On Monday, a billboard on Sepulveda Boulevard, south of Santa Monica, CA went up that included an image of a shadowy Uncle Sam figure controlling a newscaster puppet. The accompanying headline reads, "Shox News Channel: We Distort, You Comply." The billboard, created by political artist Karen Fiorito, is said to parody monopolistic corporate media and is the second billboard created by the outspoken Fiorito who says her work is designed to explore the relationship between politics, propaganda and art.
The weblog "A is for Advertising" reports Ford has erected a "living billboard" in Dundas Square, Toronto to promote its Escape Hybrid. With the headline, "Makes everything a little greener," the board contains 900 real plants, kept alive by an irrigation system and tended to weekly by a landscape crew. Larger image here.
To continue promoting its Converse Gallery, a site that allows people to submit 24 second films that "embody the value and spirit of Converse," the sneaker company is using large outdoor poster. One, which is located in the Tribeca area of New York City caught the eye of Bucky Turco, the man MediaBistro's FishbowlNY asked, "Who is Bucky Turco?", who claims Converse is doing outdoor, art-based advertising correctly saying, "You know you're looking at a huge Converse ad but it looks good. It's not hard on the eyes or obtrusive. It also merits integrity even while incorporating elements of the Converse logo in the actual art piece.
He further opines that only brands that have cultural relevance have business co-opting street art saying, "I think this is the main reason why sneaker companies can legitimately pull off artist series/graffiti or art-based programs much more authentically then other brands. Not only are they relevant but they also possess what many brands in the field lack, legitimate history and street cred."
So there you have it. Right from the mouth of the new "Webster Hall Curator Baird Jones," as it were.
The once quaint, red-lettered banner dragged behind a small bi-plane has increasingly given way to gigantic sky banners, sailboats equipped with logo-emblazoned sails, grooming equipment that paves the beach with logos in the sand, logoed umbrellas, handouts, beach chairs, towels and flip-flops. Tantalized with the ability to reach millions of beach goers each summer, advertisers can't pass up the opportunity to ruin the once pristine views one might assume exist at their local beach. It's amazing Gary Ruskin or the Billboard Liberation front aren't out on beaches every season with giant paint ball cannons equipped with gallon-sized, white paint bullets defacing all that "image pollution." Of course, the sponsored nightlife can sometimes make up for this daytime blight.
Click For Bigger Boobs
OK, then. We know boobs have been used to sell beer forever but not in association with the large shady area a pair of prodigious breasts can provide. Under the photoshopped boobage of one woman, another woman holds a glass of Foster's beer accompanied by the headline, "Well. You Wouldn't Want A Warm Beer, Would You?" At first we thought we were looking at some new form of breast-produced beer milk until we came to our senses and focused on the shadier aspects of this ad. Thanks to flickr user mollyeh11 for this one.
Yesterday, one of Goodyear's gigantic, flying billboards crashed into an industrial park in Florida during a thunderstorm. No one was injured but that's not going to be an easy ad medium to replace.
AdFreak reports on a pair or artists who convinced area merchants in Vienna and its Chamber of Commerce to go along with an ad cover up scheme in which all signage and ads on a popular shopping street were covered for a two week period. In the end, the Chamber of Commerce paid advertisers $245,000 for the privilege of covering their ads.
Johnny's Drunken Stupor
Adrants reader and Animal Publisher Bucky Turco comments on the Johnnie Walker "Keep Walking" outdoor campaign which has featured imagery that conveys forward motion or progress. Recently, Turco noticed an execution of the campaign that used dominoes as imagery and questioned the choice of that visual as it relates to spririts advertising, commenting to Adrants, "The other day I came across this Icon ad that featured swirling lines of falling dominoes. The image of falling dominoes seems a dubious illustration to use for progress, especially for a spirits brand. Does it mean that if you don't drink enough JW your life will begin to "fall like dominoes." Could it mean 'Keep Walkin' fast this way so your drinking troubles don't catch up with you? Or is simply 'Keep Walking,' even if its not in a straight line?"
Spirits advertising has to walk a fine line between imbuing a sense of adventure and excitement and the plain truth alcohol can make you drunk and stupid. Perhaps this illusory image of dominoes gets a bit too close to crossing that line.
Sometimes regular sized billboards don't do the trick and big ass billboards are required. This big ass billboard, captured by flickr user iconoblast, makes perfect sense for H & M's $9.90 bikini separates. Whether you have a big ass or not, H & M's got a bottom that will fit. And they want to make sure everyone within three miles of this billboard knows it.
While we all love a racy ad and any excuse to write about one, it seems marketers are simply creating them now in order to have them banned. Take the Plugg Jeans ad. It shows two hotties on the beach. The guy is holding a girl in a manner only seen in the confines of a photoshoot and the girl has her right hand in the guy's crotch. Hey, nothing wrong with sex but Plugg Jeans must have been smoking crack if they thought this ad would be quietly accepted by all media. Of course, that was the strategy all along according to Plugg Jeans parent company Andrew International President Andrew Kirpalani who told Ad Age, "We wanted something exciting, something provocative, it doesn't make sense otherwise to spend the money to be in Times Square."
The image was to grace a slot in Times Square but billboard owner Boston Properties declined to accept the ad as presented and asked for changes. The ad was also declined by Elle Girl and Teen People but accepted by Jane. To acquiesce to those concerned, M Media Creative Director Michael Cooper has toned down the ad a bit to unsexify the image somewhat.
UPDATE: Apparently it's now up.