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Hamburger High Art

Help her! That burger is eating her head!

When great ads support “not so great for you” products

Have you seen this new Wendy’s baconater commercial?

This ad is a great example of a really funny use of innovative graphics to do what?
sell you a hamburger that is bigger than your head!
Now I am not adverse to a good hamburger every now and then, but I usually choose In-N-Out Burger who I believe do not even advertise anywhere, yet they are always packed.
But back to the baconater, these ads remind me of David Wojnarowicz, when he took all these pictures around New York City with a iconic mask of Arthur Rimbaud on, Rimbaud is the poet who inspired everyone from Surrealists to Patti Smith.

You know this ability to use such compelling graphics to sell stuff that makes us really fat is the reason why I am such an advocate of culture jamming being done by the people over at AdBusters. I am pretty sure that no one ever needs to eat in one sitting: Six strips of hickory smoked bacon piled high atop two 1/4 lb. patties of beef, complete with two slices of American cheese. EEEEEK!
As my good friend Gwendolyn always says “you have to use your powers for good, not evil.”
Someone who is using his power for good and not evil is Shaquille O’Neal, in his new ABC show called Shaq’s Big Challenge, he takes 6 children through a medical weight loss program and inadvertently deals with school lunch programs and physical education (or the lack thereof). Shaq is so empathic towards these kids, you can see even this mighty man being demoralized by the forces that weigh these children down (no pun intended)
We have a responsibility to create inspiring exciting design for good not evil.

Tell us some examples you have of great ads that are created for “not so great” products.

“Let’s hear it for the boy”


No I am not talking about the song from Footloose sound track but our very own Jonathan Silberman who was recently interviewed in the May/June edition of Print Magazine:America’s Graphic Design Magazine.

The article was written by CORY DOCTOROW who is an author and a blogger, most notably one the of the editors of Boing Boing, an award winning blog that started out as a zine.

The article titled Some Rights Reserved is all about the use of Creative Commons in the work of designers. Jonathan was interviewed because we licenced all of our marketing material under a creative commons license. This enables people to use our marketing plan and most importantly Jonathan’s designs as long as they give attribution to the creator. One of the best lines in the article is “as an author my biggest problem is not piracy it is obscurity”

This quote could also be said of libraries or as Oscar Wilde says “Imitation is the highest form of flattery” We should all be involved in this new emerging form of communication. It will enable us to learn and share with each other and truley create a “learning commons”

I want to give a shout out to Gwendolyn Reece, intellectual and librarian extraordinaire for introducing me to the idea of Creative Commons.

If you have interest in Creative Commons you should read Lawrence Lessig and Siva Vaidhyanthan