Commence Conformity Protocol. . . .
Simulation is beauty. . . . .
Compliance is security. . . .
Thus begins one of my current favorite commercials, Infiniti's "Factory of Life":
Some of the best commercials are those that manage to relay an entire backstory in a few short seconds of film. The obvious progenitor to our current subject is Apple's iconic "1984" Super Bowl commercial introducing the Macintosh. The idea goes way back, of course, arguably starting with (on film anyway) Fritz Lang's equally iconic 1927 film Metropolis: all three portray a world of mechanistic conformity in which a hero awakens to the reality of his drab situation and takes on The System. Since the days of Henry Ford's newfangled mass production line came into operation we've seen this concept any number of times, from 1976's Logan's Run to The Matrix, so the premise behind this commercial isn't really groundbreaking. Similar stories have also played out in other media, notably Ayn Rand's 1937 novella Anthem, in which our possible dystopian future overlords have banned even the very words "I" and "me" in favor of the collective "we." Still, our Infiniti commercial has the advantage of jamming an entire film -- or at least the first 45 minutes or so -- into a minute or less.