PARIS IS BURNING

I just have to share this bit of guerrilla activism…The BBC reports that:

Hundreds of Paris Hilton albums have been tampered with in the latest stunt by “guerrilla artist” Banksy.

Banksy has replaced Hilton’s CD with his own remixes and given them titles such as Why am I Famous?, What Have I Done? and What Am I For?

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He has also changed pictures of her on the CD sleeve to show the US socialite topless and with a dog’s head.

A spokeswoman for Banksy said he had doctored 500 copies of her debut album Paris in 48 record shops across the UK.

She told the BBC News website: “He switched the CDs in store, so he took the old ones out and put his version in.”

But he left the original barcode so people could buy the CD without realizing it had been interfered with.

Finally, guerrila activism for something good, for something that actually improves the world! All joking aside, I have to wonder how brands can prevent such consumer “activism” in the future.

But the punchline to this story is precious: According to a spokesman at Virgin Megastores, “no customers had complained or returned a doctored version.”

Ha! I love it. The fake version may prove to be better than the original. In fact, I can pretty much guarantee it. Again, there’s a lesson in there for marketers: what happens when your altered brands are worth more than than the original? What happens when a consumer-generated tweaking of a product is better than the product itself? And how valuable is the action of altering it in itself?

2 comments

  1. That’s simply hilarious!
    As far as ‘preventing’ such actions, isn’t the CD normally inserted at the counter? I know that in Belgium, all sleeves are empty and CD’s are inserted by the staff of the store when you’re paying.
    Such actions would therefor not be possible here, thus they are prevented. Changing the front image or the booklet would never go unnoticed, unless the staff is into the deal, or the guerrilla artist works at the store.

  2. I can see why people aren’t returning them…there going for over 600$ on ebay.

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