Speed Rabbit Bravia

Have a look at this commercial. You might have already seen it on UK television as it was released very recently, but please watch it again. This is the third opus of the Sony Bravia campaign created by advertising agency
Fallon London. After Balls and Paint, the color.like.no.other slogan is now demonstrated through a wave of play-doh rabbits in the streets of New York. Neat, creative, original... Well, there is some controversy around this later adjective as you can read it here and here, but this is not the purpose of this post.

I indeed want you to have a second look at it. Watch, and pay strong attention to details. Have you noticed now? No? Then have a third go... Focus on the first scenes. There, yes, on time-code 00:15. Indeed in the background... The red and white patch of colour. This is the real invasion of the TV commercial. Who cares about clay rabbits when aliens are amongst us... The bespoke patch is in fact a mosaic by French street artist Space-Invader, laid in 1999 in the street of Soho, in NYC (a better view is available here).

Addiction to invasion

I can already hear some of you in the back saying that I am probably the only one to have noticed this elusive presence in the back. The artist himself confirmed to me that he was not aware of his work being integrated by Sony, although he assumed that the director would have probably selected the location on purpose.

To a certain extend I agree, this is quite a furtive presence and you need to be trained to noticed such an invader in a urban surrounding. However I am not the only one to hunt these little space-invaders inspired by the eponymous video-game. More than a training this is an addiction shared by numerous street-art fans around the world who for instance keep track of their encounters on FlickR:

Space Invader is watching you One of my own pictures, "Space-Invader is Watching you", more FlickR shots available here

When I use the word of "addiction", this is not too strong a word. I discovered the artist in the 90s in my home town of Grenoble, but was properly contaminated in London when I started taking pictures of the various mosaics I was seeing here and there. Since I have completely modified the way I walk in the street.

At every corner, I give a quick look over my shoulder, just to check that I have not missed one. Space Invader depicts is work as an "invasion of the (public) spaces", and you can read more details about his approach here. So, potentially, every location can host one of them... In Montpellier, for instance, the locations of mosaics were chosen so that, when placed on a map, they would form an image of a character. In London, their infiltration seems to be less systematic, and more random. It is consequently even more challenging to find them, especially since they are short-lived. Two of my discoveries in Farringdon and Brick Lane have already disappeared, stolen or taken down by the city services...

Convinced or interested in this artist, let me suggest to have a look at the street corners of your own city since Invader has already been active in more than 35 cities around the globe. There might be one of his mosaic just next door, looking at your car. Alternatively, for the lucky London readers, you can opt to visit the exhibition dedicated to his recent work at LAZARIDES gallery 8, Greek Street Soho, London W1D 4DG. Though don't expect any Sony camera there, unfortunately! However if you are really into Bunnies, I then recommend the current exhibition at Cosh Gallery, with some modern graphic design works on this animal ("The bunny show", until octobre 22nd, exhibition featuring Ben Frost, Hydro74, Bemodern, Mudwig, Si Scott, Airside, Pure Evil, Keith Watts, KozynDan, Mr Ian Wright, Pandayoghurt, Sean Alexander, Slinkachu, John Cossey...).


The bad education.

Let me introduce this apparently nice lot: from left to right, Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laalaa and Po. If you have young children at home, you probably think you know too well those creatures and their very special language made of weird onomatopes. Well, you think and you are wrong. Under the furry cover hides the evil: the Teletubbies are in fact double-agents...

Liebst du Sie noch?

I personally discovered them in 1998 when living in Germany. I know that was two years after they went out of their Tubbytronic Superdome for the first time, but I had an alibi: I was 22 (slightly overage to be an early adopter). In Germany, like everywhere, the 4 characters were a phenomenon. Every child was in love with them... And I was curious. As a man of image, I was interested in the signs vehicled by these new icons.

I reckon I am no literate semiologist, however, there are some signs that were too obvious to be ignored:

  • "Po" in German means Arse, and when you look at the Antenna of the relevant character... well, it is self-explanatory;
  • Dispy's antenna, on the other hand, would be the centre-piece on any Dali's painting as the perfect phallic representation;
  • The colours of this TV shows are reflecting the same spectrum as the Gay Pride flag;
  • The TV programme was bought in France by Canal+, a paid-for TV broadcaster who was successful through football and Saturday night porn (there is obviously no ball in the Teletubbies...)
  • And moreover, the episodes were infiltrated by what can be perceived as subliminal demonstration of Kamasutra positions:

Stop the conspiracy

So when last year, Reverend Jerry Falwell, former spokesman for America's Moral Majority, denounced the BBC TV children's show because Tinky Winky would be gay, I was relieved. I was no longer isolated. I knew that there were forces elsewhere to fight on my side against this conspiracy to turn our children into sex-slaves.

Seriously, I have decided to boycott this TV programme. So now every time I hear Itsy Bitsy catchphrases, I lock my daughter, Emmanuelle behind the green door of her room so that she can finish her essay on French literature... What was that book again? Oh, yeah... "Justine, ou les malheurs de la vertue" by Marquis de Sade. Now if with that kind of leisure time she does not get AAAAaaaaaah's at school, I don't understand anything at child education.


Mixing the cultures

Bacardi is well known for its tradition of mixing... They have launched a new TV commercial recently that illustrates this habit. Well executed in the below stated version, unfortunately the edited version that can be seen on the screens is less engaging:

Just looking forward to seeing how these brands can investigate other territories than music mixing which is now an overused cliché. When will they look at mixing the cultures for instance?