Graffiti as Advertising: Love or Hate?

When I first came across a post from Freshome in my Google reader today, I was excited and intrigued – “Beautiful 3D Street Art”?! Yes! Super! Then my eyes caught the word I had skipped over in the title: promotional.

Apparently London-based agency The Viral Factory is behind recent advertising for new Activision game Blur has launched a campaign featuring 3D murals  on the streets of major European cities.

While Jack and I are both, personally, big fans of street art, I can’t help but cringe a bit at the thought of the style being used for advertising. The beauty of street art for me has always been its ability to engage the public, and add color and interest to the grey, urban spaces we all jointly occupy on a daily basis. Certainly these are exactly the attributes that make it an appealing style to advertisers – but does that detract from the purity of the unaligned public art surrounding us? Will we start to tune out all street art as we come to be bombarded with graffiti-style advertising murals?

Of course, “guerrilla marketing” tactics like this have been on the rise in recent years in the US as well, which raise hackles for me also – somehow, this seems like a more organized campaign than those I’ve noticed previously. What do you think? Any other notable examples of street art as advertising? Is the transition inevitable?

Image credits: Freshome

2 thoughts on “Graffiti as Advertising: Love or Hate?

  1. Pingback: Public Art in Rio’s Favelas | Union Jack Creative

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *