Crumbl Cookie is a Pioneer in the Spatialverse

PLUS: Name a Cockroach after your Ex
February 7, 2024

Welcome to Wednesday, futurists!

Spatial Commerce is off to a ripping start. At the time of this writing, six bold brands offer shopping apps on the Apple Vision Pro app store: J.Crew, European sports retailer Decathlon, e.l.f. Beauty, Lowes, Alo Yoga, and (checks notes) Crumbl Cookie?

Is she ordering a Crumbl cookie? Maybe.  / Image copyright Disney/Pixar

Crumbl Cookie is a Pioneer in the Spatialverse

2008’s Pixar film, WALL-E, becomes more prescient every day, doesn’t it? This week's news signals we’re moving ever closer to a reality where WALL-E is more fact than fiction.

Apple’s new spatial computing (don’t say VR) device, Apple Vision Pro (no ‘the’ it’s cleaner) has provided the perfect platform for cultural commentary, and it comes at the perfect time for harvesting engagement in our attention economy.

Pictured: Installing the Crumbl cookie app on the Apple Vision Pro in a messy home office.

Mainstream content creators like Casey Neistat took to the real world this week to test out the device in public; while others are using the device to generate controversy. Platforms like Twitter pay creators based on engagement, and this monetary incentive is precisely what’s motivating videos where early adopters are using the headset while driving Cybertrucks, eating dinner at a restaurant, or crossing the street. The animated actors are participating in passive-aggressive performance art that acts as a metamodernist critique of the device, those who use it, the audience’s perception of them, and their own ironic participation in the cultural commentary that underlies it all. In this way, they are modern Dadaists, creating art that acts as both a critique and participation.

And don’t forget, these influencers are being paid for every share, reply, quote-tweet, and bookmark.

To go a level deeper, the shopping apps currently available on the Apple Vision Pro app store add (unintentionally) to the WALL-E dystopic narrative. Crumbl cookie is one of the fastest-growing franchisors in the United States, with over 800 locations currently in operation. Their model depends on a rotating list of hundreds of flavors, which users discover through a weekly “drop”—the announcement that signals which cookies will be available at which locations. The average Crumbl cookie is nearly 800 calories, and are typically bought in packs of three or more. That’s a lot of (pancreatic) damage.

If Crumbl’s presence in the spatialverse isn’t its own critique, its launching next to Alo Yoga and e.l.f. tell a deeper story about the American ideals of indulgence, beauty, label-obsession, and a K-shaped economy.

We don’t need a time machine to see what the future will be like. WALL-E’s future is an exaggerated charicature of what we already have: an evermore obese and immobile population obsessed with entertainment while their planet wastes away.

For the planners among us: you’d need to eat approximately one Crumbl cookie per day in addition to your current lifestyle, with no other changes, in order to gain the one-hundred-or-so pounds needed to be a WALL-E human by next Halloween. It’d make a very metamodernist critique, and probably earn you some creator payments through engagement farming the RT’s and comments. 

Thankfully, Crumbl is little more than a blink away in the spatialverse.

— Phillip

P.S. On this week’s podcast, we broke down the philosophical and psychological reasons why KITH’s loyalty launch was deemed a success, and how the brand used a communications strategy to its advantage to distance themselves from an otherwise rocky launch day. Listen wherever podcasts are found

Sight and Sound. Luxury closets exceed $2k/ft² and feature champagne bars and revolving shoe racks. TikTok Shop aggressively targets Etsy merchants to expand its seller base. Amazon's new warehouse in Tijuana is compared to 'Idiocracy's' Costco.

Touch. San Antonio Zoo's fundraiser lets you name a cockroach after an ex for Valentine's Day. B-List actress Drew Barrymore becomes Etsy's first-ever "Chief Gifting Officer."

The Palate. JAJA tequila brand draws inspiration from Abstract Expressionism and natural landscapes. Liquid Death foregoes a Super Bowl commercial this year in favor of auctioning off ad space on its boxes.

According to a new study, GPT-3 chatbots may aid in loneliness and suicide mitigation for students. Self-promotion becomes essential for artists on TikTok, despite reluctance. Samsung exec claims there's “no such thing” as a real picture anymore, due to cloud image processing and stitching.

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