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Banksy has commented on advertising and, unsurprisingly, it’s a fairly negative comment.

However, I like the idea of people taking/re-arranging and re-using… probably just an effect born of working on social campaigns and a desire to see people respond, react, reply. But I know what I’m hoping for and what Banksy’s suggesting are two different things.

Banksy loves the act of subversion and social commentary. He, is using art to highlight a point of view on capitalism, government, war, poverty, commercialism, sex, and more. This manifesto is written with the goal of inspiring people to attack the establishment – including marketing – at least, that’s what I’m presuming. After all, some of his art (allegedly), has been a very direct subversion of advertising. The below being one of the pieces that sprung up in LA while he was in town for his movie. Funny, still, but more aggressive – you have to wonder how he managed to do it, though – that’s a big picture to get up without anyone noticing – jet lag, maybe? You’re up 8 hours too early!

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Tenuous link time…

Personally, I love the idea that we (in the wider marketing community) don’t take our properties too seriously. I like Banksy’s ideal in the context of people doing something clever with them. Banksy has subverted corporate icons (and the police) for years. But he does it cleverly… and he does it with a sense of humour. So it’s pointed but not crass. Some of his famous works include very branded icons and gain their power/impact from that. Often, the point he’s making is NOT one that the brand owners would like (see one example below!), but they are clever. The real question is whether “no PR is bad PR” applies or not – could it be that the power of the icons becomes a corroboration of the power of that brand? And are there more positive ways to play with icons if corporations/marketeers are willing to cede control of some iconic properties?

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