Another Artsy Advert

For whatever reason, I admire this ad from Puebla, México.

Another ad to be filed under the "art or advertising" discussion.  Puebla, México.

Another ad to be filed under the "art or advertising" discussion. Puebla, México.

 

México, D.F.

Mexican Storefronts, Art, and Commercialism

Continuing in the theme of public art, I wanted to post a few pictures of storefronts, several from Mexico City and others from Tijuana, Xalapa, and Nativitas.  While public art may not be the first thought that most of us have when thinking about storefronts and advertising, they really are very closely related: both use graphic displays and text to convey a message and, similarly, affect the thoughts and experience of their audience.  Art can be commercial, just as the David LaChapelle billboard shows (see prior post), so why can’t advertising be art?

Ruta 61 in Mexico City

Ruta 61 in Mexico City uses several "border crossing" themes (and loudly offers no cover for ladies on Thursdays).

Of course, there’s much more going on in these pictures than just art and advertising.  The “Tacos McTeo” and “Taco Bells” both show — very directly — the use of gimmicks and U.S. themes in advertising to attract both Mexican customers and American visitors.  More subtly, the Chilango bar “Ruta 61” is not only named after the rock-famous U.S. highway (61?!?), but uses English language in its advertising.  Then there’s Nike, which has housed itself in a spectacular storefront in the centro historico and blends commercialism/branding (both art) with the tiled architectural elements of the classically-designed structure.  Finally, the last two, Serpico and the dental office, have their motifs painted directly on to the building’s face, a form of signage that exemplifies creativity and is popular in a country where many buildings have stucco facades and the labor required for custom paint jobs is inexpensive.

 

México, D.F.

David LaChapelle and Dos Equis

David LaChapelle currently has an exhibition of his work here at the Museo Antiguo Colegio de San’Ildefonso in Centro Historico area of Mexico City (haven’t seen the exhibition, so no comments). In conjunction with the show, Dos Equis commissioned LaChapelle to create an advertisement for them, which was subsequently placed on buildings throughout the city. The massive ad is quite eye-catching, even if only for the size, alone.

Building-sized David LaChapelle ads for Dos Equis have been all over Mexico City.

Building-sized David LaChapelle ads for Dos Equis have been all over Mexico City.

 

México, D.F.

Using Children in Creepy Ads

Every society has its own cultural standards for the types of advertising that not only catch peoples’ attention but incite them to buy.  In Mexico, babies — accentuated for “cuteness,” of course — are a common theme in advertising.  They certainly are attention grabbers and must have drawing power.  Though, I must admit, sometimes these “baby-ads” really creep me out.

This ad creeps me out... wink wink, nudge nudge.  Puebla, México.

This ad creeps me out... wink wink, nudge nudge. Puebla, México.

 

México, D.F.

Advertising in the Metro

As part of my daily commute, I pass though several metro stations, which, like most of those in the rest of the world, are full of commercial advertisements.  Like much of the culture in México, I find the style of advertising to be very foreign… different.  I’m not sure whether it’s a good-different, or a bad-different, but it’s definitely different.

For example, there’s this one billboard in Tacubaya for a cold medication that is “inconveniently rapid.”  I’m not sure what that really means… but my imagination is full of some very un-pretty images!

 

What would make it inconvenient?

What would make it inconvenient?

 

And then there are these public service announcement posters….

If that red is meant to suggest that the bear is bleeding… well, that’s really inconvenient!

 

México, D.F.

Part Time Job

For the last week, one of the (many) pharmacies by my house has been advertising.  A man, presumably, dressed inside a cartoonish pharmacist costume, has stood out in front.  Two large speakers are built into the back of the costume and the guy stands there, bobbing up and down, to a rhythmic and repetitive “doot doot doot.”  It’s not plugged in, so he must carry a battery with him, too.  The costume’s movement was so mechanical (literally a bob up and down), at first I thought it was a machine.  I mean, who would wear a heavy, hot costume like that?!?   But then I saw some lady step out of a car and give the costume a peck on the cheek, a traditional Mexican greeting.

An advertisement for the pharmacy

An advertisement for the pharmacy

 

México, D.F.