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Black building at night time with windows illuminated. Line art drawing.The Crudest Form of Advertising by Stuart McMillen. Parody of album cover of Low angle of young man on bicycle in downtown city. Have you ever thought about the audacity of billboard advertising? Billboards are the crudest form of advertising imaginable. They try to convert us into customers…...by simply making their message as close to unavoidable as possible. Low angle shot of office buildings in Sydney, with prominent billboards.Cartoon of city street scene with pedestrians on footpath. There’s something outrageous about the sheer lack of sophistication on display. The logic is knuckle-draggingly primitive: “If we make our sign as big as possible, surely they will buy our product!”Rear view of cyclist with backpack looking at large billboard signs. And so, our field of vision gets invaded.Cartoon of pedestrians walking in front of a building dominated by large billboards.Comic of walking man with backpack turning head to look at something over his shoulder. All of those months guarding the space are worth it for our momentary annoyance. The moment that we finally notice them.Side view of male cyclist on bike cartoon, riding in front of buildings with large billboard signs. Billboards insert themselves, uninvited and unwanted, into our public spaces. Unlike advertising in media that we can simply choose not to consume, we are unable to avoid entering public spaces.Large colourful billboards for fast food on the side of a building. You can’t opt out of billboards. Which is the whole point. The choice has been made for you, on your behalf, before you enter the space.Panels of comic showing person cycling down a street, viewed from a low angle. Billboard advertisers do their work by colonising public spaces. The advertisers find places that were once neutral territory, ...... and claim them for themselves. Comparison of a historic building that has been covered with billboard advertising. Cartoon illustration.Rear view of young man wearing a backpack waiting at pedestrian crossing in downtown city. The undertone is clear: Rear view of pedestrians waiting at traffic signals at pedestrian crossing. Illustration of cityscape dominated by large billboards, similar to Times Square. Rear view of pedestrians waiting at traffic signals at pedestrian crossing. Illustration of cityscape dominated by large billboards, similar to Times Square. Rear view of pedestrians waiting at traffic signals at pedestrian crossing. Illustration of cityscape dominated by large billboards, similar to Times Square.

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This is the first in a series of comics titled Twenty-Five Arguments About Billboards that I will be progressively publishing during 2019 and 2020.

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Comments

james

18 May 2019

Letters, numbers, shapes, colors....it might say Adidas but youre the one choosing to overreact. Chill.

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