Hijack for ad's sake
Cildo Meireles took on the corrupt Brazilian government with art.
As part of a protest action against the US-backed regime, he wrote anti-establishment messages and placed them on bottles of Coca-Cola as well as banknotes.
These items were then placed back into circulation and re-used. The objects acting like Trojan horses – carrying the messages of protest with them.
The project was called “Insertions into Ideological Circuits” and ran throughout much of the 1970s.
The Coca-Cola Project
Here’s how the application of the messaging worked:
As well as general anti-government messaging. The bottles also contained instructions for would-be protestors – including the method for turning a Coke bottle into a Molotov cocktail.
The Banknote Project
After Coke, came the banknotes. Also imprinted with messaging such as “Yankees go home!” and “Who killed Herzog?” in reference to the disappearance of a journalist suspected of being murdered by the government.
Media can be as traditional or as abstract as we make it, and many campaigns have succeeded by discovering different places to position messaging and creative.
Often in plain sight.
This one’s a slam dunk of a reference to Meireles – a real dollar coin from the Australian Mint designed to be donated:
You can even hijack other ads, like turning every ad in the Superbowl into a Tide ad:
This belter of a direct mail campaign used the Euros to get people to sign up for a voicemail service with a faked out matchday ticket:
The Swedish Number turned real Swedish people into tourism ads for the country:
The Whopper Detour campaign allowed people to buy a Whopper for just 1¢ – provided they ordered it from a McDonalds car park.
Do you have a favourite piece of advertising that hacked or hijacked its way into your life?
Drop a comment, send a reply – and I’ll share next time.
Thanks for reading,
Brazilian coke tastes different
Want to learn more about Cildo and his Coke project? Check out this episode of Kunst Please: