<body> Public Ad Campaign: July 2012
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.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Bus Riders and Invasive Advertising

Public transportation users may be accustomed to an odd smell from time to time, but bus riders in Seoul, South Korea, were recently exposed to a different league of olfactory input. Devices installed on public buses in that city were programmed to release a coffee-like fragrance whenever the Dunkin' Donuts jingle played over bus speakers. Upon exiting the bus, riders would see Dunkin' Donuts billboards and Dunkin' Donuts stores. As The Atlantic's Megan Garber notes, the campaign worked. Sales at Dunkin' Donuts outlets near those bus stops increased 29 percent earlier this year. More [HERE]

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Vermibus Process

Luna Park just sent me this video from Vermibus in Berlin. The reductive process provides some startlingly beautiful imagery. Because ad takeover work is so quickly removed by out of home ad companies hellbent on keeping their inventory intact, artists are often forced to invent processes that are cheap and yet effective. This is one of the simplest and most affective I have seen thus far. 

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Spontaneous Interventions at the 2012 Architecture Bienalle

I am excited to finally announce PublicAdCampaign's participation in the 2012 Spontaneous Interventions Exhibition at the Venice Bienalle for Architecture. Having just received the list of participating projects it seems we are in amazing company with projects that have inspired us and motivated us to continue our unique brand of urban activism. A full list of participating projects can be found at the spontaneous Interventions website [HERE]

A big thank you to the Institute for Urban Design
"Spontaneous Interventions captures one of the most compelling contemporary urban trends, wherein individuals are taking it upon themselves to create projects that expand the amenities, comfort, functionality, inclusiveness, safety, and sustainability of cities. From parklets to community farms, guerrilla bike lanes to urban repair squads, outdoor living rooms to pop-up markets, sharing networks, and temporary architecture, Spontaneous Interventions highlights viable citizen-led alternatives to traditional top-down urban revitalization tactics. Together, these projects offer an opportunity to examine the history of the American city, painting a critical and dynamic portrait of its most pressing issues today and a vision of its future. At heart, Spontaneous Interventions is a reflection of country’s complex attitudes towards civic participation, social justice, and the built environment."

Full Press Release [HERE]

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

OMC's Baker vows to 'squash' outdoor ad sabotage campaign

After the recent large scale advertising takeover Brandalism reclaimed 30 billboards in the UK, the OMC's Mike Baker spoke with Brand Republic about the action and the industries response. Talk of quick removal and not giving the civil disobedience project media attention, underscore his familiarity with these types of actions. What I find interesting is the industries unwillingness to engage the larger argument regarding how we use our public spaces. Mike Baker makes the typical assertions that the industry has a track record of good behavior, eliminating alcohol and cigarette ads after public outcry was too much to bear, but the argument here is not about content, but rather about the industries very existence. Facing this actions request for the elimination of outdoor advertising in general, it makes sense that they would try to not acknowledge this fact in an effort to sweep these citizens demands under the rug and continue to do business as usual. In fact this is often what we see happen when the industry brings its huge resources to bear on these citizens hard work, quick removal and a media silence that brings into focus the disparity between commercial and public access to our shared environments. 
What's assuring to me is that the removal of alcohol and tobacco ads was in part motivated by similar projects to Brandalism, most notably the war waged by culture jamming takeover artist Ron English. His critique of specific ad contents helped to pressure the industry and motivate a public response. If history is any indication of what is to come, the Brandalism action and the many similar large scale advertising takeovers that have come before it, will eventually be the groundwork upon which a unified public response can take shape. Only time will tell if we will come together to improve the quality of our public spaces and strive towards a more utopian vision of the cities we live in. 
View the whole Brand Republic Article [HERE]

Is Lady Gaga the Dark Knight?

Fresh bus shelter takeover work from Ludo.

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Strange Billboard Imagery Adjacent to Highline

Jennifer Aniston looks back at a Lamar billboard that I'm not sure what to make of. Is it empty or is that someones art? 

MTA Now Selling Ads On FRONT Of Your MetroCard

I've said it once and I'll say it again, ad revenue does not make a significant dent in the operating budget of the Metropolitan Transit Authority. As ads proliferate to an even greater extent, the MTA is dropping purchase prices. Does that sound like an agency which is trying to consider advertising as a viable income method? And has anyone taken a moment to interrogate the negative affects of being surrounded by commercial messaging?
VIA: Gothamist
The MTA is getting serious about trying to make sure it is making maximum money—and considering their ongoing financial problems we aren't complaining. Still, the Authority's latest scheme is definitely going to piss some people off: Starting soon, advertisements are going to start appearing on the front of your MetroCards. More [HERE]

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

No Planning Permission

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Rising Tide Creeps Closer to the Shore

Robert Montgomery Install Photo for Brandalism
About a month ago I was asked to contribute some work to an upcoming billboard takeover project in the UK called Brandalism. Without all that much information to go on, I was told there would be an international list of artists contributing and that the project looked to reclaim about 50 billboards. This morning I was happily surprised to see that the project had been completed and that 33 billboards had been reclaimed with the work of 24 incredible artists. With a line up including artists such as Ron English, OX, Robert Montgomery, Dr. D, Know Hope and many more, this project was a serious endeavor to put great work up in place of the trivial advertising content usually associated with these locations. 
While my personal interest has never been to replace ads with "good" art, this project shows just how affective quality imagery can be as a juxtaposition to the inane content we are used to. With projects like NYSAT, ToSAT, MaSAT, Artung!, cARTography and now Brandalism (and many more), it seems a rising tide of opposition to the over branding and public space abuse we have become so comfortable with is finally gaining momentum. The language all of these projects share does not suggest that somehow artists want representation as much as they want to call into question the medium we have chosen to surround ourselves with. What are the affects of a commercially saturated visual public environment? Can we imagine alternative uses for the public environment and in doing so strive to reach the utopian city we all deserve to live in as we move boldly into the future. 
View more of the Brandalism project as the site is updated with content over the next few days. (apparently my work is being reprinted as the cops muddled my install and my posters were abandoned for a safe continuation of the project…bummer)
"For years artists have learned the tactics and methods needed to create art works within the streets and we have the ability to use this creative potential to show others ideas, images and truths. The Brandalism project will be pushing the boundaries of appropriate acts of citizenship at a time of political, environmental and economic crises."

View the full site [HERE]

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Monday, July 16, 2012

New Work by Ludo

Looks like the Parisians are having a busy summer. Ludo just sent me these three billboard takeovers and I can't be happier to see such different and wonderful work gracing the streets of one of my favorite cities. See more from Ludo [HERE]


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Sunday, July 15, 2012

New Work by OX

OX just sent me this recent billboard takeover. I cant begin to express how much I love OX's work. Take a look at all his stuff [HERE]

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Billboard Bandits - Outlaw Artists in the Sky

A friend of mine just made me aware of a kickstarter campaign that is attempting to raise about 6k to publish a book titled Billboard Bandits - Outlaw Artists in the Sky. The author writes…
This book is unlike any other in its genre, delving deep into the worlds of graffiti and street art yet focusing on the fascination with conquering billboards. While graffiti itself is illusive in nature, billboard graffiti takes it a step further as one of the most daring aspects of the craft. The book itself is completed and includes photos and interviews from artists all over America and the UK. The first hand accounts enable the reader to feel present in the world of these individual artists. Some of them are raw and gritty vandals while others provide more of a fine art feel. They specialize in everything from integrating their pieces into the advertisement itself to adding their artwork to the blank billboard back. A select group of these street artists are referred to as “billboard liberators”, manipulating the ads to fit their own agenda and convey their message. While each one is unique, they are united by one common thread - they are the billboard bandits.
I pledged 35 dollars and will receive a softcover edition of the book. I hope you do the same. Pledge to the Kickstarter campaign [HERE]

Free WiFi at NYC Payphones

Gothamist is reporting that a pilot program has been launched to make NYC public payphones into free WiFi hot spots. The article seems to suggest that the sides of the phonebooths would indicate the free WiFi and that there would be no advertising on the kiosks, but that seems strange considering phonebooths already are used to advertise. The article also seems to suggest that the cost of installing and maintaining these WiFi hotspots would be borne by the advertising firms. If the function of the phones at these phonebooths is any indication of how good maintenance will be, many of these locations will likely not work. In many ways this seems like a ploy by the ad companies to keep phonebooths relevant in a cellular world.
You may start "using" public payphones a lot more: Today, New York City officials announced a pilot program to provide free, unlimited WiFi to the public through public payphone kiosks. Rahul Merchant, the city's Chief Information and Innovation Officer and Commissioner of the Department of Information, Technology and Telecommunications, noted how offering free broadband access part of the Bloomberg administration's "efforts to promote greater digital inclusion for New Yorkers." More [HERE]
Yesterday the good citizens of Toronto made it abundantly clear that they would not stand for the public space abuse Astral Media is passing off as "Info Panels". cARTography involved 30 Artists reclaiming what are supposed to be helpful info stations, but are instead new advertising venues. Enjoy the whole project at their website… [HERE]

For Immediate Release  July 8, 2012 

Astral Media Pillars Reclaimed in cARTographyTO Project ‘Putting The Info Back In Info Pillar’ ​

This weekend, cARTographyTO replaced ads in Astral Media “Info” Pillars with art-maps created by Toronto residents and local artists. This site-specific art, donated by over 30 concerned citizens (and supported by many times more), offers new possibilities for these spaces, and information about the surrounding neighbourhoods. This is a response to sidewalk billboards, and the erosion and privatization of public spaces. ​

A spokesperson for cARTographyTO stated, “These structures are billboards masquerading as sources of useful public information. When you look at the pillars, it’s hard to find the maps, and this goes against the City’s own public space guidelines. How could City Hall allow this to happen? Beyond mere visual pollution, these pillars are a safety hazard. And Astral’s influence on our city is a public insult and embarrassment - more power has been given to those who already have the loudest voices, to the detriment of all who use these spaces.”

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

File > Move To Trash ("That's My Boy" movie poster; Manhattan bound L at Lorimer)

I just read about Jilly Ballistic's work on Hyperallergic. While I live in the neighborhood she is doing these interventions, I have yet to see one myself. Anticipating the coming of widespread digital screens, these physical hacks use computer lingo to poke fun at the crap being sold to us everyday through outdoor media. More Jilly Ballistic [HERE]

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      Sharon Zukin
      The Cultures of Cities

      Miriam Greenberg
      Branding New York

      Naomi Klein
      No Logo

      Kalle Lasn
      Culture Jam

      Stuart Ewen
      Captains of Consciousness

      Stuart Ewen
      All Consuming Images

      Stuart & Elizabeth Ewen
      Channels of Desire

      Jeff Ferrell
      Crimes of Style

      Jeff Ferrell
      Tearing Down the Streets

      John Berger
      Ways of Seeing

      Joe Austin
      Taking the Train

      Rosalyn Deutsche
      Evictions art + spatial politics

      Jane Jacobs
      Death+Life of American Cities