Urban Décor Pt 3... Guerrilla marketing, a cheep and effective alternative

You may not realise but the dark streets of London are littered with some of the worlds most cutting edge and ingenious marketing campaigns. Stencils, billposters and general scrawl are being used to sell products or raise a public profile, in some cases very effectively.

You only have to look at the money behind some of the brands turning up on street corners and street signs to realise this is no longer only the work of kids with too much time on their hands. These are big businesses that have recognised the impact guerrilla marketing can have on creating brand awareness.

The most recent example to be seen on the streets of the East End of London are stencils of a Zeppelin with the word ‘Mothership’ emblazoned across it. To those that know this is advertising the new album from Led Zeppelin, and to those that don’t this creates a certain intrigue and awareness that Atlantic Records hope will boost sales amongst a younger generation of music fans. My point is this is not a small back street company that has employed these techniques and Led Zeppelin are not a bunch of ‘wannabe’s’, these are big names utilising urban art as part of a high profile campaign.

Some, of course are not big businesses and do not have a capitalist agenda. They just want to spread a message or an ethos and are utilising the best cost effective methods available that can reach the widest possible audience. Some of these are even global movements expanding their cause (quite strategically) by using guerrilla marketing techniques.

Artwork by Shepherd Fairy AKA Obey

Obey is a great example of this. Obey is the brainchild of Shepard Fairy and is a regular feature on the streets of some of the worlds major cities. He explains his work as “an experiment in Phenomenology” with one of the aims being to “awaken ones sense of wonder about their surroundings“. He says of his work; “The Obey campaign attempts to stimulate curiosity and bring people to question both the campaign and their relationship with their surroundings. Because people are not used to seeing advertisements or propaganda for which the motive is not obvious, frequent and novel encounters with Obey propaganda provokes thought and possible frustration, nevertheless revitalizing the viewers perception and attention to detail”.

Artwork by Shepherd Fairy AKA Obey

Whether or not you agree with the point the is trying to make or the methods he is employing you have to admire the sheer scale of his work. Much of it is also very attractive and really does brighten up some of the dingiest London streets. I have taken many shots of Obey’s and other guerrilla media campaigns, some of which I have posted here and on my portfolio. To be honest some of them I love, some I hate, some I understand and some, well, I have no idea what their rhyme or reason is! They come in many forms with many points to make on many levels from the blatantly obvious to the completely surreal, the commercial to anti-capitalistic, the humorous to political. I’ll let you make up your own minds!

Please feel free to comment, I’d like to hear your opinions on the subject

Ben AKA Redtempa

Journal Comments

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