Printing as an aesthetic need: Imagine a world without print advertising

By   April 26, 2015
print advertising ban

Printing is both and art and a form. If you want your business to stand out in your local area, unless if you have mastered SEO (or hired a professional to do that for you), then your marketing efforts are fruitless without printing. Besides marketing your business, print advertising actually tends to offer some form of visual ecstasy.

before advertising ban in San Paulo
after advertising San Paulo

Print advertising not only allows for business visibility but also provides an aesthetic look to the environment. If you have ever watched “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold”, you should remember when Morgan Spurlock visits Sao Paulo, Brazil, it looked more like a ghost town from afar rather than the world’s fourth largest city.   In 2005 there was city wide ban on all billboards, neon lights,bus labels, and any other form of out door advertising in this Brazilian capital and businesses had to market themselves on line,through TV commercials or through word of mouth.

All billboards had to be taken down and store signs  shrunk down to smaller sizes, otherwise any violation of the law would attract a $4500.00 fine. Needless to say, more than 15000 ads were removed from the city during that period. Businesses had to change their marketing strategies and focus on indoor print adverts like roller banners, elevator and bathroom ads etc, with a greater focus on online marketing tactics. In 2007 there was already a worldwide move towards social media marketing, but due to the law, Brazilians had an extra push in that direction – after all necessity is the mother of creativity. Besides, all major advertising companies had to find a place to spend the money they previously put into billboards, thus making Brazil a powerhouse when it came to digital  and social media marketing. According to then Mayor Gilberto Kassab, the “Clean City Law” was brought about to reduce all kinds of pollution, that is, air, water, noise as well as “visual”, with the last type being the one on top of the list as it was the most conspicuous.

wall art

Besides what most people expected, the economy did not crumble . Although during the few months after the law was enacted, the city looked like a war zone with torn down frames. Years down the line, residents of South America’s largest city appreciated the move as they say the city is much cleaner and the  law forced creative innovations in newer advertising strategies that have actually been more effective.     The aesthetic taste of the city is coming back due through graffiti and art as shown below.Nevertheless, Sao Paulo, is not the only place to ban out door adverts round the world. Other countries with similar policies include Vermont, Alaska, Hawaii, Maine as the Norwegian city of Bergen, and 1500 other towns. Below are some pics of Sao Paulo before and after the advertising ban:

Sao-Paulo-before-after advertising ban

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