As the marketing train for Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice hurtles along its rails, never stopping for fear of death, traditional means of advertising have all become exhausted. Conventional commercials and even trailers begin to smack of authoritarianism, top-down directives that are mere bourgeois convention. Thus, the marketing machine has embraced the rebellious and anti-ideological spirit of Dada, making “ads” meant to be indistinguishable from life, marketing nothing more than the concept of advertising itself. In this spirit, Fortune has published a flattering “profile piece” of Lex Luthor, Superman’s fictional nemesis. “Ads for Batman V Superman are anti-ads for Batman V Superman,” it presumably cries, in the true spirit of Dada.
This jeans-wearing genius is equally at ease rappelling the climbing wall in his employee “inspiration station” and coding in “the crucible”: the cutting-edge R & D lab where the baby-faced billionaire verbally extemporizes computer code like Miles Davis improvising a trumpet solo.
Just add the words “This is not a profile,” and the true Dada impulse becomes clear: A fawning portrayal of a fictional cold-blooded mercenary of industry is indistinguishable from every other fawning portrayal of mercenaries of industry, be they Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, or Sean Parker. Viva Dada!
As for the accusations of a few fringe outliers who accuse him of being a “war monger,” Luthor just laughs them off. “I don’t know very many ‘war mongers’ who have a foosball table in the conference room.”
Truly, the soul of an artistic drive to highlight the absurdities of a militaristic and capitalistic culture choking on its own hypocrisies can be found in this insurrection. It’s barely a half-step away from asking Luthor to do Simpsons impressions.
But he downplays the corporate generosity side of LexCorp. “Handouts don’t change the world. The true gift of LexCorp is our products. We are on the cusp of unveiling a technology that will change the world forever.”