GRAFFITI IS ADVERTISING
via davetrott by Dave Trott on 8/23/11


Even people who aren’t remotely interested in it can name one graffiti artist.
Banksy.
This makes Banksy the market leader in graffiti.
Given that he owns the market, it makes sense for him to grow the market.
Consequently Banksy doesn’t just do graffiti anymore.
He does books, films, posters, T-shirts, anything he can think of.
And he brilliantly manipulates the media.
Banksy has moved beyond just graffiti, into the much larger field of general outrageousness.
He took an oil painting, similar to a Constable landscape, and painted an attack helicopter into it.
Then, while someone distracted the guard, he hung it in the Tate.
It was several days before the curators spotted it and took it down.
Then he went to The Museum of Natural History.
Next to the other exhibits he placed several dragonflies, with sidewinder missiles under their wings.
Again, it was weeks before anyone removed them.
Later he went to The British Museum and placed a piece of Stone Age cave painting on the wall.
Alongside the men chasing mammoths with spears, he’d put a woman pushing a shopping trolley.
All of these were photographed and in the newspaper well before they were discovered by the curators.
This is amazing publicity for Banksy.
Consequently he’s become bigger than just graffiti.
His art is now fashionable amongst the rich and famous.
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt own half a dozen Banksys.
Which is why a lot of ‘purist’ graffiti artists call him a sellout.
Because he’s moved beyond them.
Because he’s successful and they’re not.
But one particular graffiti artist is smarter than that.
’Robbo’ is using classic advertising thinking.
He’s decided to let Banksy grow the market, while he takes market share.
Instead of moaning about Banksy, just piggyback him.
He’s perfectly happy for Banksy to make more people aware of graffiti as art.
Meanwhile he’s manufactured a war between himself and Banksy.
He ‘claims’ Banksy defaced one of his pieces of graffiti.
This gives Robbo license to get even.
So he now defaces Banksy graffiti wherever he finds it.
Robbo paints his name into it.
People who previously only knew of Banksy have become fascinated.
This is classic Avis v Hertz, Pepsi v Coke, Mac v PC, thinking.
Create a two-brand battle in the public’s mind.
Go head to head with the market leader.
Provoke them and become a challenger brand in the public’s mind.
Then you blow off all the smaller brands in the market.
Consequently, gallery owners have contacted Robbo to stage exhibitions.
His work is now selling for serious money to collectors.
BBC4 even made a programme about the phenomenon.
It’s called Graffiti Wars.
In it, we find Camden council employs people just to remove graffiti.
But they were criticized for removing valuable Banksy graffiti.
Local residents feel a Banksy increases the cultural credibility of their area.
So when Robbo defaces a Banksy, the council have to remove Robbo’s graffiti, but leave the Banksy.
Sometimes they’ll even get an art expert to come round and inspect it.
He then retouches the Banksy back to its original condition.
Banksy is behaving like the market leader.
Robbo is behaving like the challenger brand.

Banksy and Robbo understand how advertising works, better than a lot of people who work in advertising.

Been away, I’m back.

February 5, 2012

No excuses, I neglected this blog. Not that I don’t have anything to say. I just moved my focus elsewhere. I realize that a blog is like a plant, it needs sunlight, water and nutrients (with a large dose of love) to exist and flourish. Finding a yellowed a dried out blog will force you to make decisions about what to do with it: whether to throw it out, look for any green life left in it, or walk away and feel no guilt.

I see some green. I have been at several conferences about the original topic and have received some very positive feedback from my presentations (sunlight, water and nutrients) and many times in the past I have bought house plants, goldfish and some ideas to life. This could be another time to perform some magic.

Today, with some help from a couple of sources, my daughter, Liz, who gave me this book as a gift and the author, David Lynch of Eraserhead, Twin Peaks fame. I usually read poetry and other short though provoking content before retiring for the night, good stuff to start off 6-7 hours of la-la land.

Ask the Idea

“The idea is the whole thing. If you stay true to the idea, it tells you everything you need to know, really. You just keep working to make it look like that idea looked, feel like it felt, sound like it sounded, and be the way it was. And it’s weird, because when you veer off, you sort of know it. You know when you’re doing something that is not correct because it feels incorrect. It says, “No, no; this isn’t like the idea said it was.” And when you’re getting into it the correct way, it feels correct. It’s an intuition: You feel-think your way through. You start one place, and as you go, it gets more and more finely tuned. But all along it’s the idea  talking. At some point, it feels correct to you. And you hope that it feels somewhat correct to others.”

From
Catching the Big Fish
Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity
by David Lynch
2006

I will check in regularly with this blog, so it can grow and soon have some flowers.