EXERCISE 1: CONTEMPORARY CONTEXT
Compile a list of five contemporaries in your field or who might inform your research either practically or conceptually.
In a truly brave move, Sony Corporation paid graffiti artists to adorn brick walls with Sony-themed images around New York City in attempt to drum buzz about the then-forthcoming PSP. While reaction to the street ads have been mixed, any company willing to knowingly break the law to advertise its product in such a creative manner (especially one as big as Sony) deserves mention in an article like ours.
Artist Inspiration: Banksy
Folgers took a page out of the guerrilla marketing playbook with this optical illusion of street art. Passersby on this city street see what appears to be a coffee mug embedded into the ground, emitting steam in your direction as you pass. Anyone who had decided to go without their morning brew will no doubt second guess themselves once they encounter this ad.
Most marketing ploys are created to promote a product, but in some cases they can represent a cultural ideal. A prime example is the “Andre the Giant has a Posse” campaign. As racy as it is pervasive, the “Obey Giant” grassroots campaign began when a Rhode Island art student crafted a handful of stickers and started putting them up around Providence. Mirroring European propaganda posters, the stickers showed imagery of the professional wrestler Andre “The Giant” plus marketing messages that read “Obey” and “Andre the Giant Has A Posse.” The stickers’ message was unclear –and the artist accidentally created this guerrilla marketing campaign, marketing strategists applauded this for its portrayal of how marketing can sometimes be an accident. The stickers spread underground to major metropolitan areas and within a few years all over the world. The stickers are hip and cryptic, and they capitalize on the fact that most people think it’s cool to be part of something not everyone understands. These stickers force you to think… as the message is not easy to understand.
DDB China Group Shanghai, China and Alteco Super Glue attempts to prove a point about how strong their superglue campaign by portraying that the bridge is actually held up by super-glue.
Artist Inspiration: Jeff Koons
Unicef Finland wanted to create more awareness for children’s rights. There are more than 145 million orphans or abandoned children all over the world. They placed 14 baby strollers in major cities in Finland with the noise of a crying baby. Inside the the strollers there was a note with the following message: “Thank you for caring, we hope there is more people like you. Unicef Be a mom for a moment.” The media attention was huge for this campaign. All major TV networks, radio and web news reported about this. Estimated was that more than 80% of all Fins knew this campaign after two days.
Artist Inspiration: Mark Jenkins
EXERCISE 2: HISTORIAL CONTEXT – MEDIA ARCHEOLOGY
Research the history of the medium and practices with which your are working or the one identified in the research of your contemporaries. Find three different historical vectors.
- From that time forward, whenever any society had common knowledge and a sense of common interests, it made use of propaganda. And as early as the sixteenth century nations used methods that were somewhat like those of modern propaganda.
- In its origins “propaganda” is an ancient and honourable word. Religious activities which were associated with propaganda commanded the respectful attention of mankind. It was in later times that the word came to have a selfish, dishonest, or subversive association.
- World War I dramatised the power and triumphs of propaganda. And both fascism and communism in the postwar years were the centres of intense revolutionary propaganda. After capturing office, both fascists and communists sought to extend their power beyond their own national borders through the use of propaganda.
- Recent economic changes have expanded the volume of propaganda. Under the conditions of mass production and mass consumption, techniques of propaganda and public relations have been greatly developed to help sell commodities and services and to engender good will among consumers, employees, other groups, and the public at large.
TIMELINE OF PROPAGANDA
- The shift from simple products to brands has not been sudden or inevitable. You could argue that it grew out of the standardisation of quality products for consumers in the middle of the 20th century, which required companies to find a new way to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
- In the 1950s, consumer packaged goods companies like Procter and Gamble, General Foods and Unilever developed the discipline of brand management, or marketing as we know it today, when they noticed the quality levels of products being offered by competitors around them improve. A brand manager would be responsible for giving a product an identity that distinguished it from nearly indistinguishable competitors.
- In the 1950s and 1960s, brands like Tide, Kraft and Lipton excelled in marketing activities, setting the benchmarks for all brands today. This marked the start of almost 50 years of marketing where “winning” was determined by understanding the consumer better than your competitors and the getting the total “brand mix” right. The brand mix is more than the logo, or the price of a product. It’s also the packaging, the promotions, and the advertising, all of which is guided by precisely worded positioning statements.
- Targeted advertising didn’t really exist before the 70s, except perhaps by age and sex. and markets were segmented by demographics, if at all. But a new concept had already arisen from social scientists: psychographics. Psychographics changed everything by providing new ways to look at consumers and while at first ad agencies didn’t understand it, they quickly adopted it to keep their industry alive. It was something they could sell to brands.
INFOGRAPHIC OF THE HISTORY OF MARKETING/BRANDING/TARGET ADVERTISING
EXERCISE 3: THEORETICAL/CONCEPTUAL RESEARCH
Identify 5 academic papers related to your field using the Libraries search function or using google school scholar.
Guerrilla Marketing: The nature of the Concept and Propositions for further Research.
– Katharina Hutter and Stefan Hoffmann
Guerrilla Marketing: Innovation or Parasitic Marketing?
Effects of Guerrilla Marketing on Brand Equity
Guerrilla Advertisement and Marketing
-Ekrem Cetin Bigat
O Customer, Where Art Thou?
EXERCISE 4: MATERIAL RESEARCH
Given the results of the exercises above propose three experiments or explorations that you will enact as a program of creative material research over the next week.
- Exploring which art practices capture the audiences attention the most e.g. an unusually large object in a busy place, or a graffiti artwork, or a captivating poster etc.
- Research what products/companies would benefit from guerrilla marketing e.g. a non-profit organisation, or a large transnational corporation like Nike.
- Conduct a survey on the successfulness of visual communication and the memorability of an ad campaign.