January 28, 2023

Graffiti in Advertising

I believe the youth of today are being subliminally forced to go out and artistically vandalize the city. This is because corporations in conjunction with the media are using graffiti to sell their products to impressionable youth and varying minorities. It has been shown in many ad campaigns that when targeting these demographics, ad agencies use a potent mix of hip hop music, “bling,” and graffiti art or lettering. I believe this is just as powerful as having Joe Camel selling smokes, but he was sent into early retirement long ago.

But the law doesn’t put you in jail for smoking or selling cigarettes, yet they will for carrying a marker or tagging a wall. I think we should start collecting every advertisement for clothing or cars or herbal tea that uses the image of graffiti to help sell their products. I think it is a valid defense that could be used in a court of law. If you want to add any images here’s the group on flickr.

Graffiti in Advertising

4 thoughts on “Graffiti in Advertising

  1. The way I see it is this: kids smoke to look cool or fit in, right? (Speaking in generalizations). Kids also will get drunk at a party so they look cool or fit in, correct? (Again, generalizations). Kids (teenagers, specifically) are in awkward states of mind and are trying to fit in somewhere and are trying to build up a reputation for themselves. They want to be cool and god knows how it started (my guess is the media) but smoking, drugs and alcohol became the ticket kids need to fit in and be “respected.” Now, how to market the crap to them? Seeing how being cool goes hand in hand with being edgy (the look and personality), why not market something and put an edge on it to make it look even cooler. Now, what’s edgy? Hmm…defacing things and going against the law by doing so seems pretty edgy, lets throw that into our ad campaign.

    I’m really good at reiterating things, huh? But pretty much, you’re right. Graffiti is used heavily in advertisements because big tobacco and alcohol companies (even cell phone companies for crying out loud) are driving their markets on teenage insecurities about being cool, calm, collected and fitting in. It’s pretty sad but who wouldn’t buy into that? When someone teases you with something that can fix one thing you’re insecure about, you’ll take it. And once you take it, you can’t really stop buying into it or you’ll be deemed a (oh-no) “poseur” which will do much more damage to the teenage morale than not fitting in in the first place.


    (By the way, that Camel ad is definitely promoting beastiality [camel and chicks] which is also illegal so yknow in case you wanted another lawsuit and all :] I would make a joke right now about how camel’s spit, but I’ll refrain)


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