May 1, 2013
The Buddy Cup Will Destroy Us All
In a perfect world I could begin this blog with a joke about Budweiser Brazil drinking too much of their own product and submitting their April Fools Day joke one month too late.
But alas, this is an imperfect world, one where things like Budweiser and Facebook exist in a sickening symbiotic relationship meant to encourage awkward connections amongst otherwise sane human beings.
But it gets worse.
Apparently Budweiser Brazil wants to make these awkward connections even easier to make (and therefore easier to regret) by implanting a chip, a QR code and an LED light into a cup. Simply tap your cup with another person’s cup and BOOM…just like that, you’re Facebook friends.
Oh Budweiser, what hell hath thou wrought?
Here’s how it works:
The Brazilian arm of the Big Red Brewer is using the “Buddy Cup” as a way to increase their brand interaction on social networks like Facebook at concerts, festivals and other gatherings of frivolity.
The atrocities begin straight away for these poor, unsuspecting saps.
Before they even enter the establishment, these party-goers are asked to scan a QR code on the bottom of their Buddy Cup; scanning this code links up that specific Buddy Cup with the party goer’s Facebook page. Whenever this person toasts another person or clinks their cup with someone else, they’re instantly linked on Facebook. That’s all it takes; one hapless little tap of the cup and suddenly that person can see your photos, see your mom’s wall, and see what you look like in a swimsuit.
The attached LED light lets you know Zuckerberg approves the connection and has patched it through.
According to The Drum, the Buddy Cup was created by ad agencies in Africa and Brazil who were looking to deliver a “premium experience” to Budweiser drinkers.
Let’s stop right there.
Never has there and never will there be anything “Premium” about drinking Budweiser. Sure, you’ll pay out your nose for a Budweiser at your local ballpark and, ok, the company often sponsors some high-brow events in order to be the bottle bartenders reach for when some poor loon monosyllabically orders “beer,” but “premium?”
I don’t mean to besmirch those who choose Budweiser on a regular basis, (I’ll even have one on occasion) but even these fans are smart enough to realize they aren’t drinking a “premium” brew. The company has simply paid many, many dollars to get their red bottles and cans in front of as many eyeballs as possible.
That’s not to mention anything about the horrifying ease with which this Buddy Cup allows any passing stranger to see your Facebook profile.
Those who take their social networking privacy seriously have safeguards in place, such as only allowing friends to view their pictures, birthday, etc. These people are doing it right, but Facebook is constantly changing these privacy settings, making this a practice in diligence rather than a “set it and forget it” solution.
There are many more out there who simply don’t care and leave their Facebook open to anyone. This not only endangers the first person, but any friends of that person who allow friends of friends to access any part of their profile.
With the Buddy Cup, any passing creeper can walk around, clink your cup when you aren’t looking, pull up your information on their phone and instantly know so much about you.
I don’t see this idea really taking off in the States, of course.
Sure, anyone willing enough could build the same thing, but this seems like one of those wacky ideas that we get to write about but never hear about again.
Then again, I think that Google Glass might be a real thing someday soon, so…
Image Credit: Budweiser