“Pooliticizing” on the streets of California

24 10 2008

In light of the upcoming election, I thought I would discuss the grassroot politicizing that has begun to creep into the advertising mainstream. One “movement” in particular caught my eye as both disturbing and creative. Venice artist, designer and activist Greg Beauchamp decided to take to the streets adorning dog feces with his opinions of John McCain’s proposed policies on the economy,  foreign policy  and how he feels about McCain’s campaign tactics.

Greg Beauchamp - Political Opinion

Greg Beauchamp - Political Opinion

I won’t argue with the creative, albeit unconventional, method Beauchamp chose to get his feelings across to the general public. As a matter of fact, I audibly laughed when I first saw the image of a little pile of dog poo with a mini sign in it.

After I stopped laughing, I realized his method proves nothing but the fact that there are stinky political extremists on both sides. Beauchamp chose to stoop to a new low in political advertising, and however ingenious the idea may be, I find it to be irresponsible both from an environmental and a political standpoint.

From an environmental standpoint he chose to litter the public sidewalks. Some could also argue that his advertising method would encourage others to leave their dog poo behind in hopes that it would be used for future “pooliticizing,” leading to an even larger and potentially stinkier problem. The political standpoint is obvious. Both camps have had their fair share of low jabs, either directly from their camps or from the extremists that have taken to the streets in support of their candidate. This kind of behavior only encourages more of the same from the other camp.

As a designer, I always enjoy out-of-the-box creativity, but this may have gone just a little too far outside of the box for me. After my initial reaction, I was a little disgusted.

What do you think?

Click here to view more pictures of Greg Beauchamp’s “pooliticizing”

Allison Stulpin
Graphic Designer

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Gold Medal Opportunities

15 08 2008

Allison Stulpin
astulpin@igpr.com

There is little doubt in my mind that many Americans have spent the last week at work in a blurry-eyed state due to the Olympic games, and who can blame them? With athletes like Michael Phelps, Nastia Liukin, Kerri Walsh and Tyson Gay, it’s likely that if you’re not watching you will be missing the latest record being pulverized or a come-from-behind victory accomplished with a fingertip by the best in their sport.

With all of this viewing comes prime opportunity for advertisers to push their products and peddle their services to the blurry-eyed masses through traditional avenues, but with a twist. While Americans are used to the media blitzkrieg that occurs during special events like the Superbowl and the Olympics, the Chinese are not. Despite being listed in the number two spot for the largest advertising markets, China is virtually untouched by Western product placement, and this makes the Chinese market the gold medal of advertising opportunities.

Dick van Motman, the chief executive of the Chinese division of DDB Worldwide, believes that in order for global companies to succeed they must “reinforce their image; align themselves with the China dream; and align with China entering the world stage.” Pepsi heeded this and seized on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Pepsi began its commercial blitz in China months before the opening ceremonies, and like many advertisers looking to flatter their hosts, Pepsi rolled out its limited edition “Go Red for China” pop cans’ advertisement. While this ad played to the pride of China’s people, it also pushed the product into a fresh market of willing consumers, catapulting Pepsi’s global status as well as its economic projections.

Pepsi was not the only company to heed van Motman’s statement, and a slew of ads have made their debut in a country ripe for this infusion of western-style product placement with a Chinese flare. I have included a few ads below for your viewing pleasure. Happy viewing!

McDonalds  – Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
Coca Cola 2008 Olympic Yao Ming Torch Relay TV commercial
Olympics Visa TV Commercial





The Art of Politics – a la CafePress.com

28 07 2008

If you are an American, you have probably been bombarded with more than your fair share of political propaganda this election season. With all of the political debates, town hall meetings and breaking political news stories, the design of the supporting collateral materials is often largely ignored. This is the case, unless of course you are a designer who works with an assortment of politically minded professionals, all with an eye for political design.

I’ll be honest. It wasn’t until recently that I took a look at how design, specifically t-shirts, drives a political campaign, and this election season has been one of the most interesting, thanks in part to CafePress.com.

CafePress.com empowers its users by allowing them to create, buy and sell customized merchandise online using the company’s unique print-on-demand and e-commerce services. These services allow each storeowner the flexibility to create custom designs or even design on the fly with the potential to substantially increase their profitability. It is this flexibility that opens the proverbial can of worms when it comes to the latest in political t-shirts. Storeowners are given the ability to drive their personal message home to millions of people about a particular candidate, and this means that as an individual, you are no longer hard pressed to find a t-shirt with just the political message you are looking for.

I believe even the hardcore political junkies will have a hard time saying that there is no value in the political t-shirt after viewing the 285,000 political designs and 7,800,000 political products on CafePress.com. Young people in particular are flocking to CafePress.com to choose the perfect political t-shirt so as not to fall behind in the latest fashion trend while keeping a careful eye on how their t-shirt might impact their friend’s views on the upcoming election.

Whether you are a conservative, liberal or somewhere in between there is bound to be the perfect t-shirt for you. Keep in mind, the latest fashion trend is also declaring a message and influencing the political realm like never before. And if this is news to you, it’s time to climb out of your cave and take a look around at the latest fashion trend hitting the streets, as it just may impact who our next leader will be.

Allison Stulpin
astulpin@igpr.com