products become the main character of movie-esque advertisements that predominate not only television airtime, but also Web space that was once exclusively dedicated to online products.

Other commercial hits of the Superbowl extravaganza that can be immediately viewed with computerized power include those unique to the “Pepsi generation.” These commercials, mainly featuring the “Princess of Pop,” are more like digital videos than ordinary advertisements. By accessing www.pepsi.com, you can enter the Pepsi world and be entertained by stars like Britney Spears, Wyclef, and Shakira. Most entertaining are those that feature Britney as she traverses through time via a digital movie reel. The Pepsi generation becomes unique to each generation as the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and today are represented