While I am not condoning the methodology of the group known as the “Billboard Liberation Front” (BLF) (essentially it is vandalism) there is something interesting about their method of “deconstructing” the marketing machine (sorry fans of Mad Men). This group goes to various company billboard ads altering them to tell a message that they think is the “real” message of the company. Here are some examples:
The first ad is for the liquor brand Stella Artois. The man looks at an attractive woman (because alcoholic beverages and beautiful people go together…naturally) and the original caption says, “She is a thing of beauty“. The BLF removed “of beauty” to expose the objectification of the woman in the ad. Now it says, “She is a thing.”
In the second ad Wachovia bank tried to tell people that by giving them their money the consumer could “Watch your little ones grow”. BLF added some flame to the money and reworded the ad to “Watch your little ones
The last one is a McDonalds ad exposing the alien nature of the food they feed us. Very clever.
While their methods may be suspect I think their agenda is correct: we must deconstruct ads (especially during this time of the year)! We all fall prey to them at times, but we are likely going to be better off when we realize the world they are trying to sell us is not real.