<body> Public Ad Campaign: Why Are You Using Up My Minutes HBO?
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Friday, September 18, 2009

Why Are You Using Up My Minutes HBO?

A few days ago I was walking through Williamsburg past a cheap furniture store on Grand street when I caught this flyer out of the corner of my eye. The hand made quality of the flyer juxtaposed with the celebrity Jason Schwartzman didn't make sense and I immediately knew something was amiss. I tore off the number and phoned this so called private detective right there on the spot. I suggest you do the same cause it was kind of amazing. An answering service picks up and Mr. Schwartzman's voice explains that he is an un-licensed private detective.
"If you have a problem, like a cheating boyfriend or girlfriend, or you have some kind of amnesia and you think you yourself are missing, I'm your man."
After a few more remarks he explains you can see him in action on such and such a night at such and such a time on the new HBO TV show Bored To Death.

With advertising budgets extremely low and revenues for outdoor advertising plummeting since the recession began, it seems OAC's are finding new and "exciting" ways to bring ad content to the streets for what would appear little to no cost. I'm assuming the printing of this ad campaign was done on a cheap Xerox machine and the company didn't pay for the location, probably because they didn't tell the furniture store that the flyer was for a new HBO series. It would seem this type of advertising is becoming a trend as this is not the first fake flyer I have seen around. Kelli Anderson of the Anti-Advertising Agency reported on a similar fake ad campaign for Courtney Cox's new show The Cougar, in which advertisements masquerade as real estate signs, shown here.

It's funny how some outdoor advertising these days is becoming so localized and specific to its environment it is starting to take on similar qualities to street art. I must say I had a good internal chuckle when Mr. Schwartzman ended his taped recording "And if this is Suzanne, which I hope it is, I haven't had any white wine or pot since you moved out." It's just disappointing when you realize this moment of serendipity and joy was created by someone trying to pull change out of your project for some corporation that couldn't give a shit about you.

The similar, yet ambiguous, street project seen here is a perfect contrast to this HBO outdoor advertisement. Call both numbers and see which one makes you think, and which one leaves you feeling taken advantage of.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

back in 99, i was living in venice beach, ca. one day i noticed a xeroxed flyer taped to a telephone pole. it was a notice for some campers who had gone missing in the woods.... in maryland. i thought it was strange since maryland is like 3000 miles from los angeles. about a week later, i learned about a movie called 'the blair witch project', except i already knew about it without actually knowing it.

similar idea, just a decade earlier.

Blogger Jordan Seiler said...

How amazing. you don't happen to have a picture of that do you?


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