Sunday, October 08, 2006
Must it be "live"?
On Saturday night this week I witnessed something interesting. It was the Live Billboard Project in San Francisco. It wasn't interesting because it was effective. It seemed to sell nothing more than the concept alone. What was interesting was that it arrested the attention of hundreds of people on Mission Street. When I came upon them, they were standing completely silent, staring up at the building. I wondered at first if there were a band performing on the roof, but I found that not to be the case. I'm all for performace art (not really) and for experimental advertising (if it sells). Calvin Klein did a live billboard about a year ago, and models danced around above their store in the clothes. That probably sold a few more clothes. But on Mission Street, the cafe scene meets gymnast act meets lack of purpose, seemed to mesmerize a group of people, again, to complete silence. The only sound beside the cars passing by was a man on the opposite corner telling everyone that the U.S. had too many ships in Iraq and we were headed for a nuclear war. A strange conversation in light of the billboard over his head claiming to sell a story of love and desire.