21 April 2013

Would you look at this crap?

This is me, any given day of the week: WOULD YOU LOOK AT THIS CRAP? And every single time, my friend will look at me in slight confusion: what? This is an example:

Spam

Most common response: oh, I didn’t notice that. How about this, then:

Spam

"Nope".

I will then bring up examples of entire public squares in Copenhagen destroyed by wall-to-wall spam, like this:

Spam

"Byens Hegn" the city's metro fence. Allegedly there to display selected street art. Lamest excuse for raking in advertising money that I have ever heard of. 

Spam

Again they would say, is there even advertising there? Didn’t notice that either. 

So what is the big deal then, you may ask? Well, it is pretty serious. This spam filter that we have developed on places like the internet, is now applied to our daily lives. We (most people) don’t see our surroundings anymore. We are simply blinded by full body ad buses and taxis, even houses covered in scaffolding wrapped in ads and overloaded fences and metro stations. Or the flickering screens at shops, banks and gas stations, and inside taxis, buses and trains.

Copenhagen metro eyesore

Full body advertising is the only language spoken here. This is the metro.

And what is behind this advertising? You probably guessed it already...

Advertising behind more advertising

More advertising, blinking at you manically from big screens. Because with the most expensive public transit in the world, you just haven't paid enough for your ride. 

But it is not just advertising that goes in the filter. Litter goes in the spam filter, too. As does any non-commercial attempt at communication, even the beauty of the city, hidden underneath it all. This eye-rape is the equivalent of yelling at people uncontrollably, how can you expect anyone to listen when you actually have something important to say? Mostly I am just afraid that it is too late to intervene. The fact that no one seems to notice it anymore, completely unaware of the high price they are paying... is it too late? Please tell me you see it too?

(I can't tell you how much it kills me to show you something so ugly, dammit!) 

(I have to leave you with something beautiful, OK?)

On a recent trip to Malmö, Sweden, I was blown away by the simplicity and raw beauty of the new train station. Here, the customer is valued, and not treated as a cash cow. Raw concrete walls, and what is displayed for your viewing pleasure? Beautiful old strips of movies of train rides across the world.

Malmö trainstation

Made to look like you are on the train, as the landscape passes you by.




Copenhagen has a long way to go. 

And Sweden rocks!

(end rant)


20 comments:

  1. I'm with you,Sandra.I hate this crap too.

    In Melbourne,around 15 years ago,the government used to pay well known (and not so well known)artists to paint our lovely old W class trams.

    Someone eventually realized there was no money in it so now we have trams covered in spam. What's worse, no one seems to give a shit these days.Perhaps ,as you say,we have developed in built spam filters.

    Keep on ranting.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yes! That is exactly the way you support the arts, not by hiding them away in some dark corner, so you can spam the public with your advertisingcrap! How cool it would be to have art buses in Copenhagen, even if it was just a few.

      Less exited to learn that you too are experiencing the spam. It is like a plague, we need to open our eyes, and really SEE it, before we can get outraged and do something about it.

      :-)

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  2. Jeg er helt forelsket i konceptet ved denne blog!

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    Replies
    1. Haha, tak. Går ud fra at du mener København? :-)

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  3. Hi Sandra, once again I'm also totally with you. It hurts my eyes and my mind all this publicity. Also I didn't realize this before, but in France, you have tons of advertising before any movies when you go to the cinema, you have no choice but to suffer through half an hour of pure advertisement very loud, so no way you can ignore it. And you paid like 10 euros or more your ticket... Same for transportation, of course, and many many walls. Sweden seems cool!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ah, in my mind Paris, and the parts of France I know, seem like a safe haven. Maybe I remember it wrong. But the buses still look like buses, right? Not like billboards on wheels.. The city planners must have rules, or maybe the advertsing people have more respect for the public space there.

      Sweden is in many ways superior, but not all, haha.

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    2. The big ads on the buses are not there all the time in Paris, but there are campaigns, and sometimes they are all over the place. There are some (very few) subway stations in Paris that are ad free, and those are so much better to be in, and less aggressive...
      I guess every country has its own advantages, but still, advertisement is pretty much everywhere, in the western world at least. Even in some of the farmers' fields in france!!!

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    3. Oh, no, that is in a way even worse, with the farmers fields. :( It is pollution. The stupid thing is, that they are not advertising smart, they are just yelling more and louder than ever, so uninventive. And ineffecient, unless you count turning people blind.

      (I still look so much forward to seeing Paris again, even your advertisements are exotic to me, haha)

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  4. JA! ENIG!

    Jeg er ikke helt alene i verden, åbenbart :-)

    Faktisk synes jeg, at det er meget svært at kommenterer på al den mentale støj og øjebæpuh i DK. Måske fordi jeg mest siger noget, når jeg er så svimmel og over-stimuleret, at der kun kommer gispende, vrede lyde ud. Så får jeg for det meste noget at vide med, at sådan er det jo og nu må jeg tage mig sammen og i øvrigt er det gode penge for kommunen og jeg kan da bare kigge væk og så er det da heller ikke værre.

    Sverigeseksemplet er fantastisk - og kan måske oven i købet gøre det synligt for dem, der ikke ser reklamer som spam, der kvæler sjælen langsomt men sikkert, hvad alternativet kan give af merværdi.


    Næste gang vil jeg henvise til din artikel her. Tak!

    KH
    tina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hvor er det dejligt at høre. Og det er decideret giftigt at kigge væk hele tiden, det er jo pointen. Ja, vi er totalt hjernevaskede til at tro på at det ikke kan løbe rundt uden de hæslige reklamer overalt.

      Ingen stiller spørgsmålstegn, det er vanvittigt. Os, der stadig kan se, må gøre noget. Giver dig fuldstændig ret: reklamer (i det ekstreme omfang) kvæler sjælen.

      Tak for tak. :-)

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  5. I'm so happy to speak out against this! I notice it too, every time, and I notice as well and noone seems to notice... it's scary!

    An example:

    Have you seen this particular ad on the busses, advertising beauty surgeries?!?!? It says "nye bryster" and a bare pair of breasts + a big name of a private hospital. How sick is that? It got me so angry that I started talking to people about it - guess the reaction! "oh yeah, but I think that has been there for a long time" - as if that wouldn't make it worse? I expected more from Copenhagen :-(

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    1. Yes I have seen it. The first bus is an example of how I don't object to the promotion of organic farming, but it is wrong that they are allowed to destroy the public space. It makes even less sense that a diversion of this magnitude is allowed in traffic, where people should be minding the road in front of them. Who's making the rules here?

      The breast thing is stupid, but I am not outraged. Maybe I have become numbed from overexposure? I feel worse about the overly sexist commercials at every bus stop, promoting unhealthy body images and making people feel worse about themselves. Advertising has spun out of control.

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  6. Byens Hegn do give the money they earn from all the "spam" to artistic projects, Sandra. I agree with you about folk not seeing though. That´s why the advertizing is so big and intrusive.

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    1. I hope that is true. Still, I think the price we pay is too high, when the result is that no one looks up anymore. Advertisers are not going to stop themselves and start respecting our space, and our right to walk in public without being attacked with spam.

      But I am also not holding my breath for the city to do anything about it. Once again it is up to the public.

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  7. Replies
    1. In one word. I am envious that I didn't come up with that one, haha.

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    2. And thank you for your blog! I don't live in Denmark anymore, but miss it. So I enjoy to see Cph, into detail sometimes, in your pictures. Thank you!

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    3. Ah, I love to hear where my blog goes. And I am happy to hear that it brings back memories. So thank you too.

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  8. When I visited Cph for the first time, I was amazed that there is a building the town square that has advertising all over it. I don't know what the name of the building is, but it really detracts from it.

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    1. You are talking about Industriens Hus, I think, a low brown brick building to the right of city hall, covered in neon signs? It was so ugly that I never took a picture of it, and now it has been replaced by an obstrocity of glass and steel, eating at Tivoli garden and blocking the view of the remains of the historic area. Truly a mess, my poor city.

      Delete

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