Graffiti advertising has become somewhat normalised over the last couple of years. It was always going to happen. We just now happen to be at a place in time, where it is everywhere. Most exteriors walls of buildings are now opportunities. They are ambient advertising spaces. If the surface area can hold spray paint, it will be considered useable. Some will argue that this commercialisation of the art of graffiti is redactive to the ideals form which it spawned. That being, the hip hop scene of New York in the late 70’s. A time where tagging subway trains made you king amongst your peers. When the culture truly began developing apace and artists evolved their styles, through community building in their urban worlds. Today, popular culture has embraced hip hop and it’s artistic offshoots and most people can appreciate the beauty of graffiti. So it made sense that advertisers would turn to graffiti advertising as a possible extra source of ad-space. Like tattoos on skin, spray a pint on walls is a normality.
Graffiti Advertising We’ve Loved
We take a look at some of the best examples of graffiti advertising which we’ve seen over the past while…
Red Bull Cola’s ‘MI6 Projection’
A brilliantly refreshing approach to the art of graffitiing, this one. The art collective known as ‘Agents Of Change’ hired a boat and docked it on the Thames near the famous MI6 building in London city. Then, using a projector and a laser pen, started applying huge, ephemeral messages onto a building opposite the spy base. Their messages were tongue in cheek, and tied in perfectly withRed Bull’s brand guidelines. What we’ve come to understand as Red Bulls’s brand ‘voice’ really shone through in this cheeky escapade, which triggered a chase from the London police. This application of graffiti using laser pens is non-harmful, kind of like how Red Bull pushed this cola brand, being “All natural.” Truly clever graffiti advertising.
A brilliant use of it’s surrounding environs, making the water piping look like the funnest water slides in the history of water slides. That was exactly the point of the artwork from Milwaukee Riverkeeper in the first place. It wanted to use the piece to bring the organization’s mission to the forefront of people’s minds. To raise awareness using a left-of-centre apporach to make people engage with them more. And it was a success. Graffiti advertising that has a heart and a clear message for the general public. We like.
Maybelline’s ‘Graffiti’ Range
Sometimes a brand can interact with the art of graffiti in an unusual way. In Maybelline’s case, they took inspiration from the art form and it’s culture to create a whole new range of eye shadow and nail polish. They actually look pretty good; definitely a sight more interesting than most nail polishes, but then again, I’m not a user of them, so I wouldn’t be the best judge! For their 2013 calendar, they incorporated the art-form to underline the range’s use of the hip hop culture. Graffiti advertising done in a high-end way, which really highlighted the range beautifully.