Sao Paulo: ad space not available
It doesn’t look like this has been given much attention on many design blogs, but it’s something I’ve been absolutely fascinated with over the past few weeks. Sao Paulo, one of the largest cities in the world, has banned outdoor advertising…and therefore design. There have been a couple great articles written on the subject, one of which is over at WorldChanging. And a friend recently sent me a video that takes a more in depth look at some of the events leading up to the ban, as well as some of the aftermath and how advertising companies and the businesses they work for are combating the ban.
One of the articles does mention 70% of people (São Paulo residents) approve. The other 30% must be the 20,000 people that lost their jobs as a result. I can’t help but love the thought of a city of that proportion without all the mindless clutter. Billboards have been so exhausted lately, deep down you have to question their relevance and effectiveness they have. I think I’ve shut them off in my head completely. But as far as a directional/informational tool…some sort of outdoor signage is almost essential for a businesses success. People have to be able to find you right?
It should be interesting to see how the creative problem solvers in those São Paulo shops will use their newfound fresh open palette of a city and dream up some truly unique and probably more effective advertising alternatives. One article stated that businesses, now with lack of outdoor signage, have resorted to painting their entire building their signature color. Ie: man giving directions “BP is the second bright green building on the left”. If all jump on the bandwagon, that will be one colorful, not to mention confusing city. And if they took down all the structures that housed the billboards, it could be one beautiful, visual-pollution-free city.