October 10, 2010



Rarely do advertisements that aspire to capture the energy of street art succeed. We love this new series of ads the CNN is running in Turkey. The translation of the tagline is: ''Stories with the full background.''

(Thanks, Erdem)

Posted by marc at 7:56 AM in Advertising |

September 5, 2010



Artist Statement:

Logo Touris mixes iconic landmarks and commercial logos. It features logos from the hundred most valuable brands.

The spectacle of advertising and popular culture creates secondary realities which we can share with others. Common literacy creates common identity. Rules of communication are determined by commercial media.

Iconic landmarks are symbols of local identity. How does this conflict with commercial brands appearing cloned around the globe? Post-Fordistic theory of all things starting to remind one another unpersonally and unhistorically, doesn't strictly speaking apply to monumental architecture, which symbolizes values that are not generally considered as merchandise. For tourists these are nevertheless consumable commodities, available to outsiders as well. Stereotypes of cities, such as Paris, can be transferred and consumed everywhere. Identity is comprised of consuming. Resembling worm hole theory, consumption spectacle creates portals between collateral realities.

Posted by marc at 11:00 AM in Advertising |

June 28, 2010

UP THERE from Jon on Vimeo.

Posted by marc at 7:58 AM in Advertising |

June 9, 2010

From Inkfetish:

Our promo video for the 2010 remix of the classic 80's theme tune to UM BONGO went live onto YouTube today. It encompasses the results of 4 days of blood sweat and tears filming in an abandoned warehouse in South London using the 'stop frame' technique to animate my artwork."

Posted by marc at 7:37 AM in Advertising |



More from Ron here.

Posted by marc at 7:22 AM in Advertising |

June 1, 2010

Hair Conditioner from Jonathan Gurvit on Vimeo.

Posted by marc at 7:46 AM in Advertising |

May 25, 2010


From Liam:

"Pabst Blue Ribbon has paid some guy to paint a bunch of murals in downtown Phoenix for them, and they are all pretty bad. The one attached was put up maybe a week ago and I see it every day as it's around the corner from my place. Today as I drove past I noticed someone had added a checklist to the side of the mural.

-Beer (check)
-Boobs (check)
- Art"

Posted by marc at 7:15 AM in Advertising |

July 31, 2009


We love the idea behind Zek Crew's custom teaser posters made for Trnfest 2009 - the popular music and arts festival in Ljubljana.

More here.

Posted by marc at 7:47 AM in Advertising |

April 6, 2009


Photo nicked from RIon Harmon's Twitpic here.

Posted by marc at 1:14 PM in Advertising |

April 1, 2009

From Deb comes these images of a clever advertising campaign for a small Zimbabwean newspaper. They've printed all their advertising on actually money - which, unfortunately, has become completely worthless:



Posted by marc at 6:57 AM in Advertising |

January 12, 2009



Photos nicked from here.

Posted by marc at 5:09 AM in Advertising |

January 4, 2009



Photos nicked from here.

Posted by marc at 11:35 AM in Advertising |

May 12, 2008

A creative way to cover a building for renovation...


(Thanks, Rafael)

Posted by marc at 7:50 AM in Advertising |

July 2, 2007

(Thanks, Jenny)

Posted by marc at 6:48 AM in Advertising |

April 13, 2007

Posted by marc at 11:17 PM in Advertising |

February 11, 2007



In Brazil, the Salvation Army has launched an interesting outdoor campaign to raise awareness, donations of clothes, and money. What we liked most about it was that for the campaign they are using real cardboard, plastic trash bags and old sneeker boxes that were found on the actual streets of Brasil, which then references back to the living conditions of the people they help.

Alê Silveira

Posted by marc at 6:44 AM in Advertising |

February 8, 2007

Over the last couple of days, we've received a ton of emails asking us to give our thoughts on what went down in Boston last week when the city was essentially shut down because of a street marketing campaign that co-opted GRL's LED throwies and turned them into a series of Lite-Brite type guerrilla ads.

Because (a) we've been traveling and (b) we wanted to wait until we saw how things played out a bit, we haven't commented on it yet.

So for what it's worth, here's our take.

The whole thing was like watching some version of 1984 or the Manchurian Candidate or something like that. It was almost surreal.

First, the ads didn't terrorize anyone.

The city politicians and the media did.

The politicians made their response into a media event to get re-elected. If you watch the videos of the press conferences on Boston.com of the Mayor of Boston and the Police Chief and the government officials, you will see clearly that they used the event as a way to manipulate the public into thinking that they are protected from terrorism by the City of Boston.

By giving press conferences and calling the things "Hoax Devices" (which they clearly weren't), the City was able to orchestrate a manufactured response that showed that they can fight terrorism and that the citizens of Boston can trust them to keep them safe.

By showing "BREAKING NEWS" and cutting into boring crap daytime programming that nobody wants to watch, the tv stations in Boston and CNN were able to show that they are on "top of breaking stories". The used the event to create dramatic, sensationalized programming. They repeated words like "HOAX DEVICE" and "TERRORISM" and "9/11" to keep people watching.

And for the most part, the public played right into it, never questioning it.

Not enough people have said -

"Come on guys, who the fuck are you kidding here?"

Okay, so that said, we also think that the negative results and effects of the campaign only highlight the fact that deception and stealth marketing will never lead to anything other than fucking disaster. If you play with fire, as the marketers did in this instance, you're likely to get burned. And they did.

So we're not surprised that the thing turned into a circus. Advertising and guerrilla interventions don't have anything to do with each other. Marketers need to resist the urge to try to blend them together. If something is an ad, I personally can live with that, but call it an ad. Don't try to make it seem like it's some sort of guerrilla intervention done by artists. It's not. It's an ad. Call it an ad. Label it as an ad. Don't try to have it both ways.

The guys that put up the LED's for the campaign weren't artists when they did it. They were employees. They may be artists elsewhere in their life, but not in doing this action for Turner. So at first we had some sympathy for the two guys when they got arrested. We felt that they didn't deserve to take the heat for doing something that was manipulated by the government and the media.

But then we watched them mock the whole thing during the "press conference" and our opinion was -

Fuck you guys. You're acting like you're some cool iconoclast artists who should become some mythic heros for all of us because you can mock the media and show that you're above them. You're not Abbie Hoffman. You're acting like all you did was put up some renegade art. But you didn't. You were employees and employees only. You did it for money. Don't act like what you did was counter-culture and renegade. I don't give a fuck what your hair looks like, you're more "mainstream" then my mother is.

In regards to the campaign itself. Well, we think that while it was misguided, it actually didn't deserve the attention or the negativity that it got. There's far worse campaigns then that one. Everything that GRL does is open source so the fact that an ad campaign used the LED throwies doesn't surprise us. It was bound to happen.

The bottom line is that the more brands try to be cool, the more it will bite them in the ass.

As it did here.

As rock-and-roll proves, you're either cool or you're not.

Trying too hard to be cool only shows that you have absolutely nothing to say.

In truth, the signs themselves didn't bother us all that much. We saw one on Lafayette Street weeks ago and didn't think much about it. Since we know the show and the character, the ads themselves didn't seem all that stealth to us.

Now what did bother us though, was the video that they two guys did that was posted to Youtube. It made it seem like they were GRL and that they were doing some cool art related intervention. That video was clearly meant to be deceptive.

It was clearly trying to create a sense of something being cool when at then end of the day all it is really is another ad.

Okay, so that's our two sense of the whole thing.

We're off to go play in the snow in Hyde Park.

Posted by marc at 4:25 AM in Advertising |

January 9, 2007


Abstractor is the latest guerilla intervention from The Bubble Project.

The project transforms the video billboards that are now popping up all over Manhattan (as well as other cities) into pieces of public art.

Click on the image above to watch the video

Posted by marc at 9:51 AM in Activism , Advertising , Video |

January 7, 2007


We've been a fan of Amnesty International's street campaigns for years. This one, about freedom of speech in Belorussia, was done by Saatchi & Saatchi Poland.


Posted by marc at 4:43 PM in Activism , Advertising |

October 11, 2006



From xgeronimo:

"The campaign's objective is to raise the level of consumer awareness about the quality of outdoor advertising in a city. The idea of the campaign - members of the public put stickers on advertising posters with their personal opinions about the quality of the ad. It's started in Berlin by Xgeronimo and continued on the streets of Seoul by Rebelbaby. Above are pics from Seoul, october 2006.

Posted by marc at 6:57 AM in Advertising |

August 2, 2006

Posted by marc at 3:40 PM in Advertising |

... that there were so many.

Posted by marc at 2:35 PM in Advertising |

August 1, 2006

(Thanks, Sean)

Posted by marc at 11:10 PM in Advertising |

We're quite aware that a lot of people get extremely pissed off when we showcase advertising that we like on the Wooster site. Some people feel that because the site showcases graffiti and street art, that we should automatically hate and reject all advertising.

But we don't.

We just hate bad advertising.

An example of an ad that we quite like....

Posted by marc at 10:28 PM in Advertising |

July 24, 2006

We weren't planning on posting any more of the BBDO ad spoofs, but these two, by Sean, we like a lot....



Posted by marc at 7:58 AM in Advertising |

July 19, 2006



From Matty comes the photos above, taken in the Mission District of San Francisco in March that addresses some of the same issues we wrote about the other night in our "A Few Thoughts From the Woost..." post.

The small text on the black arrow above reads:

"According to SF Public Works Code Article 23 SEC.1301 graffiti results in visual pollution and is hereby deemed a public nuisance. There's just one thing they forgot to mention...ADVERTISING IS "VISUAL POLLUTION"."

Posted by marc at 6:57 AM in Advertising , Graffiti |

July 17, 2006

As we end the day, we thought we'd post just a few thoughts of our own about the anti-graffiti ad campaign that BBDO West has bequest (as a pro bono gift) to the city of San Francisco.

First, what struck us the most when we saw the campaign was how shortsighted the notion is that outdoor advertising is the solution (a white knight if you will) to the problem of graffiti in San Francisco (or any other city for that matter).

At a time in our history when advertising has fallen to an all time low in its effectiveness, it seems somewhat naive to think that, of all things, an outdoor advertising campaign would have any effect at all on the situation.

There are much better ways for the city and BBDO to use their resources. How about giving money to alternative/non-traditional art programs? How about supporting more spaces and studios for emerging artists? Why choose graffiti at all? Isn't AIDS. or the homeless. or breast cancer, or the lack of education of kids in California, more important to the citizens of San Francisco than fuckin' graffiti?

And in this day and age, who the hell changes their views because of an advertisement they see on the street?


Second, for people who actually live in the city, why is it that the onslaught of outdoor advertising is more acceptable to the general public than graffiti?

Why is graffiti seen as a blight to society, but crap advertising that covers every wall in our city is accepted as if its "normal"?

Just because one is bought and the other is stolen doesn't necessarily mean that one contributes more to society than the other.

And if advertising is so powerful, why are more and more advertisements looking more and more like graffiti art? As more brands begin to adopt a graffiti aesthetic to sell their products, why would BBDO essentially bite the hand that feeds them by rejecting the very culture that they desperately are wanting to appeal to for the brands they represent? Is being in the good graces of the Mayor of San Francisco so damn important that you would turn against the very group that you are trying to emulate and appeal to in your advertisements?

The whole anti-graffiti ad campaign makes very little sense to us. We're not against advertising in general. (Hell, the adidas ads during the World Cup were absolutely brilliant).

What we are against is advertising that has absolutely no value whatsoever other than to the agency executives and the city officials who salute it at the press conference.

True investment in local communities changes society. True commitment and funding for the arts changes the course of people lives.

True commitment to discussion and dialog creates consensus.

Trying to solve society's problems with outdoor advertising only adds more clutter and crap to our cities.

Posted by marc at 10:44 PM in Advertising |




Posted by marc at 10:28 PM in Advertising |


Posted by marc at 3:10 PM in Advertising |


Posted by marc at 1:34 PM in Advertising |


Posted by marc at 1:32 PM in Advertising |


More from Mr. Nilsson here.

Posted by marc at 1:02 PM in Advertising |


More from Adam here

Posted by marc at 11:45 AM in Advertising |


More on Copyright here

Posted by marc at 10:36 AM in Advertising |


Mashups of the BBDO ads are starting to come in. The one above was done by Carlo in Adelaide, South Australia.

Send your remixed ads to woostercollective at gmail.com and we'll try to put up as many as we can.


From Bucky Turco:


From Nathan in the UK:


Posted by marc at 7:54 AM in Advertising |

July 14, 2006

Adrants has a post today about the first pro-bono campaign created by BBDO West (that's a large advertising agency if you are unfamiliar).

While the world fights AIDS, poverty, global warming, education, and more, it's interesting that BBDO chose - of all things - an anti-graffiti campaign as the first benefactor of their free support.




Posted by marc at 7:18 PM in Advertising |

April 24, 2006


From Coloribus Blog, comes another example above of ways in which brands are leveraging street art and culture jammijng to sell products. We thought it was pretty clever.

Posted by marc at 9:01 AM in Advertising |

March 30, 2006

Adrants links to an interesting campaign by Childcare India. A sticker near the door's handle says "Push him out of begging. Not out of your way." More here.




Posted by marc at 11:52 AM in Advertising |

March 29, 2006

With all the talk about brands incorporating street art into their campaigns, we came across a terrific example of a non-profit - Amnesty International in the Czech Republic - incorporating the street stencil aesthetic into a series of terrific advertisements. The creative agency for them is Leo Burnett We love how the stencils for the ad are dirty, blurry, and fucked up. Extremely raw, authentic, and poweful. On this one, Leo Burnett got the details right. In a big way.

Images below nicked from Hotlust, a terrific weblog dedicated to non-profit advertising.



Posted by marc at 12:07 PM in Advertising |

March 23, 2006

Just a quick note to say that this morning we received a few emails regarding the post we put up yesterday about the adicolor advertisements.

While everyone who emailed us seems to agree that the adidas ads are very clever, a few have pointed out that the tags on the ads seem to be planted by the company. We actually saw this as well, but to be honest, it didn't really bother us very much.

Our feeling was that if the ad was not seeded (ie pre-loaded) with tags, the chance that it would be tagged by others was less likely, and thus the campaign would not have worked as well as they had planned. A white poster would not have made a compelling "reveal" at the end of the campaign. The fact that many of the tags are little adverts in different styles, was - for us - part of the campaign. Actually, we thought it was clever (although a bit cheeky) to have one of the tags, www.overkillshop.com, link to an online store that sells the adicolor shoes.

This is, after all, an advertisement for a product, not a public service announcement.

Posted by marc at 7:01 AM in Advertising |

March 22, 2006

If you're a regular reader of the Wooster website, then you've followed our ongoing critiques and commentary on how brands either get it right or get it entirely wrong when they attempt to assimilate graffiti and street art into their campaigns.

Not too long ago we took Sony PSP to task for launching an ill-conceived and deceptive campaign that showed how brands should "not" attempt to do these things.

So today, we thought we'd show you what we think is the other side of the coin - how companies can "get it right" with a clever, authentic campaign that gets all the details right.

We love the new campaign that adidas launched recently in Germany for adicolor.

Here's how it works:

First, adidas put up a series of mostly white flyerposters - branded with the adidas logo - that subtley encouraged people to tag the billboard and basically fuck it up.



But then, days later, they came back to those same ads and placed another poster over it. The new poster features the adidas adicolor show, now with the original tags from the previous poster incorporated into the show design.



Of all the recent street campaigns we've seen lately, this is our favorite one by far. It's extremely clever, but most importanly it fits the brand perfectly. It takes advantage of the street to the fullest. And most of all, it turns the tables in an absolutely brilliant way that is extremely impressive.

We're sure that not everyone will agree with us, but whoever came up with this idea is really fuckin' smart.

You can see more photos here. Thanks also to Ed in London for sending us the info.

Posted by marc at 12:51 PM in Advertising |