<body> Public Ad Campaign: August 2009
This blog is a resource for ad takeover artists and information about contemporary advertising issues in public space. If you have content you would like to share, please send us an email.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Melrose Place Apartments For Rent!

This is one of the most insane viral advertising campaigns I have ever seen. These tear off web addresses, taped to lamp posts in NYC, promote a real estate website Melrose Place Apartments. This website is actually an introduction to the cast of Melrose Place, the new revamp of the old "classic." At least they only have 7,000 friends on facebook. Who would go through all the trouble? God save us all

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

My Favorite Streetscape Of All Time

This streetscape for the Vampire Diaries is the most recent illegal InWindow ad I've run accross. The best part about this garish beast is that it flanks those yellow dining tables seen in the rear of the picture. At those tables you can get a healthy dose of seafood and steak from the Old Homestead, all while taking in the pleasures first rate ad copy. You pay 60 bucks for a steak and you gotta stare at advertising while you eat? get outta town. This location has been added to the InWindow map.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

From “Bank of Hollywood Building” to “Patron Tequila”: The Evolution of an Historic Roof Sign

VIA Ban Billboard Blight

Anyone prowling Hollywood after dark has probably seen the very large, flashing, Vegas-like image of a tequila bottle atop a 12-story building at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. But few of those persons probably know that the sign originally spelled out the legend, “Bank of Hollywood Building” in 10 ft. high letters without benefit of...[MORE]

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

L'Atlas - My Sincerest Apologies

When your main field of interest is as specific as mine is, there is no excuse for not knowing about someone working so prolifically in that same field. L'Atlas happens to be one such person, and I must admit I just found out about his work recently. A look at the website gives you a good idea of the scope of his work, and its placement over France's Affichage Libre.

The French have a fantastic history of civil disobedience directly related to outdoor advertising and its concentration on the state sponsored free billboards meant to be used for public communications and political messages. The Debunkers Collective is one of the more radical groups in France attempting to deal with this social problem.

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I Was Here-Classic L'Atlas

Image VIA Wooster Collective

This giant "I was here" image, posted over an outdoor advertising location by L'Atlas, is a wonderful distillation of many public individual's motivations behind their graffiti, their street art, and their general tendency to mark their visual environment as they travel through public space. Major metropolis' often create a sense of anonymity that is inescapable. In order to combat this and define oneself and one's identity amidst so many, individuals turn to marking the spaces they have been. This need to define ones presence visually is only exacerbated by the presence of outdoor advertisements which promote commercial companies and their interests before those of the people who actually live in this city. As the individual becomes more and more anonymous and the corporate presence more and more prevalent, it is only a matter of time before individuals stop marking buildings and start taking back the space corporate america has robbed from them.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Chris' "Meet Me Here" Project

It's funny how much content I get from Charlie Todd's Urban Prankster. Considering the seriousness with which I approach this subject, "prankster" doesn't seem to be the most fitting word to describe the type of street actions I am excited about, and yet here I am grabbing yet another Urban Prankster post.

The best street art creates moments of interaction between two parties often destined never to meet. This project by "chris," an unknown artist, seeks to bring these two distant peoples together for a real interaction and I am itching to know the results. If anyone knows this person and can put me in touch with them, it would be greatly appreciated.

VIA Urban Prankster

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Friday, August 21, 2009

National Bestseller

Judith Viorst's Necessary Losses is the second book in the National Bestseller project. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Eyesore of the Week: Brought to You By CBS Outdoor

Ban Billboard Blight always does a good job of shining a light on outdoor advertising's shortcomings and general double talk. This recent post is no different.

VIA Ban Billboard Blight

This billboard on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood is just a stone’s throw from the glitzy intersections of Sunset & Vine and Hollywood & Vine. [MORE]

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Winter Weave Popstrike Image

I was messing around for a magazine layout and created this image to highlight the colorful impact this piece had. I thought it was worth posting since it's a slow day over here.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

NYSAT Photo From Joe's NYC

A good friend just sent me this photo from the first NYSAT project last April 25th. The image came from Joe's NYC run by Joseph O. Holmes. There's nothing like an empty canvas to inspire the musings of passerbys, or in this case leave your attention clear so you can concentrate on the NFT guide in front of your face.

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DOB Explains 936 bway-

A few days ago I posted about the recent copy change at 936 Broadway. Initially I took notice of this location when it sported a bright blue Intel advertisement along with some digital screens and a fantastic STOP WORK ORDER.

Obviously that SWO was meant to stop new signs from going up but the recent Home Depot copy change indicates otherwise. When I looked at the DOB website to see if that SWO was still there, I realized that it had been removed. Unsure of what this might mean in regards to the legality of the InWindow's business and the practice of erecting streescapes, I looked in a bit further with the DOB. I found out there have been a total of 26 violations served from as early as March at 936 Broadway and that the removal of the SWO doesn't really make a whole lot of sense. I'm assured a call to 311 will result in another violation and a reinstatement of the SWO, but when will it come down?

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

City Seeks Huge Fine and Order To Remove Unpermitted Supergraphic on Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

Plastering our public with private commercial messages is not a "1st amendment right to free speech" issue. We censor many media in our public spaces, including cigarette and alcohol ads. These ads are extremely influential and have been deemed hazards to our collective social health. The giant supergraphics in LA, although not touting addictive and physically harmful products, are no less influential in their pushing of other products. The request to remove these other signs from the public environment is for our collective mental health and should be honored with the same respect.

VIA Ban Billboard Blight
The battle between the city and the owners of the historically-registered Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel over the right to keep a supergraphic ad on the side of the building landed in federal court two months ago, with the hotel owner and sign company claiming that the city’s refusal to issue a permit for the sign is a violation of the 1st amendment right to free speech.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Conor Harrington Mural Uncovered 08-12-09

The above photos were taken today, 08-12-09. From the look of things, it would seem PublicAdCampaign and DickChicken liberated the Conor Harrington mural that had been covered by NPA City Outdoor so callously just weeks before. The mural had for a long time adorned the corner of west 13th street and Washington until recently. It was brought to my attention by Luna Park and Allan Molho that NPA had thrown up a wildposting panel (shown below) directly on top of the piece. Unable to come to grips with this injustice, I find this newly uncovered mural even more exciting than before.

West 13th and Washington as of 08-11-09

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InWindow Loves 936 Broadway

InWindow is still operating at 936 Broadway. Back in May we reported on an illegal Intel advertisement being operated at this InWindow location and the partial stop work order which halted advertising until recently. The newest Streetscape for Home Depot has gone up after a the partial stop work order was rescinded by the DOB. I put in a call to some people at the DOB to see if this is a special variance, is due to ongoing legal proceedings, or is just a result of the city putting it's tail between it's legs and allowing advertising to run rampant on our city. I will report back if the DOB does.

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Kama's Escalator Animation Tests

VIA Wooster Collective

Serendipity can brighten your day and make more interesting your interaction with your city scape. If you choose to look, these moments are everywhere as exemplified by this new animation by KAMA.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Manhole Reflection Raises Important Public Space Issues

If I remember correctly, I was walking down west 4th street on Monday the 3rd and ran across this manhole create by Lawrence Weiner for the public art fund in 2000. I vaguely remember hearing about this project and after eight years was happy to have stumbled upon it on the tree lined street it calls home. The gravity of the fact that I noticed this obscure piece while traveling through the busy streets of New York was not lost on me. I'm sure the reason this spot was chosen by Lawrence was the same reason I noticed its existence in the first place. Surely amidst the chaos of a more typical commercial thoroughfare populated by larger than life images and products, I would have passed by this moment unaware of its existence. It is for this reason that PublicAdCampaign fights for an environment without the overwhelming commercial messages presented by advertising. The streets of this city are meant for interaction and communication, often best received when you least expect it. In order to achieve these wonderful moments we must quiet the streets and allow ourselves the opportunity to look closely at the space we live in as opposed to the wants and wishes of the commercial giants.

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Brad Downey "Making Illegal Permanent" in Sweden

Via Wooster Collective

I love this project. Simple graffiti and cheap throw ups have become a part of our common urban experience. This can be attributed to the criminalization of graffiti and yet that really doesn't even matter. The fact is these simple tags are an integral part of any city dwellers regular routine. By solidifying these images, this project realizes the reality of our common urban landscape. It admits these tags are a part of our common public experience and raises them up despite the general public's sentiments. If we choose to decry this kind of mark making without addressing the motivations behind them, then they will continue to be a part of our urban experience. This project understands that fact and sets in stone the scrawl we choose to ignore.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Conor Harrington Buffed

I just received an email from two readers, Luna Park and Allan Molho. Both directed me to the below image on amolho4's Flikr page. This illegal NPA City Outdoor advertisement must have been recently put in place as it is sitting directly on top of an incredible piece by Conor Harrington. (also pictured) I am so upset about this I am not exactly sure how to respond. Not only does NPA operate over 500 illegal street level billboards in the city but they are covering the little public art we have in this city with their filth. The audaciousness and irreverence of NPA has made me angry before. Something will be done.

Image Courtesy of Sabeth718 13th street and Washington (before)

Image Courtesy of Allan Molho 13th street and Washington (after)

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Streetscapes Are Getting Out Of Control

Did you know that you are the sixth ingredient in Haagen Dazs' new five ingredient ice cream? (actually it's your spoon but...) I did not, and was happy to be informed by this immense streetscape on 13th and 6th avenue (SEC). I am not sure if InWindow operates this location, but I am putting it on the map anyways. This advertisement in approximately 40'x120'x22' totaling over 3,500 square feet, has no permits, and was served by the city of NY for illegal advertising on 05-29-09.

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A Night On The Town With NY Ghost

I met up with NY Ghost for the first time last Saturday. We walked around putting up posters for about 3 hours before we went our separate ways. These days I don't normally have a partner so it was nice for both of us to have a lookout and company. Our conversation mostly circled outdoor advertising and the city as a whole. It was wonderful to entertain a relationship built on a shared public experience. I highly suggest it.

This image is from a series I am starting called "National Bestseller". I use the every page from a popular title to make a single sheet that fills a phonebooth advertisement. Because the materials are so cheap, this project is about numbers. For every page you see that has red in it, there are 9 others out there that were put up without the red addition. Go out and get learned people!

This image was produced by NY Ghost and was placed at 14th street and 1st avenue on the NWC. It was a brazen spot considering there were police officers directly across the street but nonetheless proved accessible. This is the first image of NY Ghost's that really cathces my eye and I hope he keeps up the good work.

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Monday, August 3, 2009

PosterChild Tells NPA What He Thinks Of Their Contest Promotions

Yesterday I went out with PosterChild, Jason Eppink, Steve Lambert, and Packard Jennings for lunch. Our talk inevitably surrounded upcoming personal projects, collaborative street actions and the age of the urinals at the Old Town Bar on 18th street. Posterchild was leaving for Toronto that evening and had one last project to put up before he left. Targeting NPA City Outdoor's pathetic attempt to convert their third party illegal advertisements into legitimate first party signs, he remade the typical sign that now adorns all NPA illegal signage in the city. This piece was made at the corner of 19th street and 10th avenue in the same location Walker Tieser was arrested during the NYSAT project.

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      Crimes of Style

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      Tearing Down the Streets

      John Berger
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      Joe Austin
      Taking the Train

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      Evictions art + spatial politics

      Jane Jacobs
      Death+Life of American Cities