Thursday, October 30, 2008


From this....

To this!

Consumer discontent... it's nothing new...There's a whole lotta lovers out there and the yang of this means there's a going to be as many haters who have been defacing and bitching about brands since jesus was a boy. Still, there's no doubt consumers have found a louder voice than ever and are not afraid to use it in as many creative and interesting ways as advertisers can and do.

Trendwatching call this Transparency Tyranny:

Old economy fog is clearing: no longer can incompetence, below-par performance, ignored global standards, anti-social & anti-eco behavior, or opaque pricing be obscured. In its place has come a transparent, fully informed marketplace, where producers have no excuse left to underperform. TRANSPARENCY TYRANNY for some, TRANSPARENCY TRIUMPH for others

First there was Adbusters who have been challenging the old model of 'brand as dictator' since 1989.... today this style of anti-advertising or SUBERVERTISING can be seen through the likes of Banksy not to mention the millions of blogs and forums and ratings systems such as Amazon,,, etc etc

So naturally these are great places for like minded anti-brand/ Naomi klein lovers to congregate and share their views but... getting these subversive messages out to the broader community is happening through interesting and frankly very humorous means.

Let me introduce you to the Billboard Liberation Front (BLF) who are 'marketing for the people' and believe in 'establishing a new paradigm in street marketing'. They actually have more than a 30 year history but undoubtedly the WWW is giving them a bigger, stronger and more global voice. It's worth a visit to their site if not for their comical and undoubtedly genuine list of employees to read their manifesto which states that:

Each time you change the Advertising message in your own mind, whether you climb up onto the board and physically change the original copy and graphics or not, each time you improve the message, you enter in to the High Priesthood of Advertisers

A subvert according to Adbusters "mimics the look and feel of the targeted ad, promoting the classic double take as viewers suddenly realize they have been duped. Subverts create cognitive dissonance. It cuts through the hype and glitz of our mediated reality and, momentarily, reveals a deeper truth within...'

This creates a great debate about the importance of brand truthfulness and transparency and acknowledging that you can't ignore your brand's dark side. Every brand has one... have you had a conversation about yours lately?

Also just stumbled across this one too.. but if you are a little sensitive to the above image, don't click through...!

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