Guy Does Exactly What Advertisers Tell Him

Ian Chillag

Ian following instructions. hide caption

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A few weeks back, Bryant Park Project producer Ian Chillag read a beer label that said: "Come visit our brewery between 12 and 5 on Saturday." He made the visit, but in the meantime, another question had crept into his head: "What if I did everything advertising told me to do? What would my life be like?"

Ian decided to find out, spending a week following advertisers' instructions.

"I kind of felt like a zombie," he says.

Ian had to set some ground rules, the most important one being that he would not follow any directive that meant he would have to spend more than $10. It made it easier in some ways because, he says, "Very few people were asking me to do things that cost less than that."

Paying attention to all the ads made Ian realize just how much he usually ignores. "The level of noise I tune out every day is astonishing," he says.

In the end, the vague directives were the ones that interested Ian the most, especially because many of them simply made no sense. "Free the fun," "Awaken your soul," and one of his favorites, "Don't leave your butt behind."

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