Street art - between art and advertising

The growing popularity of street art has not escaped marketing and PR specialists. The world's brands and major corporations have understood that street art has tremendous communicative power - not only artistically, but also in terms of advertising.

Street art is a type of visual art that originated in the 1980s in the United States. Initially, it was associated with acts of vandalism undertaken by residents of poor neighbourhoods in large cities. Today, street art is treated as a form of artistic expression found not only on street walls and public spaces, but also in museums and prestigious art galleries. However, it is the urban public space that is the best place for the creation of works commenting on everyday reality, because street art is part of it, something natural and everyday, which makes it a great medium for conveying information. Thus, street art has become one of the most effective ways for brands to promote and communicate with their customers in the 21st century and the core of a whole new era of advertising.

The popularity of this type of art, which has taken over the streets of cities all over the world, has opened up a whole new way for public relations specialists to promote brands. It has turned out that it is no longer necessary to organise controversial guerilla marketing campaigns that are on the verge of legal action. Instead, it is possible to act without fear of legal consequences. This is all the more true given that previous forms of advertising in public spaces have lost a great deal of their value. The power of their message has declined considerably, and their aesthetics and form no longer engage the public. Sometimes they even have the opposite effect to the one intended - a drop in the popularity of a given brand. Today, we tend to avoid classic advertisements rather than look at them. This is due to the repetitive nature and the almost overwhelming number of omnipresent billboards and banners.

On the other hand, street art messages have the opposite effect, i.e. they attract the eye, arouse positive emotions and do not seem to be pushed into the public space "by force". This is for a very simple reason. In street art, the artistic form plays the leading role and it is on this that we focus. The advertising message complements it, rather than being the main focus, so viewers do not feel pressured into using a particular brand's product or service. Obviously, companies investing in street art benefit most from this. This is a brilliant move from a marketing point of view.  Why? Brands investing in street art become patrons of art in a way that changes the way consumers perceive them, which of course has a positive impact on their image. Additional advantages of such a form of brand promotion are its relatively fresh character on the advertising market and the very broad spectrum of possibilities it offers: from murals, graffiti, to vlepki, happenings or 3D constructions. A given company is therefore able to choose a promotional method tailored to its needs. It is also worth emphasising that the aesthetics of graffiti or street art are not limited to advertising campaigns. It is now firmly established in fashion, thanks to the likes of Marc Jacobs and Jeremy Scott, and the use of this art form to promote the world's biggest and most popular companies (such as Coca Cola, H&M, or Japan's Nintendo) has made street art a part of pop culture, and street art an even better advertising medium.

Street art has proven to be a well-balanced tool, bridging the worlds of art and advertising. Thanks to features such as freedom of form, interesting aesthetics and a non-intrusive message, it is a friendly means of communication for both creators and recipients. It is therefore of mutual benefit to both - the creator benefits from a modern promotional tool, while at the same time approaching the audience with an interesting and modern type of art.


Text author: Adam

Photo source: Adidas