By Dan Stankus
Along the lines of Adbusters, some may consider the work of street artist and political activist Banksy to be anti-advertising. Ultimately, it probably is, as the anonymous Brit often uses graffiti and film, like Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010), to show how people can use “guerilla warfare” against the government, corporations, and the like. He fundamentally opposes capitalism, an environment in which advertising thrives, but his style of making people feel and think is still relevant to the field.
Guerilla advertising, while not a new concept, is becoming more mainstream. Now, would a guerilla campaign be effective for a massive business? Perhaps. But I picture more grassroots organizations utilizing this much cheaper form of getting messages out. It takes just a simple picture that makes one think differently to start a trend. Often times, these pictures will end up online and cause a stir – the ideal outcome for any ad campaign.
Banksy’s new documentary airs on HBO this coming Monday, the 17th. For one month, Banksy created a new piece in New York everyday and this film will chronicle the art and the results.
There is something to be learned in this. Advertising can be art, it can make you act, and it can change the way you think, much like Banksy aims to do.