Apex Program Gives Free Soda for Watching Commercial

5-10-07-apex_machine5-10-07-apex_machineI stumbled upon the craziest thing the other day.

A vending machine company known as Apex Corporation has begun a new deal: a free soft drink for watching an ad. That’s right, if you can stand a 30-second commercial, then the machine will give you a free soda. That, or you would get a discount on a soda.

Still, the idea that you get something for watching an ad is either an odd form of behaviorism, or a great way for consumers to get something for nothing. Personally, if this were to catch on, you can imagine that a little culture would develop from those who watch ads just to get the free stuff. Let’s jump forward into the future in a little story I’d like to call

The New Freeloaders

James watched as the hamburgers danced across the screen. It was the most insipid thing he had ever seen. When it was over, his free soda fell out of the machine. He took the icy cold soda in his hand and examined the reward for his wasted time.

Too bad he didn’t have one of those hamburgers to go with it.

“Hey, you’re blocking the screen.”

“Oh, sorry.”

James watched as the stranger walked up to the vending machine’s touchscreen and selected the “ad” option for payment. He could tell, almost by instinct, that he was one of them: an Addo.

He wanted to ask him so many questions, but the terrible fast food ad played once again.

The Addo looked several times over his shoulder during the duration, and knew what was going to happen.

“You know how it feels when people read over your shoulder?”

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt,” said James.

“It’s fine. I’ve seen this ad a thousand times. And you know what? It actually gets dumber every time.”

James chuckled more than he should in order to impress the one he wanted to learn from.

“I’ve seen your type before. You want to be an Addo.”

“I don’t really want to be, it’s more of a need, really.”

“Ah, lost your job and can’t make the rent? That’s how I got started.”

The Addo grabbed his drink and walked off.

“Wait.” James almost grabbed his sleeve. “I mean, please wait.”

He was surprised that the Addo turned around. He seemed to want to share what he knew, even to the point of hiding his excitement.

“You can really make a living off this?”

“If you were to collect all the stray pennies on the street, do you think you could make a good living?”

“I guess.”

“No, you could. If you add up the little that is disregarded each day, you would have more than most people make in a year. That was the first thing you have to believe in order to be a pro-Addo.”

“I suppose one person could live off everyone’s spare change, not everyone.”

“Fortunately, not everyone does, and I don’t recommend my life to anyone. But you have to remember that not everyone’s spare change is pennies. For the very rich, we are talking hundreds of dollars each day. That is how much these companies shell out to give out free merchandise for watching their ads. That is enough for several people to live on, believe me. So if you’re willing to suffer through an ad, you can get food, clothing, and if you save enough vouchers, a place to stay.”

“Where’s the best places to go for that?”

“Ah, I can’t tell you that.”


“Because at this moment, you just became competition. You are right about the limit on free stuff. Eventually, it will run out if too many people become like me. Advertisers may make a lot money, but they aren’t made of it. So I’ll see you out in the field, kid.”

“That’s all?”

“What do you mean that’s all, I told you the first thing you need to know to becoming an Addo. The rest is up to you. Not only that, I gave it to you for free. And you didn’t even have to watch an ad.”

The Addo walked away, twirling his umbrella, as if it was going to rain.

Something tells me if companies continue to offer free merchandise for those who do no more than view their ads, it won’t be long before we have real life “Addos”. Could our society really function when those who watch the ads will never buy the product, but are in it for the free stuff? The obvious economical impact aside, think about how this will affect people in general.

Let me know what you think about this issue. Via Gizmodo

Tech Gone Awry
Technology Writer