Outdoor advertising has become unavoidable. Traditional billboards and transit shelters have cleared the way for more pervasive methods such as wrapped vehicles, sides of buildings, electronic signs, kiosks, taxis, posters, sides of buses, and more. In urban areas commercial content is placed in our sight and into our consciousness every moment we are in public space. Over time, this domination of the surroundings has become the “natural” state. Through long-term commercial saturation, it has become implicitly understood by the public that advertising has the right to own, occupy and control every inch of available space. The steady normalization of invasive advertising dulls the public’s perception of their surroundings, re-enforcing a general attitude of powerlessness toward creativity and change, thus a cycle develops enabling advertisers to slowly and consistently increase the saturation of advertising with little or no public outcry.
The Anti-Advertising Agency co-opts the tools and structures used by the advertising and public relations industries. Our work calls into question the purpose and effects of advertising in public space. Through constructive parody and gentle humor our Agency’s campaigns will ask passers by to critically consider the role and strategies of today’s marketing media as well as alternatives for the public arena. Our work will de-normalize “out-of-home” advertising and increase awareness of the public’s power to contribute to a more democratically-based outdoor environment.
Our work may result in traditional advertising formats – signs, posters, postcards, and stickers – or more conventional artistic formats – performance, installation, artists books – or some combination of the two.