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This posting is not a piece of viral marketing

During the Superbowl, Pepsi ran an ad called “Pop the Music”, which technically was supposed to be a spot for its iTunes tie-in. But the commercial inadvertantly made a star out of a Mandy Amano, a woman who appears in the ad for about three or four seconds. Geeks swooned over her and began posting frantic mash notes on discussion boards planetwide.

But perhaps the most fervent admirer is Justin, some dude in Michigan who set up an entire blog devoted to tracking every last media-mention and photo of Amano. Justin is so crazily devoted that some bloggers have began to wonder whether he’s actually a secret viral-marketing campaign run by Pepsi — or maybe just an extraordinarily creepy stalker. The thing is, Justin liberally quotes from all of these critics, which could either mean that he’s nothing of the sort … or perhaps all the more of the sort. When someone who has been accused of being a piece of viral marketing winds up actively discussing the perception that he might be a piece of viral marketing, we have clearly arrived at the end of history: Please remove your brain and pack it in the closet, folks; won’t be needing that any more!

Interestingly, Justin also quotes from other Amano-stalkers who seem even more devoted yet. Consider this note, which he cobbled from a blogger who analyzed Amano’s listing on the Internet Movie Database:

Her filmography is rather short, and I think she only shows up for about 4 seconds in Coyote Ugly (if she’s one of the short-haired girls dancing on the bar). If you have the DVD (and I identified her properly), her first scene is at time point 1:05:39 for two seconds (under the ceiling fan) and her second and last scene is at 1:05:49 (at the left of the screen). There’s going to be a special unrated edition released in June, but only 7 minutes of restored footage, who knows what is in those scenes.

(Thanks to Morgan for this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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