Monday, August 30, 2010

Crossroads graffiti vandalized by mysterious advertising

Posted By on Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 3:37 PM

click to enlarge Edgy? Not so much
  • Edgy? Not so much

Graffiti is obviously not discouraged in the alleys that branch northward from West 18th Street between Baltimore Avenue and Wyandotte Street. These walls have been splashed and coated again and again by spray-can artists (with varying degrees of talent) for a decade, at least.

Advertising agencies commonly co-opt street art for the commercial interests of their clients. Now, an ad has shown up on a wall typically reserved for street artists. The question is: What the hell is it for?

Google tells me that the slogan, "Everybody's

getting it," was used in ads for Juno

internet services in 1999. Which was ... a long time ago.

I e-mailed a photo of the wall to Peregrine Honig, local celebrity and panty purveyor at Birdies, 116 West 18th Street, and asked, "Do you know what this ad is for?" She replied, "Herpes?"

A friend who works at Barkley, the advertising company that occupies the TWA Building just one block east of the alley on West 18th, didn't recognize the ad, either.

Obscurity is not exactly the hallmark of effective campaigning. But then again, I'm writing about it on a blog. Maybe it's all part of the ad's guerrilla-marketing genius, and soon the truth will be revealed?

A larger view
  • A larger view
I called Penny Jackson at Kenton Brothers Inc., the security business at 1718 Baltimore whose rear end sports the graffiti in question. Jackson says she doesn't know who is responsible for the new, corporate-looking mural, but she has a guess.

Two weeks ago, Jackson says, someone from the offices at 1800 Baltimore inquired about covering up the graffiti on the Kenton Brothers' building, leaving it as a blank wall. Jackson says, "I guess they don't care for it (the graffiti). We don't care, either way." (Jackson says that she personally thinks it's cool artwork, and makes sense in the Crossroads Arts District.)

Jackson thought the painting offer came from Avid Communications, but the receptionist  there reported back that the business' owners have no knowledge of a plan to paint the alley, nor do they know anything about the ad.

My last inquiry was to Brad Nicholson, whose development company leases several Crossroads properties, including 1800 Baltimore (as well as The Pitch's building). He replied via e-mail, "I have no idea, but I'm sure whatever it is, I am not getting 'it,' or at least not in the recommended quantities!"

If anyone does know what "it" is, e-mail me or take your best guess in the comments.

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