Thursday, July 3, 2008
Over at smokingmirrors, Les Visible is in amongst a discussion about making stickers and plastering the neighbourhood in order to get the topic of 911 out into the wider public. It's a good idea. But I went sideways. Here's what I wrote in the comments there -
I had a thought. These stickers are a fine idea. Everything to push the concept and spread it about is good. But where do people go from there? Wouldn't it be nice if there was a website address they could go to? The problem with this is that a sticker needs to remain visually uncluttered to have impact. Furthermore who's going to remember an address? I have trouble at the best of times.
So I thought, wouldn't it be cool if whatever it was had little tear-off strips like those photocopied A4 sheets you see taped to traffic poles at intersections. I don't know about other places but here they usually advertise share accommodation, or a lost pet, or some kind of work-at-home thing. They're invariably hand written, not too much text, a single photo in the middle, and tear off phone numbers at the bottom.
Why don't we steal that and subvert the medium? Instead of a phone number we put a website on the tear-offs. Me, I'd put whatreallyhappened.com. The other beauty of the concept is that you don't even need a printer or any sticker paper for it. Hell, you don't even need a computer. You just hand-scrawl it up, tape in a quick piccy, and run 'em off on your nearest photocopier. Ten cents a pop. And there's the sticky tape of course and a pair of scissors to cut the tear-offs. And you could make a new one each week. Or each day if you're up for it.
As for the copy, it should only be two or three lines. We ain't trying to explain everything. It's just a teaser to get them to go to the website. Ideally it'll be some head-scratching fact.
And here's what I quickly came up with. If you don't care for them, that's fine by me. Make your own. Don't forget how it works. An interesting or unlikely photo will turn their head. The sparsity of text will make them want to read it. The rule for the text is - keep it short, make it intriguing. No explanations, just a teaser. They should be intrigued enough to tear off the address and then check it out when they get home. Happy subverting.