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Madison Avenue econometrics

March 8th, 2009 (08:12 am)

current mood: somber

Last weekend I drove down into Cambridge, on 93. As I was going along that long swoopy exit ramp, I noticed a whole swath of empty billboards, maybe half a dozen.

This week I noticed that the ads at North Station haven't been refreshed since October.

And just now I happened to look at the ads on the back of a long receipt from Stop & Shop. There was only one advertiser, which made up about one in five of the slots; the others were all of the form "Advertise here!".

I don't like ads, but it's scary to see them disappear.


Posted by: robertdfeinman (robertdfeinman)
Posted at: March 8th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)

I've always felt that empty billboards should be lent to artists. Nowadays with inexpensive inkjet reproduction making a poster copy of an existing painting or drawing is quick and easy. They can even be printed on vinyl if they need to resist the weather.

Similarly, landlords could allow artists to put works in empty storefronts. If they are really greedy they could even make a fee splitting arrangement if any sales resulted from the displays.

I've long noticed how unobservant most people are to their surroundings. Even when they "see" things they don't register. Some combination of self-absorption and overload from incessant bombardment, I guess.

Some cultures see blank walls and traffic islands as an opportunity for murals or at least flowers, Mexico City is a good example. In the US not so much.

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