January 22, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

‘N Sync: the official boy band of the next millennium! Phantom Menace: Y2K’s official Star Wars prequel! The Oscars: the official Academy Awards ceremony of the year 2000! Okay, so it hasn’t quite come to that. But the turn of the millennium does already have an official sponsor and spokescandy (Miller beer and M&M’s own the respective trademarks). And the History Channel has boldly declared itself the official network of every millennium. Forget about the Y2K bug — the year 2000’s biggest annoyance is likely to be the mindless hype already creeping into every aspect of the entertainment world. Twentieth Century Fox has a Fox 2000 division. The Fantasia sequel has been dubbed Fantasia 2000. A Chris O’Donnell film now in development boasts the title Y2K. Method Man titled his latest album Tical 2000: Judgement Day. Prince is releasing a CD of ”1999” remixes. British pop phenom Robbie Williams has a new single called ”Millennium.” And it goes on and on. If entertainment companies aren’t careful, they’ll face a backlash that’ll guarantee millennial-themed projects the same mediocre returns as the series Millennium. ”Consumers are savvy,” warns Tom Julian, a trend analyst for the ad agency Fallon McElligott. ”If someone says ‘M&M’s are the candy of the new millennium,’ what does that mean? It has no substance, no relevance. It’s just hype.”

BEST-CASE SCENARIO
Y2K mania!
WORST-CASE SCENARIO
The year 2000 conjures as much excitement as Blues Brothers 2000.

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