This week, on the same day, I had not one but two friends tell me about designer Sonia Harris' "swearing patterns." Of course, I instantly became a fan. Her hidden-in-plain-sight patterns are subversive yet perfectly understated.
For example, this t-shirt's design appears to be a fancy mandala at first glance. But look closer and you'll see the words "Insufferable Wanker" cleverly incorporated into the pattern. (Ms. Harris, you get me.)
She got started drawing the patterns (using an iOS app called Amaziograph) while she was going through treatment for breast cancer, writing that swearing is a meditation for her:
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Despite my desire to create and soothe myself with art, I was also very angry at the bad luck of having spent decades dealing with pain from endometriosis only to get breast cancer just as I thought there was an end to it. The disgusting effects of the treatment, the frightening and painful experiences kept on coming... Hence my patterns contained a lot of profanity. I wanted to swear and I needed to swear. If I could have, I’d have been shouting those profanities from the rooftops! But I had no strength to raise my voice or even stomp around, so that left my drawings. I could write down an exclamation of disgust, carefully and lovingly so that seeing it gave me strength, reminded me that I have a voice and I am still alive. Seeing the repetition of my words and patterns calmed me, the inherent beauty of them made me feel in harmony with life again and able to rest.
Someone over at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen's marketing department has a sick sense of humor. For Philly fliers, the fast food chain is offering "Emotional Support Chicken" which are specially-marked, chicken-shaped carrier boxes filled with, yep, fried chicken.
The box reads:
This chicken provides comfort and nourishment during stressful air travel. Unlike other chicken, it is marinated in real Louisiana spices for 12 hours and must be permitted to fly without restriction. Do not leave unattended, as Popeyes' is not responsible for lost or stolen chicken.
From its press release:
Emotional support animals provide comfort and companionship, especially during a highly stressful time like air travel. However, according to recent headlines, some travelers are pushing the envelope with the types of animals they try to bring on flights and classify as "emotional support animals," including the likes of peacocks, squirrels and tarantulas. Knowing this, Popeyes decided to launch its new "Emotional Support Chicken" to bring holiday travelers some humor to what is one of the most stressful places to be during the holidays – the airport.
"Emotional Support Chicken" is ONLY available at the Gate C31 Popeyes in the Philadelphia airport.
image via Popeyes
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There are Advent calendars and then there is the Banks's Brewery's Advent calendar.
Launched on December 1, the UK beer brand's countdown to Christmas stands over 36 feet tall because it's spray painted on the boarded-up windows of a deserted building in the English city of Wolverhampton.
Their bluntly-stated calendar is part of a larger campaign called "Tells it like it is" and its gritty commentary is meant to appeal to a young, working class audience.
Big Al’s Creative Emporium, the London-based creative agency behind it all, explains:
How do you reassert an identity for a traditional pint of Black Country bitter on a shoestring? Paint it on the walls. That’s how.
Banks’ was a traditional West Midland’s beer in decline, feeling a bit dated and with an ageing core of traditional drinkers. Despite an extremely limited marketing budget, we wanted to give the brand new lease of life by appropriating the straight talking wit and grit of its industrial Black Country roots.
Our solution was to develop a graffiti campaign around the thought ‘Tells it like it is’ and getting our messages on to unconventional urban spaces to create a subversive ambient campaign, which in turn we were able to activate as social media campaign taking on a life of its own.
Here's a peek at some of those messages:
See the rest over at Ads of the World.
Previously: There's an advent calendar full of weed Read the rest