New York Daily Photo Analytics

Friday, November 16, 2007

Advertising Gone Wild

New York City has always been a place where commerce and advertising have been prominent in the landscape - Times Square is a good example. However, the combination of digital technology (with the ability to print enormous signs on vinyl) and the lure of advertising revenue has taken it to new heights with building walls in the city being blanketed by ad murals, not to mention advertising in a myriad of other variations - newsboxes, ads projected on streets etc. What the smug New Yorker always saw as a blighted feature of the suburbs, and believing that the sophisticated culture of NYC provided immunity from the same, has now become a prominent feature of the city. Commercial interests are relentless and tenacious, however, and keeping them in check requires, if I may borrow from the ACLU motto, eternal vigilance. Commerce usually wins - even in France, Apple Computer managed to hang Think Different banners, featuring Gustave Eiffel and Pablo Picasso, on the facade of the Louvre. The Gap ad in this photo hangs on Houston Street, a few blocks from The Wall, which I wrote about previously. Houston Street is ideal for this type of ad - the street is heavily trafficked and has many large building facades. What surprises me most is that in many cases these murals are placed over apartment windows, obstructing views and light (in some cases you see cutouts for the windows). But alas, the issue of billboards is not new. I ran across this article in the New York Times which I thought was recent: BILLBOARD COMMISSION ADVISES DRASTIC REFORMS; Fire Hazard Is Increased, Real Estate Values Depreciated, and the Beauty of the City Marred, It Reports, by Many of the Big Signs and Their Structures.
Date of article: 1914 ...

Related Postings: Big and Beautiful?, Manhattan Mural, The Wall

8 comments:

llawrat said...

Great illustration and comment on this new wave of commerical promotion

Lucy said...

Ads gone wild indeed, it's like that guy with the topless girls on tv, only topless girls on ads on the sides of buildings. Well, at least these girls are getting paid and treated with more respect. Terrible tho, about those folks whose windows are covered over like that. The ads are interesting and usually depict very attractive people/scenarios, but everything is a sales pitch -- the automatic reaction is you learn to tune it out even if it's ten stories tall looming over your head...

Anne Corrons said...

It lokks great on your pictures. I love these huge ad!

claudine said...

Je n'arrive pas à imaginer que cette pub couvre les fenêtres ! Elle laisse peut-être passer la lumière !

Waldo Oiseau said...

I must say, but that would suck if it was your window that got covered on a regular basis! I wonder if you get a discount on rent. :)

Ann (MobayDP) said...

Maybe they pay the apartment owners a substantial sum to cover their wondows like that?

I must confess that this kind of advertising d=is eye catching...and so accomplishes the purpose. I just went to GAP to see what this ad was all about! :-/

Abraham Lincoln said...

It is a really nice ad but I don't much like it on the side of the building. The theory being, I suppose, bigger is better.

Anonymous said...

Having worked in a loft in downtown Manhattan, I know that some windows are called "lot line" and are not considered windows(I know, sounds crazy--unless the law has changed)--they can build a building right up to your windows--legally. This may be the case with the advertising that covers windows. Only in NYC.