Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Rethinking Visual Ads - Documenatary This Space Available

On the surface, a person (such as myself) who earns a living by understanding and leveraging branding (all types - marketing, publicity, advertising) who posts a documentary trailer speaking out against visual advertising might seem. . . well, wrong.  Or intellectually dishonest (as my brother often says).  I would say it is not wrong, and in fact it (an evaluation of visual clutter, urban culture and environment, and responsibility) should be at the top of all of our branding-machine minds.  This Space Available (screening tonight at the New York Documentary Film Fest) evaluates how commercial messages are overpowering public spaces, and the grassroots movement to take back our skylines and public spaces.  It begs the questions, are we all consumers all the time?  I hope not, though frankly, in the era we live in, I'm unsure. . . From a branding perspective, less more valuable space would potentially increase creativity and make each brand experience more meaningful . . . from a collective human experience perspective, I think less clutter is essential to giving my child (and all kids) room to breath and learn. . . and ultimately make their own decisions.  Marketing blaspheme, you say?  Well, brands that matter (or that move the fastest with cash) will make the most of it, and others will get scrappy and find new channels. . . but perhaps our urban experience can and should be about just that. . . a walk to work, and cab ride to the airport, and an uncluttered skyline of possibilities that we have to imagine, not the marketers.

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