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Horizontal billboards: The commercialization of the pavement

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When companies post advertisements for their products in places that are novel, inventive or borderline illegal, they call it 'guerrilla marketing'. Urban footpaths have become a site for such tactics with advertisers appropriating the means and methods of pavement artists and stencil graffitists to generate brand awareness. The practice of advertising on the pavement is not new - for as long as streets have been surfaced small businesses and individual vendors have utilized the asphalt to chalk their notices and arrow trails. But in recent years corporations have recognized that new technologies and new media expand the opportunities for pavement advertising to be mediatized and the practice has flourished. In the near future we are likely to see even more advertisements on the ground, many of them authorized and legal as government departments lease spaces on public streets and motorways as horizontal billboards.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Media, Music and Cultural Studies, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

Publication date: 2009-12-01

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