A New Brand Of Graffiti.

Following recent events in Paris security for the United Nations summit on climate change is even tighter than it would be for most gatherings of world leaders. That’s meant a clampdown on protests of any kind…or almost any kind. The protests done by Brandalism, an “anti-advertising” group that started replacing real advertisements with more challenging ones during the London Olympics, has continued in Paris. Is it graffiti? Is it art? I tend to use pretty broad definitions for both. And even if I didn’t I have to say given the recent revelations about Volvo this one just makes me laugh.

If it were a genuine Volvo ad it would be a case of honest advertising.

Edit: As Gilly Madison and Ann Koplow have pointed out the ad punctures Volkswagen. Volvo is just one of Volkswagen’s brands caught up in the diesel emissions scandal. I’m sorry for the error and really appreciate their catch.

Source: Brandalism

Source: Brandalism

 

6 Comments

  1. Gilly Maddison

    What’s Volvo done? Have they been stealing Volkswagen’s ideas? Our VW sits on the drive with an air of guilt about it. Re your question, I think this Brandalism of which you speak is art – a bit like Andy Wharhol’s soup tin pictures but with a point.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I made a mistake and said “Volvo” when I meant “Volkswagen”. Thank you for catching it. I’m really not sorry I got caught, especially since Volvos are made by Volkswagen, and it’s also a good reminder to check my facts.

      Reply
  2. Ann Koplow

    Honestly, Chris, I think you meant to write “Volkswagen,” not “Volvo.” Volvo, as far as I know, hasn’t been engaging in nefarious practices like Volkswagen did. If they do, I can now depend upon Brandalism and you to let me know.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I did mean to write “Volkswagen”. Even though Volvo is a VW brand and the investigation has recently expanded to include it among others I didn’t know that at the time. Thank you for the correction. I’m really not sorry to have been caught in an error.

      Reply
  3. Margot

    I’ve seen this before and I love it. Of course, I didn’t know about Brandalism until I read this. Because of your seemingly endless supply of facts and historical tidbits I automatically assumed I’d missed something when you identified it as Volvo instead of Volkswagen. See what you’ve done to me? I was certain it was Volkswagen that cheated on their emissions, but you had me doubting myself! I even waited for someone else to comment first so as not to embarrass myself.

    Anyway, I think I’d call this political art. It does deface the advertisement, but it’s also hysterically accurate.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Hopefully you’ll never doubt yourself again, and I’ve learned an important lesson in fact-checking before I hit “Publish”.
      There’s also Adbusters which is a Canadian group that’s more traditional in their means–they place real “ads” rather than supplanting existing ones. I like calling this political art too. Stendahl said, “Politics in a literary work, is like a gun shot in the middle of a concert, something vulgar, and however, something which is impossible to ignore.” Given recent events I think that should be revised to “Politics in art is better than a gun shot in the middle of a concert, vulgar, but the only harm it will ever do is to opinions.”

      Reply

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