Sunday, July 15, 2012

Billboard Fail

Two local billboards have caught my attention recently as I drive around town.

This woman's huge blue-toenailed feet greet me every time I drove out of my neighborhood toward downtown.  Which I do a lot.

It's an ad for some sort of spa.  Obviously they're trying to convey a sense of relaxation and pampering.  Only one problem: Those are NOT relaxed feet.  They look about as tense as feet in blue water could be.  I can hear the photographer yelling at the foot model as she tries to hold her feet up for optimum angle to capture her blue toenails.  Those feet look about as relaxed as an African American at a Tea Party rally. (Or really, anyone at a Tea Party rally. Those people need to chill out.) 

I don't really get it, because pictures of relaxed feet are everywhere.  On Facebook alone I could find two dozen of them among my friends' pics-- anytime someone goes on vacation to a beach or a pool they feel the need to show how relaxed their feet are.  Feet in repose are not elusive mythical creatures. Hell, my public library even has one on their homepage!

When the public library's feet look more relaxed than your spa's, you're doing it wrong. 


The other billboard is one I've passed hundreds of times on my way to work.  For the longest time I'd pass it and think, "What the hell IS that?" 

It's not that I think it's weird or bizarre.  It's that I couldn't actually distinguish what was going on in the picture.  I knew the shapes meant something, but I couldn't make sense of them.  It's like my brain was unable to form any kind of pattern out of what my eyes were seeing, even though I knew one was there.

It's a small billboard, with tiny writing below it, and the writing was not big enough for me to read it as I drove by.  "What a horrible billboard," I thought.  "I have no idea what they are advertising."  Which is kinda the whole purpose of a billboard.

It was only after I stopped-- yes, I stopped on the side of the road-- to write down the words on the bottom, then googled them, that I figured out what it was about.  It turns out that they're not actually advertising anything.  It's a "Sky Gallery," some sort of community art project.  Oh.  It's art.

There are several other such billboards around town as part of the same series, although that was the only one that scrambled my brain.   I certainly appreciate community art in different places, and I don't mean to discourage local artists.  The picture on this billboard may very well be a good piece of art.

But it's a shitty billboard.


asplenia said...

"They look about as tense as feet in blue water could be." haha!

I love it: when the LIBRARY photo is relaxed, you're doing it wrong. The other billboard is completely incomprehensible from here. I don't know how much they spent but it's not reaching anyone!

Tim said...

I've since figured out what the picture is: some sort of huge farm(?) vehicles dressed up like animals in a field. But it took me a lot of staring to figure it out. I intentionally made it small on my blog, but you can view larger versions of it at the Sky Gallery link. It's called "Animal Farmatures."

Thanks for your comment!