Shakespeare and Marlow appeared out of nowhere in the middle of New York's Times Square. They looked around and observed the strange new world. They were surprised to see tall skyscrapers with flashing lights, cars honking, and a huge screen displaying ads for branded merchandise. The last time they were on earth was over 400 years ago, and everything was different now. The two legendary playwrights suddenly felt lost and confused. They were coming from heaven to visit earth and were curious to see how the world has changed. They wandered in the streets for a while, soaking in the novelty of modern life, until they stumbled upon a store that sold branded products. Shakespeare was flabbergasted by the sheer volume of branded products. He stared at the shelves stuffed with t-shirts, hats, phone cases, and other trinkets, all bearing logos of various brands. He was shocked and bewildered. Marlow could not believe what he was seeing either. It had been over four hundred years since he had last walked the earth, but he had no idea about the prevalence of branded products. Back in his time, people had their coat of arms or family crests to show their status, and that was about it. The extent of branding was limited to prominent families or royals. The two playwrights began to examine the merchandise closely – the logos, the colours, the designs. They were amazed at how the brands were able to create an identity and personality around a product, and how these products could be sold at such a high price. They couldn't fathom how something as ordinary as a water bottle could become exciting by slapping a brand logo on it.
Shakespeare and Marlow couldn't understand why people would pay so much for something that didn't have any intrinsic value. They came from a different era, where only quality mattered, and everything was made to last. They were unsure if any of these branded products would stand the test of time. The playwrights were also amazed at the advertising that surrounded them. They saw advertising everywhere they turned- on the streets, on TV, on the radio, and even in the sky. They were baffled as to how brands could create an entire lifestyle around a product, and how people were buying into it. As they walked back to Times Square, Shakespeare and Marlow got lost in thought. They wondered about the relevance of branding and how it had affected consumer behaviour. They realized that branding was no longer just a name on a product but had become a way of life. The two playwrights thought about how they could incorporate branding into their plays. In their time, theatre was a medium of entertainment, and the story was everything. They wondered how much of that had changed with the advent of branded storytelling. As they reached Times Square, they realized that although the world had changed, theatre still had the power to change people's lives. They were taken aback by how the plays of their time still resonated with people, even after so many centuries. They concluded that theatre would never lose its relevance, and it was up to them to take the essence of branding and apply it to their plays. Shakespeare and Marlow left the earth that day with a new perspective. They were fascinated by the world they had seen, but more importantly, they learned that although branding had taken over people's lives, storytelling would forever remain essential. They realized the power of language and how it could transcend time and space, creating characters that people could relate to and stories that could leave a lasting impact. As they ascended back to heaven, they did so with a newfound respect for both branding and storytelling, realizing that the two could be brought together to create new forms of art that would change the world.
Theva Kiruba. A Guidelines for the competition : https://www.fanatixxpublication.com/write-o-mania-2023