Cybervertising Proves Cyber May Not Be So Punk AnymoreAnnalee Newitz1/14/08 3:15pmFiled to: AdvertisingCommercialsCyberpunkScience Fiction31EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalinkLast week we asked you which science we should "punk" next because cyberpunk is, well, not very hardcore any more. And here's proof. We've rounded up six commercials saturated in cyberpunk imagery, including ones for a Hummer SUV, Phillips razors, Mountain Dew, a dairy company, and of course the PS2. I think it's safe to say that once SUV manifacturers and Mountain Dew are using cyber imagery in their ads, it's time to punk something else. Here you can see the ad for the SUV Hummer: The blur of techno-gear in a stark metal landscape isn't just cyberpunk, but it's also a little bit electronica — for the geriatric raver console cowboy in you. Five more commercials below make it even more obvious that cyber hasn't ever been less punk. A bizarrely erotic ad for Phillips razors features a robot straight out of I, Robot and a futuristic house that reminds me of something from Greg Bear's classic novel Eon. Definitely cyber, definitely all about buying a razor. An Israeli ad for a dairy is snatched right from Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age. We see an old-fashioned factory, but then when the factory owner opens his doors we discover it's a tiny island of old-schooliness in the middle of an ultra-futuristic cyberworld. A bizarro ad from Mountain Dew creates an early cyberpunk vision ripped straight from William Gibson's Neuromancer, with corporations ruling the world and high tech innovation the only hope for freedom. Except, of course, the rebels in this world are trying to create "the ultimate soft drink." A Levis ad plays with imagery from Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash to create this futuristic wasteland where a guy lassos a car (think of the skateboarding pizza delivery punk in Snow Crash), which turns out to be self-driving (Transformers or KITT anyone?). An ad for Playstation 2 depicts a Max Headroomish future of multinational media conspiracies: Sure these ads are creative, and there's nothing wrong with getting inspiration from cool punked-out scifi subcultures. But once the subculture is smooshed all over SUVs and razors? Then it's just a hollowed-out shell of itself being used to sell stuff. Old-school cyberpunk novels are still great, but today's cyber is VH-1 material at best.