No one in the nation would've heard of the minor attempt to shake Popular Cola Beverage's firm placing as sales leader for the past seven time cycles were it not for the new product's stunning ad campaign. Citizens first noticed the letters looming on billboards on the way to work, high above the putt-ways with simple white-on-black design and impressively thin, enormous words:

EVERYBODY NEEDS RELEASE

And many, who couldn't contest with that simple piece of ad men's logic, agreed. Full Release Diet Soda hit the shelves five long time units later, which was, perhaps, too long for many, but just right for the brains who were raking in the profits off one simple concept, which they used for their post-product-release radio teaser slogan: if there's one thing that defines a beverage, it should be total satisfaction.

Popular Cola Beverage's counteracting campaign was vicious, attacking the moral fiber of those who would dare ingest something as risky and sensationalistic as Full Release, or Froda, as Nightly News Cast took to calling it. Every night, one hundred tuus before the federally mandated sleep period, citizens of the nation were treated to an in depth analysis of the media furor, sales reports, and constant reminders that conflicting beverage preferences were not causing rioting in Los Angeles (despite the rumors no one had heard).

And every night, after the broadcast relayer shut itself off (always at the appropriate time), I popped open a Froda, downed it in three to four gulps, and slept blissfully.

-g-

I'm no ad critic, really, but this was a wallop of a campaign. While Popular Cola was spending so much time decrying the morality of Froda, their competitor was busy on the promotion scale: they infiltrated the vast labyrinthine hearts of the cities with colorful signage, recognizable logos, and even the broadcast relayer's ever-present hush. Midwork Music Timeslot with Popular Music Act beamed promises of lower priced and better flavored Full Release Diet Soda, the refreshing alternative that always delivered. The Froda insignia could be seen in the windows of every putt on the commute. We got free drinks during our individually allotted work breaks, and soon it was available in every neighborhood consumer retail center.

Twenty lotuus after Froda hit the shelves, I could recite, from memory, the full contents of the bottle's label:

Why does FULL RELEASE DIET SODA have the effects it does? We call it O-FACTOR, for Optimal enjoyment. Made from a time-honored blend of natural flavorings, FULL RELEASE DIET SODA is a refreshing way to start your day, not to mention the perfect way to relax after a hard day's work. Due to our unique canning process, you can be assured that every sip of FULL RELEASE DIET SODA will be just as pleasurable as the last. Enjoy FULL RELEASE DIET SODA in the company of friends, or as a pick-me-up in a relaxing afternoon spent alone. Nowhere on Earth will you find something that satiates quite like FULL RELEASE DIET SODA! Enjoy some today!

And, when I finish reciting this to myself, I do. Down the hatch and all the worries of the day dispel. The world gets quiet for a moment, still and perfect.

-g-

Twenty years from now, they will look back on these days and wonder what the hell we were thinking, all caught up in the idea of revolution like this in a time of national prosperity. The truth of the matter is, we have been striving for change for a long time. We have our perfectly balanced lives, we show up to work on time, we reward ourselves with relaxing activities in the privacy of our own homes, and we are happy to give consumer feedback to improve our way of life. This is just the natural evolution of business: Popular Cola Beverage failed to respond to the needs and desires of the people, ignored our ache for a drink that simultaneously relaxed and invigorated. Froda stepped up to plate and gave us an energizing new perspective on the lives we didn't know had gone stale. We are willing to lay down our lives and our security for such a simple pleasure.

-g-

In less than a time cycle, from the first dazzling summer debut of Froda to the spring that followed, I had traded my shirt and tie for the simple livery of a Full Release Regular, 54th Sector, Footman. The Regulars were only members of a social club, admirers of a product and the corporate security members who protected it. We were men and women who had a common goal to unite over. Things were looking up: Popular Music Act's newest single All You Need is Full Release was quickly becoming an anthem for our generation. We spent our workdays in what had used to be our workplaces, entire office structures converted almost indistinguishably into education and training centers. We bettered ourselves in these buildings, became more than just casual soda fanatics. We became a nation, a fighting force, a people with a voice.

Fights broke out in the beverage pavilions. Pop-Cola drinkers began to crowd around and intimidate people purchasing Froda. Signs were slashed, putts overturned. We had become the bad guys, simply because we were doing something we enjoyed. Cries of Slovenly! and Perverted! echoed in the streets only seconds before the crashing and smashing of automatic Froda dispensers triggered a kill reflex in us, and we stormed out, makeshift weapons in hand, screaming Colaheads Die! before overwhelming the self-righteous squadrons. Half of the time we were putting our shoulders into it, halting only when the wet thuds of heads against lampposts dried out; the other half was spent salvaging the renegade Froda. Sweeping victories in these skirmishes were celebrated by mass toasts. We enjoyed our diet soda in the streets and didn't care who saw us. This was our liberation, our vast and holy struggle for the new conformity.

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