Dismaland – the UK’s most disappointing new visitor attraction!

Dismaland – the UK’s most disappointing new visitor attraction!

Bravo Banksy, Bravo!

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Well he know’s how to make a point and generate a ton of PR for his art installation.

Dismaland plays on the Disnification of our society and the post-modern, consumerist generation.

The inability to buy tickets for his latest installation has set the social media sphere on fire. ‘I want tickets now’, ‘I NEED Dismaland tickets’ and ‘how on earth do I get a ticket to Dismaland?’ have rendered the internet truly dismal.

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The calendar which is actually a JPG!
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This is as far as I can get in the ticket buying process!

But you, probably like me, realised the hypocrisy of his ‘fight capitalism, buy a ticket to the show’ and as a result there are no tickets…the trolley logo remains upside down…empty.

I get the joke, I see the point being made.

I still click on it, I still press F5 and I have done, like a mad-woman, all day, since 6am. I have become all-consumed, the desire of wanting to see some real-life Banksy, not vandalised or removed by others is just too great despite knowing it will be fruitless.

If I know how ridiculous I am being you may ask… ‘Why are you still trying to purchase a ticket?’

For me, this is easy to answer. I want to see one of the greatest living artists of our time. One who brought a ‘criminal act’ in to popular culture as proper art, more so than any other graffiti artist. His clever takes on topical issues such as politics, migration, money, love, slavery, popular media and relationships say things that often people cannot. He’s travelled the world to do timely works in places like the Gaza Strip. He has almost retained complete anonymity (thanks Daily Mail for ruining that one by the way, for that I will never forgive you! For anyone not in the UK, one of our national papers went out of its way to uncover Banksy’s identity. Which, of course, I’m still furious about all these years later. Anyway, I digress…).

I would like to see Banksy’s new works, along those with the other artists he has involved. I missed his last show and although watching all these comments online are funny, ultimately what this masks are my feelings of disappointment. I am a long-standing Banksy fan. I am your stakeholder Banksy and I understand what you stand for, I get the big point you are making with the UK’s most disappointing bemusement park. But, at the same time, despite knowing this, I can’t stop my own personal disappointment, a feeling I probably share with many of your actual fans who’d like to see your new exhibit. If you don’t let the other kids play, where’s the fun in that? And other than thought provoking, it is meant to be fun, right?

The thought that I may miss another of your shows makes me think that the once accessible to all Banksy is not accessible anymore. You are not offering entry-level anarchism if no one can actually gaze upon your musings. If I am thinking this, is anyone else?

Now I, along with everyone else trying to obtain tickets have become the joke, I’d be careful how you play this one team Banksy because it could ultimately turn some of your real fans against you. (I doubt many but it’s a consideration, and we are looking at this from a PR point here!)

I understand the attraction will most likely be open on a first-come-first-serve basis in an attempt to further fuel demand and exclusivity, which in essence Banksy makes you a teenie, tiny bit like those capitalists and consumerists you mock, you are engaging in a PR and sales strategy that is as old as time. Supply and demand, just without the money element. Not that people aren’t willing to pay, fake prices on Ebay have been estimated at £3000 and people on Twitter have been offering to pay over the odds for the tickets which apparently are going to be £3 each.


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It’s a wonderful PR stunt, in line with the Banksy values, that has engaged such a large audience in such a short space of time, perhaps he shouldn’t let it go too far though. Banksy’s popularity is based on his talent, us ticket purchasers have learnt our lesson but we’d still like to see your art.

Despite all the rumours of a hoax, I’m going to risk it. So I am hovering with my bag packed ready for an early morning two hour pilgrimage to the arse end of the South West…Weston-super-Mare. Wish me luck fellow Banksy fans, will I be jilted at the Dismaland gate or will I be revelling in entry level anarchism? Watch this space…

Banksy

 

 

 

 

How far is too far in PR? – Madonna at the Brits 2015

How far is too far in PR? – Madonna at the Brits 2015

Last night Madonna at the 2015 Brit Awards had a ‘wardrobe malfunction’. But rather than expose herself, which she does anyway as a regular fashion statement, she got caught in her cape. The tumble saw her tugged by the neck down a flight of stairs.

I was watching it live and noted two things. She struggled to undo the cape in the first place and after the fall I took an audible intake of breath, but then I quickly realised that the crowd at the O2 did not have the same reaction. No one made a peep. Silence reigned. Which made me wonder if everyone had just witnessed what I had? Was that real? Thank god for the rewind button.

Visibly shaken, she powered through her big finale. A true professional.

Today, the day after rumours have been flying left, right and centre that this was in fact a PR stunt.

Will we ever know if this is true? Probably not.

But it raises a really good question…

In PR, how far is too far?

There can be a lot of grey areas in PR. For me, risking someones health in any way is most definitely a step too far. I’m sure most people would agree with me.

Would the material girl, Queen of pop, risk falling from a height to establish headlines? Surely not?

No doubt it has secured her virtually every post-Brit headline, lit up social media and set tongues wagging round the office water coolers of the western world.

‘Someones getting fired’ and ‘Where there’s a blame, there’s a claim’ have certainly done the rounds today.

It also drew attention to the cape’s designer, Armani, with the sketch going out in every news article as well as being used by Madonna herself (well her PR team) on Instagram…

madonna sketch

Does the reward outweigh the risk?

When Red Bull sponsored a man jumping from the edge of space and broadcast it live they were taking the biggest risk in their brand history, in fact in any brands history. If anything had gone wrong it would have destroyed Red Bulls reputation. But the risk paid off and secured their notoriety.

If this was a PR stunt, then it is similar to Red Bull. Someone’s life was risked for PR. It only works if if is successful. Otherwise the reputation of the brand, service or person is damaged beyond belief.

Everyone today is commenting on Madonna’s professionalism. That will be her legacy from last night. It’s also done an excellent job in introducing her to a whole new generation of music fans.

So it’s clear to see why it was called in to question that this was a ‘PR stunt’. But like I said…we’ll never know!

What do you think?