Appearing On A Wall Near You. If You’re Lucky.

The guerrilla street artist Banksy was here. Besides street art he once did a 3-day exhibition in LA featuring a life elephant in a room painted in a pink and gold wallpaper pattern.
The guerrilla street artist Banksy created this social and political commentary. Besides street art he once did an exhibition in LA featuring a live elephant in a room covered in a pink and gold wallpaper pattern.

It takes you by surprise. It engages you.

You’re drawn in.

It encourages you to inch forward with a growing curiosity.

It could make you smile and say ‘that’s terrific’ or maybe you’ll just say ‘wow’ .

It can be shocking,  funny,  militant, political.

It’s a Banksy artwork you suddenly discover on a wall in a public place.

As you probably know, a ‘Banksy’ is the work of the street artist who has kept his real identity under wraps .

His art is created with stencils so it can be executed quickly. Without the cops noticing. And without the artist being thrown in the clink.

So when you come upon it, it has something of the wonder of a crop circle that mysteriously appears in a farmer’s field.

Where did it come from, who put it there? Both questions occupy your mind.

The stencil quality gives the work an unmistakeable look with messaging that’s anti-war, anti-capitalist and anti-boring.

London, New York, Melbourne, the Palestinian territories, Disneyland …

Banksy’s work has popped up in more than a few places.

A frequent question about Banky's work is 'what's the price?' A few years back a piece sold for 288,000 Pounds Sterling. Small beer, really. Because a recently an Andy Warhol Coke bottle painting went for $57.3 million.
A frequently asked question about Banksy’s work is ‘what’s it worth?’ A few years back a piece sold for something like $437,000. Recently an Andy Warhol Coke bottle painting fetched $57.3 million.

As to the Disney visit, Banksy dressed an inflatable doll in an orange jump suit like a Guantanamo Bay prisoner.

He placed it in the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Ride to confront  those innocently enjoying the fun of Disney.

The penguin colony at London Zoo was another  target. He jumped the barrier and painted ‘We’re bored of fish’ in big letters.

Banksy’s wall spaces don’t just reflect the events of our times, you could say they  become part of them.

Each piece gives you the feeling you’re experiencing something new and different.

Which is why marketers might want to take note.

Banksy shows you how to get attention and make your messaging memorable.

Once you encounter a Banksy you don’t forget it.

After all, the surprise of running into one is a moving and emotional experience.

Of all the mediums available to marketers, outdoor ads rate high when it comes to surprising people.

This LEGO image should stick with you and take up permanent residence in your memory. In a fact-based world this little bit of whimsy is welcome, isn't it?
This LEGO image should stick with you and take up permanent residence in your memory. In a world of data-based marketing this little bit of whimsy is welcome, wouldn’t you say?

No doubt you’ve seen strong outdoor work, like the LEGO crane pictured here.

The thing is, ad agency creatives could do more to bring greater surprise value to other channels.

Like video, web, Intranet, social media, emails, mobile, commercials, print, newsletters, blogs, trade shows and more.

Content could also stand improvement as there’s more than a bit of boredom online. Have you noticed?

Each medium has its opportunities when it comes to going beyond predictable solutions to stop people.

So then, how do we ensure creative work is the opposite of a yawn? How do we develop it to go beyond safe options that are often drab, inert and expected?

To encourage your agency to think further here are two words … as Banksy might have written them.

‘_____  ____________’.

They’re in invisible ink. But seen in the right light the message becomes clear.

‘Be Surprising.’

Share with us. Tell us how you go about creating better work. The kind of messaging that can stop people and lead to the moment someone buys. Leave your comment below. Thanks for reading, Steve Ulin







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