The Mayan calendar doomsday prediction is upon us. There are a few things we know that are certain to survive the apocalypse, zombies notwithstanding.
The predominant one that springs to mind is the cockroach. We know this after decades of microwave-centred experimentation.
However consider this. If there are ‘a chosen few’, sheltered communities, a water world, destined for survival – there is no doubt our priorities would vehemently shift. The real human needs of food and shelter would dominate. Those surviving advertisers, canny enough to ride the wave, might consider a few potential outcomes.
Broadly speaking, the script will flip and everything we consider to be a cut-price staple is set to morph into a premium product with soar in demand. What we once considered high-end desirables will cease to be relevant.
So, as we hurtle towards the end of the world as we know it on 21/12/12, here is a peek at a post-apocalypse marketplace.
1. Infrastructure is shot. Sheer labour drives the rebuilding boom with aquaducts, roads, and basic piping for sewage and water. Bottled water consolidates its exponential monopoly over all beverages and is Coca-Cola’s saving grace. King Gees become the highest priced items in roadside wheelbarrow sales by the pillagers of destroyed shopping centres.
2. Grocery giants like Woolworths will eschew ‘Australia’s Fresh Food People’ for ‘The Tinned Food Team’ and ‘The Post-Arma Army’.
3. Technology is dead. Social media — a mere wisp of memory, computers and tablet devices – forget it. As chaos ensues the entire web implodes, overloaded by billions of Instagram photos of people’s first post-apocalyptic meals of salted fish.
4.With no power, precious volts generated by car batteries and mobile generators are used for lifesaving measures. Young people learn to write again, scratching tweets on sidewalks with charcoal pieces raining from the toxic sky.
5. Telcos, banking, advertising agencies and law firms have been extinguished, as have all tiers of government. This upsets no one.
6. Camping and army disposal stores will flourish as the cannier amongst us stock up on knives, fishing line, camping stoves and building tools. Ray’s Outdoors will become as revered as Apple.
7. Post WWII skills will be in high demand – pickling, preserving, weaving, knitting and sewing. Nanna bloggers and frugavores emerge from behind the laptop to put their skills to the test. Feeding families on $2 a day is now a global imperative, not just a remote charitable act.
8. There will be a great need for paper – the only communication tool remaining. Officeworks dumps its techno stock and is reborn as a recycled paper merchant.
9. Bruce Willis has been the go to man for saving the world for years, although sadly his twilight career hasn’t benefited from this. Post Armageddon will see the resurgence of his stardom as a brand spokesman, together with various other celluloid strongmen, Arnie, Sly etc, as society’s structure and spirit collapses, desperately seeking heroes.
10. Finally, the saving grace for our sanity will be a glowing arc in the sky, at regular intervals; those icons intrinsic to our sense of belonging, the golden arches. As everyone suspected, it was one of the few human structures that survived the pummeling. Scientists have long believed that preservative ingredients used in the food were also used in the building materials.
From the moon, the string of golden Ms can be seen across the globe, rising amongst the rubble, crisscrossing Earth like the love child of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Great Wall of China on acid. A new epoch is born and our cellular memory is sated.
For it is a universal and uncontested truth, that together with the cockroach, there is at least one other thing guaranteed to survive the apocalypse unharmed – the McDonalds cheeseburger. Maccas becomes new royalty, and every average home will soon display with pride a framed Ronald portrait on its wall.
Well, that’s it, true believers. A quick glimpse into what might be.