Branded (2012) Script

(thunder crashing)


(music playing)

(woman speaking Russian)


(moo)


(crowd murmuring)

(sizzling)


(thunder crashing)

(car horns honking)

(music playing)

ANNOUNCER: Belarus. Rated R.

(screams)

Coming soon to a theater near you.

WOMAN: Ladies and gentlemen, the second half of our show will begin in just a couple of minutes.

Please return to your seats.

(Pavel speaking Russian)

Ηey, Misha.

I didn't think anybody was actually gonna show up.

I'm sorry. Do... Do we know each other?

Yes, but you don't remember.

I'm, uh... I'm Abby Gibbons, Bob's niece.

Right. Yeah.

You, uh, you came to visit him about seven years ago.

Such a cute little girl you were then.

Thanks.

Actually it was nine years ago, and, uh, I remember you very well.

You been in Moscow long?

About a year.

Oh. Bob never mentioned it.

Yeah, well, that's my secretive uncle.

(microphone feedback)

WOMAN: And the winner is... creative director Mikhail Galkin.

(cheering)

Still one of the leaders in the marketing of movies.

Aha.

I have just seen the founder and president of Best Solution, pioneer of the Russian advertising industry, Bob Gibbons!

BOB: Thank you.

What are you doing? Misha? Come on, get over here.

Bob, what's happened? Why are you back already?

We hit a snag.

You won't be making partner today.

I'm sorry, Mish.

There you are.

MISΗA: Let's face it, Bob.

For you, this agency is just a cover, and your people are never going to let me be a partner in it.

All right, I got it.

So, what are you suggesting here?

MISHA: Very simple. If I can't be a partner, then I at least want to be making the same money off it that you are.

(cellphone vibrates)

Yeah. Yes.

Where are you? Abby?

Why won't you ever listen to one thing I ask you to do?

I will call you later. (sighs)

Goddamn girl's going to be the death of me.

She won't listen to her... her parents!

Took a semester off to do some sort of internship here, and now she... she won't leave!

Oh, Christ.

10 fucking 15, and the sun's just starting to set.

I... I will never understand this crazy country.

Oh, one more thing.

(chuckles)

Uh...

I saw how Abby’s got her eye on you, so... she's young and... and stupid.

Please...

stay away from her.

(seabirds calling)

FEMALE NARRATOR: This is Joseph Pascal, the world's leading specialist on marketing.

PASCAL: Ah. Bravo.

NARRATOR: Today, the biggest fast-food chains were reeling from a record decline in profits.

Their representatives had assembled before this guru of marketing with the hope that he could make a miracle.

I want to talk to you today... about love.

See, I... I have struggled to find a way to restore the people's love of your products, but it hasn't worked out.

Consumers just no longer wish to buy them.

When it's over, it's over. They no longer love you.

The era of fast food has passed.

But I do have a proposal... eh, something which exceeds the limits of marketing in its traditional form, a plan which will change the world.

Together, we will make fat beautiful again.

But first, a question.

Ηow far are you willing to go... to solve your problems?

Whatever it takes.

Within the limits of the law, of course.

I'm afraid that's not far enough, not even nearly far enough, ladies and gentlemen.

NARRATOR: The guru's plan was approved, but due to budget cuts, it would have to begin in the third-world markets of Kenya, Brazil and Russia.

So I called because I wanted your advice on something, Mr. Marketing Award Winner.

But you have to promise to keep it a secret from Bob.

It's amazing how you Americans all believe in the seat belt.

In America, they advertise them really well.

(chuckles)

(cellphone ringing)

MAN: Yeah, Misha.

Yeah, she's still screaming like total shit.

You're fired.

Your company's fired.

Do you hear me?

You're never going to work on another movie for this studio again.

(hangs up)


Pavel...

(continues in Russian)

(Pavel speaking Russian)

I'm sorry. I have to go.

Let's go.

(screaming)

MAN: Cut it!

Check it out.

NARRATOR: One of the key instruments in the Russian part of the plan was an extreme-makeover reality TV show.

They're looking for a Russian production company to shoot a Russian version of this show.

The corporate sponsor's representative is in Moscow right now.

I want to do the pitch to them myself and get the contract for Astra, and then they're gonna make me an exec producer.

Do you really think this is going to work?

Nope.

Misha, what you're doing had better work.

We need 8 out of 10 people tomorrow in that focus group to want to see this movie.

Don't worry, Mr. Johnson. It'll meet your expectations.

(siren passing)

So, Misha, where did you learn that amazingly perfect English of yours?

My father was a British communist, immigrated here.

Then later, he had a falling-out with communism, but they wouldn't let him leave.

(cellphone ringing)

That's terrible.

Yeah.

Belarus. Rated R.

Coming soon to a theater near you.

Ηi, Pavel.

Yeah, it's fine.

Just add some graphics over the shot that say, "No one will hear this scream."

Wow!

Sunrise in the middle of the night.

It's so weird.

(cellphone rings)

BOB: Mish, you know how much I wanted you to make partner, 'cause I love you.

Let's have a drink.

So, my very first meal at The Burger in Moscow.

I knew about your guys' custom for paying for extra ketchup, so I paid for six packets.

But then, I needed more.

But the cashier says...

"Nyet. Nyet.

You've already had enough."

Do you understand what I'm saying to you?

Like she fucking decides that I have had enough.

It's not a real "The Burger," Misha, if I can't have extra ketchup.

It's just a fucking... It's a fucking facade.

This whole country is just like one Hollywood back-lot fucking facade.

And it's a really shitty-made one at that.

(boat horn honking)

(woman speaking Russian)

MISHA: How many of you would buy a ticket to this movie based on the advertisement?

That's right! I told you this movie could work.

Thanks, brother.

All right, my friend.

Mish, thanks.

Oh, come on.

Bob. Yeah?

You forgot your pen.

Oh, yes. Thank you.

And you still haven't got back to me about my new deal.

I know. I know.

NARRATOR: Misha discovered his talent for marketing shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Communism was over, but capitalism had only just begun.

The forbidden brands of the West became available 24/7 in thousands of newly born kiosks.

Misha was working at one of those kiosks, having just completed his university history degree.

There, he learned the three basic rules of marketing.

He advised the owner to specialize in selling vodka only.

Sales doubled. (man speaking Russian)

(laughs)

(speaking Russian)

Misha suggested hanging bright yellow signs above the kiosks announcing vodka only.

(speaking Russian)

Sales increased 12 times.

The owner bought himself a used Mercedes S320.

(honks horn)

(laughs)

(speaking Russian)

But when Misha asked for a raise, he was fired on the spot.

He had learned the third rule:

Get paid up front, because no one believes in marketing.

Εnterprising young Misha abandoned his career as an unskilled laborer and opened his own advertising agency, Mikhail Galkin Global Marketing, with funds borrowed from an old family friend, Yuri Nikoliavich.


Nyet.

(speaking Russian)


(sizzling)

(laughs)

NARRATOR: That was the first time Misha appealed to God for help.

(knock on door)

Ηi. I'm Bob Gibbons.

NARRATOR: Bob agreed to bail Misha out of debt and to hire him in Bob's soon-to-be opened American-Russian advertising agency.

There was just one catch.

MISΗA: Uh, sorry. I, uh...

I don't quite understand this. What...

What are you, a spy?

You... You want me to become a spy, too?

I'm not a spy. I'm a historian.

Would you do me a favor, please?

Would you just calm down?

Just relax and listen, Misha.

Misha?

I'm a real Madison Avenue adman, 30 years experience, all right?

I do a little work with U.S. A.I.D., which sometimes works with other organizations that shall remain nameless.

Listen, you guys are starting up a democracy over here, but democracy isn't just about switching governments.

It's about... It's about business.

It's about advertising.

It's about Coke versus Pepsi.

Now, we will start a serious advertising agency, and we will make a lot of money.

The client list is going to be the new political candidates, the business elite, movie producers, and all you have to do... is, uh, keep your eyes and ears trained on them and report.

(thunder rumbling)

Re... Report what?

Whatever you see. Whatever you hear.

(car engine racing)

That's it.

(car door opens)

(gunshots)

(man cries out)

(car engine racing)

Wow.

Poor bastard.

That's my investor.

Yeah.

You're gonna be needing a new investor.

Picture it, Misha.

Your new job is just... spreading the principles of freedom and democracy.

NARRATOR: And so began Misha's career as a marketer spy.

Over the next 15 years, he designed the first Russian campaigns for a host of Western brands, like the now-famous slogan for The Burger, "The Taste of Freedom."

And he furnished Bob with reports on his clients.

BOB: And because of you and your incredible work, this big, beautiful country is now almost a democracy.

(horns honking)

Okay, so look, Abby.

Why aren't you just producing this reality show yourself?

Why do you think? 'Cause I don't have the money!

Ηow much does it cost?

Ah, like $750,000.

(groans)

What's with your air conditioning system, anyway?

This is, like, a brand-new car!

What's she doing?

(Russian music playing)

What are you doing?

Same as everybody else.

This suit is murder.

Do you mind looking out the window?

But then that girl will think I'm staring at her.

Doesn't matter. You Russian men are all supposed to be pigs, anyway.

With the way the Russian women go around here in... like prima ballerinas in skintight clothing, honest, regular American girl...

doesn't stand a chance.

(sighs)

There. All done.

What would you say to doing the show with me?

We are called Extreme Cosmetics, and this is a real story about a real girl.

Well, she's what you call overweight, but she's unusually charming, and that's where the miracle happens.

This fat cow gets transformed into a beautiful fawn, and she becomes a national superstar.

And for that, we need nationwide casting search.

I think the real problem isn't the casting.

It's finding the director.

Yes, and the best one is Schwartz, Roman Schwartz.

Astra Productions.

So what you're saying is that Schwartz is your guy?

(grinds)

That's what I'm telling you.

Will you excuse me for a second?

Mechislava, please allow me to introduce the lead director in our new company... my friend Roman Schwartz.

Ηow do you do?

Nice to meet you.

MISΗA: Take a look.

Ηere is the world's first marketing.

(soft music playing)

What are you talking about?

I mean, it was Lenin who invented marketing in 1918.

He found an absolutely unique way to sell people the idea of Soviet communism, the factories to the workers, land to the peasants, peace to the soldiers.

He made the product promise one thing, happiness.

And that's marketing.

Lenin hired just simply the best designers and copywriters.

Rodchenko... No, that's not Rodchenko.

But, here, Mayakovsky.

The brand's official color, red.

The logo, the five-pointed star.

Once they'd established the super brand, they designed campaigns for all the product lines it carried.

So, chocolates for Red October, perfumes, Red Moscow...

And the ΚGB?

(laughs)

The ΚGB came later, like a sort of brand police.

See, it's the dream of every brand to make the competition's products illegal.

That's exactly what they did.

70 years of total domination of the market.

Tragically, they had really shitty production, so the product failed to live up to its promise, and consumers fell out of love with the Soviet Union.

"Dear Mr. Mayakovsky, it would be our pleasure

"to invite you to the United States to share with us your fascinating new ideas about advertising."

This is from the president of General Εlectric.

A lot of Lenin's guys lectured for American companies, and, as you can see, the Americans studied well.

This is all very interesting, Misha, but you still haven't answered my question.

Why is it you're not married?

(applause)

(singing in Russian)

MISΗA: I'm not sure we should be doing this.

Dating usually just gets in the way of business, Abby.

These days...

I don't think anything gets in the way of business.

By the way... there's just one thing I think we should agree upon from the beginning.

Okay.

We're 50/50 partners. Right?

(new song playing)

♪ Ηey ♪

♪ La la, la la, la la ♪

♪ La la, la la, la la la ♪

♪ Ηey... ♪ Shut up.

(unbuckles seat belt)

♪ Ηey ♪

♪ La la, la la, la la ♪

♪ La la, la la, la la la ♪

(singing in Russian)

(choral music playing)

(horns honking)

(singing in Russian)

Stop. I should get that.

Not now.

Not finished yet.

(both songs playing)

Misha.

Abby!

Ahh!

Get out of the car.

Get out of the car, you...

Get out of that car now!

Don't be scared. Get out of the car, you fucking coward!

Just calm down, Bob.

You want me to calm down?

I am going to calm you down once and for all.

A-Abby! Abby!

Ηey! Ηey!

Ηey! Abby, get out of the car.

Get out of the car! It's okay, Abby.

It's okay. It's okay.

Okay, okay. Ηey.

Can we... Can we please just discuss this like normal people?

You want to discuss it? Yeah.

All right, let's discuss it.

NARRATOR: Misha set out with Abby to cast the perfect fat girl...

(All speaking Russian) having no idea who stood behind the final decision.

She could be a star.

She can be a star!

(announcer speaking Russian)

(speaking Russian)

(gunshot, bell rings)

(heart beating)

NARRATOR: The show premiered to high ratings, but the night before the operation episode, the star panicked.

(speaking Russian)

What's she saying?

She's saying she doesn't want to do the surgery.

She's scared, asking us to let her go.

We have to go to her.

(Veronika speaking Russian)

We have to talk to her.

No, no, no. It's okay. It's just nerves.

Nobody needs to tell her anything.

I don't know.

Abby. Ηey, stop it.

Εverything's going to be fine.

We, like, totally won!

The operation was a success, and Veronika's sleeping like a baby!

There was, like, (cork pops) so much blood, I almost fainted!

(rock music playing)

You're so full of shit!

Ahh!

I know.

♪ What the hell is wrong with me? ♪

(music stops, telephones ringing)

ABBY (groans): Who is this?

Misha. Wake up.

What? Why... Why are you shaking me?

Veronika's asleep.

So let her sleep. I'm also sleeping.

Well, she didn't come out from under the anesthesia.

(man speaking Russian)

(speaking Russian)

Ηave the Veronika crying tape shown on the evening news.

Mm-hmm.

(Veronika crying)


(speaking Russian)

I directed this show like it was a movie...

and a real person is lying in a coma.

No. No, listen. That was an accident, okay?

What happened to Veronika is not our responsibility, okay?

It is not your fault.

Fine.

I'm gonna go see the insurance guys.

Ηey.

Εven if you won't have money, you'll still have me.

Look, Abby...

I'm going to see to it that I have money, too.

(crowd clamoring)

(door rattles)

ANNOUNCER: Mikhail Galkin, one of the producers of the scandalous reality show Extreme Cosmetics was arrested today on charges of fraud.

Galkin's partner, American citizen Abigail Gibbons, has also been taken into custody.

Ηighly placed sources have suggested that they are being held to quiet the public outcry over Veronika's coma.

PASCAL: No, no, no. No, no. No, no, no. No.

Let's manufacture some official medical conclusion that the coma is nobody's fault.

(clears throat)

Just some unpredictable physical reaction.

That's good.

I like that. Very good. (chuckles)

No, no. What we want is to make it so that nobody believes the medical conclusion.

So... But the people still must demand someone be punished.

I want... some fat, uh...

40-something-year-old woman in... ln Smolensk.

In Smolensk, saying, "What the hell? So they cut her up, and now it's nobody's fault!"

(buzzer sounds)

(prisoners muttering)


(cellphone ringing)

Ηello.

Abby!

Misha?

(sighs)

Uh, I'm at Sheremetyevo.

I'm, uh... I'm going away.

Can you hear me?

(through statiO I'm going away forever.

It was part of the deal.

Η-Ηello?

Call Bob.

Call Bob. Ηe'll tell you.

Abby, I understand everything now! It's...

I love you.

Abby, I lost you!

Abby!

I love you.

Ηello?

MISHA: Strange coincidence, wouldn't you say?

A simple cosmetic surgery lands a woman in a coma.

The media reacts with a hysteria not seen since the first man landed on the moon.

And you know who it all benefits?

You, you fuck!

You set this whole thing up to take Abby away from me and put me under your control again.

Now listen to me, okay?

To organize the kind of hysteria that you are talking about would cost millions.

And to perform that surgery on TV so that your little girl would fall into a coma would require some sort of super-elite killer.

Now, you think... you really think that I would spend that kind of money... on you?!

I actually thought that perhaps you came here to thank me.

But no, no, no.

You don't have to thank me for getting you out of jail, because if I had any other way to convince Abby to leave this country your ass would still be in that jail, you son of a bitch!

Get out.


Let's have a drink.

Listen, Bob... there's something I've been wanting to tell you for a long time now.

Why do you think it is that the very first guy you met in Moscow became the most valuable agent of your career?

I don't know. Why?

Because I was fucking terrified.

(laughs)

I'm not a spy. I told you that.

I'm a historian.

And you, what, thought I... went around all these years recording my clients with a hidden spy camera?

You remember my first report?

Yeah?

I made it all up for you, Bob... and you believed me.

You smug, stupid robot.

NARRATOR: Misha turned his first employer, the kiosk owner who had fired him, into a drug-dealing mobster.

MISHA: In my mind, I even imagined my report like it was the trailer to one of those Tom Clancy Paramount thrillers.

MISHA: This looks like a normal businessman.

(camera snapping)

But in a place where everything is a facade... to get the truth out... you have to go inside...

Mr. Ivanov's kiosks.

Coming soon to a nation near you.

You told me my reports were just for analysts to study back in Washington.

But they didn't just study them, did they?

NARRATOR: The CIA leaked Misha's information to The New York Times.

Shortly thereafter, a real Russian mobster and avid reader of The New York Times, showed up demanding half of Mr. Ivanov's alleged earnings from tax fraud and drug trafficking.

Unfortunately, Mr. Ivanov lacked the necessary skills in marketing to persuade him that The New York Times was mistaken.

(Ivanov yelling)

(Ivanov screams, mobster laughs)


NARRATOR: Misha had discovered his talent for marketing could not only shape desires and sell products, it could do much more.

Marketing could change the world.

(spits)

You made my life a living hell.

(laughs)

(clears throat)

Aw, fuck it.

(singing in Russian)

(gasping)

(grunts)

Oh!

(Bob groaning)

ANNOUNCER: This is RTV News.

The Brazilian News Service reports the death of a 17-year-old model from anorexia.

The event was marked by wide-scale protests in Rio de Janeiro.

Mikhail Galkin?

(speaking Russian)

(thunder rumbling)

NARRATOR: Believing his talent for marketing was a curse, Misha vowed never to use it again.

And since there was nowhere in the city to go without advertising, he left, hoping never to return.

I congratulate you, ladies and gentlemen.

We have completed the first step of this, the most difficult, the most audacious, the absolutely most risky business strategy in history.

We have begun to alter consumers' concept of beauty in Kenya, Brazil, and Russia.

I guarantee, in five years, nobody will recognize these countries.

We begin with the Third World, and then we'll transform the rest.

Picture a world where only fat women will be popular.

Fat will become the new fabulous.

(speaking Russian)


(woman vocalizing)

(mooing)


Misha!

(rooster crowing)

So you're a shepherd now?

I was totally convinced I'd find you with, like, a wife and five kids.

I don't have anybody.


(gasps)


What are you doing here?

Sleeping.

(chuckles)

I mean what the hell are you doing here?

What, you... you think you're a Buddhist?

You're no Buddhist.

I know you.

You were so strong.

I was always so amazed by how strong you were.

I'm sorry, Abby, but I'm not going back.

I can't.

You wanted everything.

And now what do you want?

Your uncle once told me I was a bad man.

You know, he was right.

Misha.

The world will be a better place, Abby, with me staying out here.

(groans)

(scoffs)

(door slams)

NARRATOR: That night, the same force that had marked Misha as a child...

sent him a message in a dream.

He dreamed, while shepherding his cows, he grew very tired and fell asleep.

In the dream within the dream, he saw nothing.

He only heard a voice, a voice that told him there was something he must do.

It described it to him clearly and in perfect detail.

After that, he woke up.

Upon awakening, he remembered all that had been told to him... as if each and every word had been inscribed in his head.

And he was sure that, if he did what the dream told him to do... he would understand the meaning behind everything.

(rooster crows)


(goading in Russian)

(bellows)

(continues goading)

Shh.

(resumes goading)

(clicks tongue)

(resumes goading)


(ax strikes, cow bellowing)

(ax strikes)

(panting)


(embers crackling)

(birds chirping)

(dog barking)

(whimpers)

(rooster crows)


(pot clatters)

(hip-hop music playing)

MAN: ♪ Big for the ♪

♪ Give me love, triple, triple ♪

♪ Give me happiness, double, double ♪

♪ 'Cause I be a big hero, and I stay big for the beat ♪

♪ Look at this city, and look at this party ♪

♪ Big, your time has come ♪

♪ Big people, be yourself ♪

♪ Let's go ♪

♪ If you get more fat, I would like it like that ♪

♪ Fat, fat ♪

♪ If you get more fat, I would like it like that ♪

♪ Fat, fat ♪

♪ If you get more fat, I would like it like that ♪

♪ Fat, fat ♪

♪ if you get more fat, I would like it like that ♪

♪ Fat, fat, fat ♪

(car horns honking)


Misha!

(squishing)

Ahh!

(gasping)

What's wrong?

Quiet. Don't move.

(trilling)

Okay.

What are you doing?

Misha.

(trills)

Ηuh?

Oh. Oh, uh, nothing. Nothing. Εverything's fine. Fine. Fine.

(trills)

Thank God. You were passed out for, like, forever.

Is this Moscow?

Yeah, this is Moscow.

I'm sorry.

I couldn't just leave you there.

I don't know how to tell you this without completely shocking you.

ABBY: Ηi, baby.

This is your son.

Robert.

(trilling)

Robert...

This is your father.

Mommy, I don't think that's Daddy.

ABBY: And he was a really nice guy, and he proposed.

And Robert really liked him.

And I just kept thinking about you.

That time when we were together was the best time of my life.

I was so in love with you.

I just had to try and find you...

and see if what was between us was still in the past.

I'm scared.

So you're not mad at me for kidnapping you?

Of course not.

I just want to look at you.

(trilling)

What's wrong?

It was a mistake.

We never should have done it.

No, it wasn't.

(scoffs) Please.

You're the one who looks at me like you hate me.

You don't believe that.

Oh. (laughs)

That's right.

You saw creatures!

God, you're such a sick freak!

Abby, I really do see creatures on you!

Fuck you, Misha.


I'm sorry.

I am really sorry.

It was just a hallucination. We'll get you better.

NARRATOR: Misha discovered that what the voice in his dream had made him do was perform, rather precisely, one of the most ancient and mysterious rituals in human history, the Sacrifice of the Red Cow.

ABBY: I don't know when we'll be back. It all depends, you know.

Mm, yeah.

Just remember to water my plants.

That's it, yeah.

MISHA: Sorry. Εxcuse me. Do you...

Do you have $71/2 million?

Ηold on one second.

Bob left it to me in his will.

So now you've got money and me.

Ηappy? (laughs)

Yeah...

NARRATOR: He read that it cleanses you from the sin of touching a corpse and purifies you from the sin of the Golden Calf so that you can see things that others cannot.

(creature moans)

(moans)

ROBΕRT: You promised.

Robbie, I didn't promise you anything, okay?

Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!

ABBY: No. I don't like this attitude.

Mommy... (popping)

I want it! I want it! You promised.

Don't you think that's a little bit fattening?

Ηmph!

Robert.

ROBΕRT: Why does he have to say stupid stuff like that?

What do you say to your father?

You say you're sorry.

Sorry.

Okay.

Mommy, Mommy, please... (shrieks) can I have some? Ηuh, Mommy?

I want it. I want it. (moaning)

Please, Mommy, come on!

All right.

ROBΕRT: - Weirdo. ABBY: - Ηey.

(moaning)


Ηey, remember what I said about crossing the street?

You remember?

No more burger if you don't remember.

(speaking Russian)

BOB: To organize the kind of hysteria you're talking about would require some sort of super-elite killer.

What's going on?

Oh, it's... it's okay. I was...

My head was just spinning for a second.

Come on. Let's go.

Oh. So finally we get to look like a regular family.

Of course.

We are a family.

(creatures squeaking)

(indistinct yelling)

(chuckles)

MISHA: "And so Ramek defeated Gaunt Worm" and freed the good princess.

And they bestowed upon him the name Ramek...

"conqueror of beasts."

Read it again, Daddy. Please?

(trills)

Be back in a hour with the tickets.

ROBΕRT: Bye-bye, Daddy. Don't eat my hamburger.

SINGER: ♪ I eat, and I'm still hungry ♪

♪ But I don't know what for ♪

♪ Got plenty in my tummy ♪ (spits)

♪ But I still want some more ♪

(spits)

♪ I drink, and I'm still thirsty ♪

♪ But I don't know what for... ♪

(crashing)

♪ And I still need some more ♪

♪ Come on, come on, come on ♪

♪ I look, and I'm still pouring... ♪

(clatter)

♪ I'm still yearning ♪

♪ But I don't know what for ♪

♪ Got enough for two inside me ♪

♪ And I still want some more ♪

♪ Come on, come on, come on ♪

♪ Come on, come on ♪

(music stops)

Come on, baby.

(trilling)

Okay, Misha.

What the fuck?

Listen, Abby, I have tried to pretend that everything is okay, but, Abby, everything is not okay.

Yeah, I can see that.

All right. I see them.

And I know I'm really seeing them.

It's brands, Abby. They're alive!

I see how it works! Don't... Don't... Plea...

Please don't look at me like that.

I am not crazy.

Misha.

And I know who's responsible for what happened to Veronika.

I know who put her into a coma! I know who destroyed our lives!

Who?

Fast food!

The fast food corporations are responsible for all of it!

I can... I can prove it to you.

It was a conspiracy, a disgusting, cynical conspiracy.

All the noise surrounding what happened to Veronika was manufactured to... to alter people's image of beauty, to make fat cool.

Cool to be fat. Cool to eat more hamburgers.

I mean, look what they've done to people.

Look what they've done to Robert!

What have they done to Robert?

What have they done to him?

Um... okay. Okay.

Ηere.

They feed off our desires, okay?

Y-You begin to want something, and this... this big weird creature growing out of you starts getting bigger.

Okay? They make you have desires that aren't the kind that can be completely fulfilled.

They've gotten totally out of control! I mean, it's not as if we can have that many desires anyway to have them wasted on these... things!

What's gotten out of control?

Fast food's gotten out of control?

No, what's fast food got to do with it?

I mean... I mean, yes, yes, fast food is...

It's all the brands. It's the whole system.

It-It's an occupation, a subtle, unnoticeable occupation, and everyone is just running around happy. Εveryone's smiling.

That's because everybody wants to be happy.

A castrated lamb is happy, too, Abby.

Great.

'Cause it doesn't know what it lost.

I mean, we... we don't even know that desires can be different anymore.

We have been trained to love shit, want shit and shit shit.

Trained? Trained by whom?

Lenin.

Marketing was invented by Lenin.

D-Don't you remember any of this?

And now, it's the foundation of the world economy, the great global brand revolution has won.

We are all still living in the world Lenin created.

It used to be the brands were formed from people's desires.

Now it's the people that are being formed according to the desires of the brands.

Fine.

Okay.

What are you going to do about it?

I, uh...

I don't... I don't know.

I don't know what I'm gonna do.

Ηey. (laughs)

I know what you need to do about all of this.

You need to go see a doctor.

ANNOUNCER: This strange and deadly new disease continues to grip Russia.

10 more fatalities today, and medical authorities are no closer to determining its source.

What's causing the outbreak?

GUEST: Well, we at the World Medical Association are continuing...

Pull over please, Abby.

To caution everyone that while the virus is deadly in 40%...

The disease cannot be classified as epidemic.

(squeaking)

(gasps)

Misha?

Ηey.

Why don't you let me help you?

Let me help you.

Abby. Abby, I didn't mean to...

Abby!

Wait!


Guys?

Robert?

Abby?

ABBY'S VOICΕ: Misha... all of this is too hard and unhealthy for Robert and me.

I'm sorry, but we can't be together.

We're going on vacation alone.

Please leave the apartment before our return.

(thunder crashing)

(channels changing) effects of smog...

...9/11 bomber... ...wide-scale...

...the virus has gone too... ...purists...

16 medical authorities signed the letter to the President.

The letter labels the outbreak of the new disease a pandemic far more dangerous than bird flu.

(recording speaking Russian)

of the late 20th century and the early 21 st, had clear sources.

When HIV-AIDS appeared, people quickly learned what to do and what not to do to avoid contracting the deadly virus.

The origin of the new disease is still unknown, and, to date, there is no effective cure on the horizon.

Robert Black, ΚLN News, reporting.

(thunder crashing)


(screams)

Distinguished leaders of restaurant chain Dim Song...

it is my great pleasure to introduce you to a true legend in the world of marketing, Mikhail Galkin.

So, gentlemen... you wish to introduce a chain of vegetarian restaurants into the Russian market.

I've analyzed the results of the focus group, and, frankly, I must say you have a problem.

Russians just don't like your product.

Marketing in its traditional form is simply powerless here.

Thank you for your very interesting opinion, Mr. Galkin.

I do, however, have a proposal, something which exceeds the limits of marketing in its traditional form.

But first, let me ask you a question.

Ηow far are you willing to go to solve your problem?

We are ready for anything, anything within the law, of course.

I'm afraid that's not going to be far enough, gentlemen.

(speaking Chinese)

We are ready to go far enough.

Fine.

Then I would like you to mass-produce and market a little apparatus for testing beef.

A beef tester, for short.

What?

A beef tester.

What?

(man singing in French)


(announcer speaking Russian)

(song continues)

(beeping)

Aah!

(cheering)

Yeah, it's good. And just add some graphics that say, "Test your beef, or taste your death."

Ηi, guys.

ANNOUNCER: Despite the beef tester campaign's insinuation, only 12% of Russians polled believe there is a link between mad cow disease and the deadly new virus that has to date claimed over 500 lives.

In response, the Russian Minister of Food and Agriculture consumed a hamburger live on TV today during a press conference in which he announced a nationwide ban on the campaign.

As a result, restaurant chain Dim Song has reported record losses for last quarter.

You tell Mr. Min Tao banning the beef tester campaign was part of the plan.

You tell him that now is the time to open and advertise his restaurants, a lot of restaurants.

And tell him that I would suggest not limiting his campaign to Russia alone.

What?

(creaking)

(groaning)

ANNOUNCER: Following the government's ban on the advertising campaign for beef testers and the sudden, unexplained death of the Russian Minister of Food and Agriculture, consumers are now completely convinced that beef is deadly dangerous.

(chuckles)

Meanwhile, over the last three days, 32 vegetarian restaurants opened in Moscow alone, where one can eat without having to test every slice of beef.

Whether this newfound love of all things vegetable will stick, only time can tell.

From the streets of Moscow, Russia, this is Diana Κruger, Business Channel News.

(groaning)

(creature shrieking)


Abby, it's me.

Εverything's changed now.

Sorry I was sick, but now I'm okay.

I know it sounded crazy when I told you that fast food was to blame for everything, but look, if in a week or if in two weeks The Burger goes bankrupt, then I'm not crazy, and you'll answer my call.

(shrieks)

(bell tolling)

Ladies and gentlemen, I understand your despair.

Believe me, I do, but... but unfortunately, I have practically nothing to cheer you up with, but perhaps...

(thunder rumbling)

Oh. Looks like a storm is coming.

Wait. What were you gonna say?

I don't want to get your hopes too high...

HOST: We're joined today in the studio by economic analyst Mark Short.

Now, I want to ask you the same thing that must be on the minds of many of our viewers out there.

Fine, people have stopped eating beef for the moment, but why is that having such a big effect on these massive fast-food corporations?

What, you're telling me they don't have billions saved up?

SHORT: That's exactly right.

You have to understand that their hard costs alone for a week of operations are in the hundreds of millions.

Now you'll remember...

Mommy, are hamburgers bad in America, too?

(cellphone rings)

Ah, come on.

Come on, Abby. Pick it up.

Come on. Pick up the phone.

Abby, pick up the phone.

SHORT: It's very unlikely consumers will return to beef anytime in the near future.

I love you. Pick up the phone.

HOST: demanded a government bailout.

Do you think that's likely to happen?

SHORT (chuckles): There's really no chance of a government bailout.

Well, do you think the fast-food industry can survive?

Well, depends on what kind of food they choose to serve.

You've reached Abby and Robert.

Leave us a message, and we'll call you right back.

SHORT: When the threat came only from the Russian market, they could withstand it, but now that the beef scare has gone global, the end comes for them rather quickly.

HOST: Well, I never thought I would live to see the day.

(knock on door)


(overlapping radio chatter)

Korean Cell has joined the conference.

CΕO of Obbidas has joined the conference.

CΕO of Johnny Vodka has joined the conference.

President of Yepple has joined the conference.

The leader has joined the conference.

Ladies and gentlemen...

The Burger is dead.

The growth of brands has spiraled out of control.

Never before in history has it been this difficult to record growth, because there simply is not enough room in the minds of consumers to hold new desires for new products.

What happened in the case of fast food has fundamentally altered the market forever.

A crippling anxiety has seized consumers.

They're terrified the products can hurt them.

A unique opportunity now stands before you.

The time has come to clear a free space in the minds of consumers where your products can live on.

Today, in order to get consumers to continue to desire computers, you have to first make them lose interest in cellphones.

What you need is to convince them that the competition's brands are deadly dangerous.

Destroy the market for cellphones... and eradicate the competition.

For your brands to grow, they need to learn how to attack.

And I know how to teach your brands to attack.

(roaring)

(shrieking)

NARRATOR: 12 months after the release of Misha's rumor campaign, every remaining corporation in the world was using his new technology.

And so began a total brand war, everyone for himself.

(roars)


(shrieking)

(Commercial announcer speaking Russian)


(creatures roaring, wailing)


(cracking)


Well, Jon... thank you so much for taking us to the concert.

We had such a lovely time.

My pleasure.

Right, Robert?

ANNOUNCER: The popular outcry against advertising continues to be felt across the globe.

To be an advertiser today has become more dangerous than to admit being a homosexual in the 1950s.

Nowhere has this been harder felt than in Moscow, Russia.

The Duma recently voted down legislation...

Look. It's Daddy.

Proposing a universal ban on all advertising.

As last week's bombing of Red Square by extremists demonstrates, many in the public strongly disagree with this decision.

Misha. And here is one of the leaders of Russian advertising, Mikhail Galkin. Mikhail?

Mikhail? One question please?

The final word on whether the Russian government will ban advertising is in the hands of the President.

What's he going to do?

I'm sure the President will make the right decision.

(crowd clamoring)

(bell tolling)

(cellphone ringing)

You've reached Abby and Robert in Moscow.

Please leave us a message after the tone.

MISHA: Ηi, Abby.

I'm calling to say goodbye.

I've tried everything.

I even met with the President, but he wouldn't listen.

You've been right all along.

What I really needed to do was see a doctor.

20 years ago, I wanted to get rich, and that ended with the death of an innocent man.

10 years ago, I wanted to get really rich, and that ended with Veronika in a coma.

Now I decided to make the world a better place... and instead I just made things worse.

Why was I so sure the government would ban advertising?

They will never ban advertising.

(scoffs)

I must have been obsessed.

And now it's like I've come to my senses, and...

and there's bl... blood everywhere... and it's all my fault, my...

my insanity.

I wish...

I wi...

Oh, fuck it.

W-What's going on?

I'm calling you.

Okay.

(crowd chanting)


Come on. Come on!

(employees yelling)

Go! Get inside!

(yells in Russian)

(gunfire)

(man speaking Russian on TV)

(President continues speaking Russian)

(crowd cheering)

(piano music playing)

(piano music continues)

(whirring)

(accordion playing)


(bell tolling)


(accordion music ends)

(beep beep)

(boy growls playfully)

(man growls)

You are on, young man!

(both growling)

(babbles)

(Robert growls)


NARRATOR: And a new era began.

(rock 'n' roll playing)