Adbusters is at it again. In response to what they claim are illegal outdoor ad placements in New York City, a group of them painted over the ads with "delete" keys:
(By the way, I stole the image from their blog. I figure they'd appreciate the irony.)
While this culture jamming is intended to "air our grievances in the court of public opinion and witness our communities regain control of the space they occupy”, the people most interested in their work are probably the admen themselves.
In just about any agency creative department you walk in to, you'll find a copy of Adbusters Magazine lying around. While anarchists may gleefully imagine the headaches and outrage they're causing a bunch of suits on Madison Avenue, the reality is that working ad people are actually pretty subversive too. Anti-corporate culture-jamming may be one of the biggest inspirations for more and more intrusive traditional advertising and guerrilla campaigns.
One of my favourites of these was John St.'s campaign for Girl Guides that used fake sexy ads in magazines with a sticker apparently slapped over it saying "why girls need guides".
This latest culture jam was pretty cool. I'm already thinking about how I can do something like that for one of my clients.