advertising by not advertising

The world consists of advertising, marketing, money-making. Well the mayor of Sao Paulo, Brasil, had enough and banned all billboards in his city!! Check this  ad by Sky Movies depicting this reality:

Think of all the messages that are driven into your head every day you go to work, return from work, at work even (radio), its just non stop advertising madness. Now imagine if it were all taken down. You probably would start notice the architecture in your city a bit more (or lack of ). Watching that film to me was just so refreshing, because there is a price to pay for all this distraction – you are to some extent a product of your environment.  For Sao Paulo it reached a point that billboards were labeled visual pollution.

Many of the advertising biggies in the film Art & Copy called certain advertisements done well to be considered art. I agree certain ones are awesome. They can change your perception of something and make you like something even more.  But when is too much too much?

The other thing to question is do billboards even work anymore? Old marketing was pushing business on people. I argue it doesn’t work as much anymore. Just like you can’t buy friends, I don’t think buying billboards can buy customers.  It has to be something that people care about.

We have to stop adding to the clutter and if not try to make it something more. There is a billboard in South Africa, advertising a bank – where electric solar panels are on top of the billboard and are literally providing electricity to a school. NOW that stands out and it’s actually meaningful.  Advertising done to do more good in this world.