So at first glance it's just some squeaky popstar video with slightly-cyber teledildonic styling. But if you are me, you watch it and think, "Wait, is this actually a song, or is this a commercial for a drink?" Then a little while later, "Wait, is this a fake commercial for a drink?" Then, "Wait, is this a real commercial trying to look fake?"
YES. YES, IT IS ALL THESE THINGS. Because the Advertising Ouroboros is so far up its ass that NOTHING IS REAL and we're all living in some PK Dick time-slip!
Dunham originally wanted to do a song as a way to market a QT energy drink, and she asked the producers to repeat the name regularly.
QT is, in effect, a virtual character. The project includes DrinkQT, an "energy elixir" with a design by Kim Laughton. The music and drink are intended to be two manifestations of the same product. Both have been described as "fizzy" and "energetic", with Dunham stating that she wanted "to be able to talk about 'Hey QT' and have DrinkQT talk about 'Hey QT' and 'Hey QT' talk about DrinkQT." [...]
"Hey QT" includes a metanarrative about the song itself. The song was debuted at a Boiler Room show in Los Angeles promoting Hudson Mohawke's Chimes EP. A digital broadcast by Eric Wareheim opened the performance. Dunham performed the song as QT, opening the act by sitting down and reading a fashion magazine while a voiceover endorsed the QT energy drink. Dunham then lip synced "Hey QT" while appearing disinterested.
[...] The video includes product placement for Beats headphones.
The commercial includes other commercials! It's commercials all the way down!
Part of me wants to KILL IT WITH FIRE, but part of me wonders why my bar isn't already carrying this.
Ok, so now let's set the Wayback Machine to 1996. If you were me, you were making some questionable fashion decisions like wearing vinyl and shopping at Cyberdog, but all right-thinking people were listening Fluke and playing Wipeout XL, and that means you had a huge nerd-boner crush on fictional anti-gravity racing league star Ariel Tetsuo from the Atombomb video:
(Incidentally, if anyone has a higher quality version of that video, please let me know.)
So the Atombomb video is basically a commercial for Wipeout XL. But that's ok, right? Because the song was on the game's soundtrack, and they both completely rule, so it gets a pass. You tell yourself. If you are me.
But here's the thing about Wipeout: the racetracks in the game actually have billboards above them, advertising Red Bull. But! When the game was released, Red Bull didn't exist in the United States -- it wasn't to show up here for another year or two. I assumed those in-game billboards were for a fictional product from the year 2097. They had the right styling for it!
Surprisingly, that Atombomb video does not show any of the Red Bull billboards. There is an inexplicable alternate edit of the video that is shorter but includes more game footage, and at one point (1:27) there's a billboard that says "ENERGY DRINK" but the Red Bull logo has been removed. I wonder who paid or didn't pay.
Guess what was released three weeks before Wipeout XL? Gibson's Idoru.
Oh, and in answer to the rhetorical question of why my bar isn't already carrying QT, it's because we have an exclusivity agreement with Red Bull.
And the Ouroboros chomps down just a little bit tighter.