Now, I'm a huge fan of using non-traditional media, especially guerilla/ambient stuff (both better terms than 'stunt', don't ya think?).
Done well, it can be a welcome diversion for the people who stumble across it, getting a message past their 'ad-filters' and giving them a chuckle, hopefully leading to them talking about it at the pub and so forth. If it is at all exceptional, you may even attract media coverage, dispersing your message way beyond it's initial catchment area.
It was something we used to do a great deal of back at Colenso (a couple of favourites: the 'Invisible Man walking his dog' (as featured in The Guardian this week) and filling a city fountain with 'blood' for the network premiere of 'Scream').
Maybe its more of an antipodean thing (smaller cities, smaller budgets, friendly media) but I've seen very little of it since my arrival in London. I guess its happening, but maybe it just gets lost in the busy city and the media have better things to cover. (Anyone doing anything interesting, let me know, huh?).
But the prompt for this post came from this story from the US. In short, some sharpie at Turner Broadcasting System had a clever idea for a ten-city Aqua Teen Hunger Force campaign: co-opt some street-cool by creating 'graffiti' using LED lights.
Quite nifty, you'd think. Except that the small flashing lights caused a major security alert which lead to the two artists (note: not the marketers) being arrested and a bit of a brouhaha about the evils of guerilla advertising infiltrating innocent mindspace.
Thanks once again to the Generator Blog, who have pointed us to The Ad Generator. In their own words, "the ad generator is a generative artwork that explores how advertising uses and manipulates language. Words and semantic structures from real corporate slogans are remixed and randomized to generate invented slogans. These slogans are then paired with related images from Flickr, thereby generating fake advertisements on the fly".
It's the scrapbook of a genius, full of ideas, insights and observations on the nature of art, design and creativity. A veritable gallimaufry of words, quotes, images and thoughts... the ideal thing to dip into when you're looking for a little inspiration or just an interesting diversion.
I'll undoubtedly be quoting extensively from it in the coming weeks, but here's a couple of morsels to kick off with:
Misoneism: a psychiatric word for unreasoning fear and hatred of new ideas.
Doppler Effect: the tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
"Personally, I always preferred inspiration to information" -Man Ray
As you'd expect from a graphic designer, its far more than just a bunch of well-chosen words, its more a "primer in visual intelligence"...
Also, I've just learnt that there is also a retrospective exhibition of his work at London's Design Museum, until February 18th. Perhaps a worthy venue for an upcoming coffee morning -what do you think, Russell?
Banksy has put up nice hi-res images of some of his pieces for free download, with the suggestion that "prints look best when done on gloss paper using the company printer ink when everyone else is at lunch".