Fanta Taps Into Kids' Unlistenable Conversations

Mobile App Produces Sounds We Old Folks Can't Hear

By Published on .

A couple years back, a British company called Compound Security unveiled a product called The Mosquito, a high-frequency sound device intended to keep young hooligans away from town squares or other hang-out spots. As we get older, our ability to perceive pitches in the upper reaches -- around 20 kHz -- diminishes, and this security tool was intended to annoy the bejezus out of the baggy-pantsed youngsters just cold loitering, all without affecting the town elders who ostensibly couldn't perceive the sounds at all.

Of course kids were smarter and used the same frequency as a ringtone on their mobile phones so they could be covertly notified of new text messages in class. Now, with the help of Ogilvy and former Human League band member Martyn Ware, Fanta thinks it's figured out a way to squeeze even more use out of these new-fashioned dog whistles.

The Coca-Cola-owned beverage company will soon launch Fanta Stealth Sound System, a mobile app for the chillins that, according to Brand Republic, features "wolf-whistles, warnings, pssts and sound tags for phrases like 'cool,' 'uncool' and 'let's get out of here'" at pitches inaudible to mom and dad. Further, Giles Rhys Jones says it works. Ogilvy's Bo Hellberg played the Fanta application throughout a presentation by the interactive marketing blogger, and apparently no one noticed.

We're way skeptical that everyone's hearing degenerates at such a similar rate to make this work and that kids can get away with clicking around on their cellphones during Sunday mass, but we're all for harmless childhood subversion, which seems to have languished since the TalkBoy fell out of favor years ago. But parents, don't worry, I've done my part to keep information about this infernal device away from your kids by installing my own youth-deterring security system into this post:

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