The Smartest Man or The Dumbest Ad-Man Alive

Photo by the lonely villein
Photo by the lonely villein

The above piece appeared in London recently. The question is, is it a real Banksy? Check the logo on the bottom, close-up below. Then check out the logo for this advertising agency called The Bank (also below).

The Banksy

The Bank Logo

So here are the possible ways that this has happened:

1. It’s a legit Banksy and the quality isn’t up to his usual standards.

2. Bansky is licensing his images in viral ads.

3. It’s a viral advert for The Bank designed with no respect for art.

4. It’s a legit Banksy made to look like a viral ad by The Bank.

I really don’t think it’s #1.

I really hope it’s not #2.

#3 is definitely possible. The Bank’s website is full of photos and quotes from pop culture icons like Elvis. Advertising agencies have certianly used graffiti before, and in many case paid the artists for their work. And of course, advertising agencies have stolen from each other and from artists before. So this seems possible, and I’d say it’s probably the most likely scenario. It’s a great ad if you have no morals. They’ve certainly got me talking, so their ad is effective, and that’s what they’ll want to provide for their clients.

I hope it’s #4. How great would that be? Banksy’s recent show in New York had posters done by an ad agency and he was criticised for it. What if this poster is meant to be about the subversion of advertising campaigns? Maybe he’s parodying viral marketing by making a poster sure to be confused with viral advertising. That, would be amazing.

Via Arrested Motion