Absolut Detournement

Here’s an ad that’s been popping up at New York bus stops, among other locations:

Times Square ad

It’s a TBWA\Chiat\Day campaign for Absolut, in which Times Square ads have been replaced by artworks. You can find more about its motivation at the Absolut ad blog.

I bring it up because there at the center of 1 Times Square, above the Mona Lisa, is a painting by Robert Delaunay, the Orphist painter I connected to Jeremy Blake in a post last week.


The facade of 1 Times Square also holds the Panasonic Astrovision screen, which (besides ads) hosts a series of artist-created videos put together by Creative Time as part of its 59th Minute Series.

Creative Time

One of the early artists to participate in the series, back in 2003, was Jeremy Blake, who presented a video with circular motifs from his Winchester project called Cowboy Waltz.

Cowboy Waltz

The agency’s aim for the new vodka slogan holds, “It’s not necessarily about perfection, but about making the world better by seeing it with fresh eyes.” Their slightly better world removes ads from the most advertising-centered location in the universe, replacing them with oversized reproductions of famous paintings. Which makes this poster evidence, as if we needed more, of advertisers’ inferiority complex in the face of the less-applied arts.

Ad Week: ‘Absolut World’ Debuts

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