No Logo!

Naomi Klein and Reverend Billy are two of my favorite voices in addressing the commoditization and mass marketing of culture. Now I must add the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo to that list.

Sao PauloAs of January 1st this year, (2007) a city ordinance outlawed outdoor advertising. The ban affects signs, billboards, sides of taxis and buses and even regulates logos or emblems on sides of buildings. As you can imagine, advertisers were up in arms.. but had no option to comply with the new law.

On a recent NPR feature, Sao Paulo residents voiced their opinions and surprisingly enough, the majority interviewed embraced the move. Hmmmmmm………

Being an advertising, design and brand professional, I see this from a unique perspective. I recognize the inherent challenges from a brand manager’s point of view and am actually surprised at my own feelings. I genuinely would welcome this as a challenge to create new and effective channels of brand awareness and brand experience. Secretly, I would actually welcome the peace that Sao Paulo residents must feel as the landscape is stripped from the customary barrage of images and messaging. In fact, I issue a challenge to any American city to follow suit.

(Not gonna happen, I’m afraid.)

Take a glance at these flickr photos of the ad- free skyline for inspiration. I find the collection, as a whole quite powerful. Can you imagine how Manhattan’s skyline may look like under the same circumstances?

In a world of over saturation, this is truly refreshing….

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