In talking about a 50 Cent poster that has not yet been touched by the effort, Adrants points to an incredibly interesting campaign by New York-based art director and designer Ji Lee called The Bubble Project.
The idea is simple, yet totally ingenious. Lee printed 15,000 blank dialogue bubble stickers, which are placed over ad posters and outdoor ads throughout the city. Consumers use the blank bubbles to write in their own statements about the ad, or quite literally, put words into celebrities’ mouths.
The manifesto (do all movements have to have manifestos?) spells out the projects goals, and in doing so, presents a cynical media and advertising lansdcape for the consumer. More importantly, it announces and empowers the emergence of a new consumer that is no longer conditioned with a one-way dialogue with marketer, and one that is mroe than willing to talk back.
“Our communal spaces are being overrun with ads….Once considered public, these spaces are increasingly being seized by corporations to propogate their messages solely in the interest of profit. Armed with heavy budgets, their marketing tactics are becoming more and more aggressive and manipulative. We the public are both target and victim of this media attack.
The Bubble Project is the counterattack. The Bubbles are the ammunition. Once placed on ads, these stickers transform the corporate monologue into an open dialogue. They encourage anyone to fill them in with any form of self expression, free from censorship.
More Bubble mean more freed spaces, more sharing of personal thoughts, more reactions to current events, and most importantly, more imagination and fun.”
We as marketers need to recognize these reclamation “projects” as early manifestations of consumer revolt. Pure and simple, something like the Bubble Projects — as silly as it may seem to P&Gs CEO — will be the downfall of any company which fails to read the writing on the wall.
The revolution begins to gain steam when the public begins to sense that it can get away with chipping away at the foundations of the status quo.
These Bubbles are small hammer taps, which can soon turn into sledgehammers and wrecking balls, against the wall of ad overkill and impersonal, non-experiential marketing like outdoor ads and posters.