Sunday, July 20, 2008

Graffiti-ing graffiti.

When I was a kid, Con Edison had a tagline on their trucks: Clean Energy. Kids would graffiti over that and turn it into "an orgy."

While living in Chicago in my late teens, there was a street gang called the Latin Eagles. They would scrawl their tag everywhere. I once saw one re-written and turned into Eaten Bagels.

I guess my point is a consumer control one. Once your message enters the world, it is no longer yours.


Tore Claesson said...

This one might be a tad hard to understand for those who don't speak Swedish.
the Swedish co-op stores are called Konsum,
Although highly popular with our severely left leaning parents they had got a little out of touch with the younger generation of consumers.
to repair this they put out an ad campaign, mainly outdoor, billboards, bus-stops etc.
they had assembled a group of young semi-hip pretty looking people. The idea was simple. Just a group photo and the line Konsumgänget. It means The Konsum Group (or the Konsum gang). If you say for example Volvogänget, eller Ikeagänget the meaning is that it's a group of friends of Volvo or Ikea. Or even better, a group that belongs to or are fans of the brands. If you say Rollingstonesgänget it may mean the whole group of people including Keef et al who is part of the whole thing around the stones as a business. It's rather unambiguous.
But when it comes to KONSUMGÄNGET something interesting happens. Add an umlaut over just one of the letters and the world takes on a completely different meaning. Ö instead of O.
könsumgänget. And suddenly it sexual intercourse.
Which of course was not lost on the gangs out there.
Again proving how totally out of touch Konsum had become. Two little graffiti dots making it all too clear.

Tore Claesson said...

sorry, word, not world