CR Blog

An anti-advertising advertisement

Advertising, Illustration

Posted by Eliza Williams, 17 August 2007, 17:33    Permalink    Comments (7)

An ad promoting the joys of not being subjected to advertising might seem a contrary notion, but this is the premise behind the new Sky Movies Billboards spot, which emphasises the lack of advertising breaks on Sky's film channels.

The spot was filmed in São Paulo, which, as CR reported in our June issue, is currently enjoying a hiatus from billboard advertising after a "Clean City" directive from the city's mayor, Gilberto Kassab, which banned all outdoor advertising, including shopfronts. As a result São Paulo was left with numerous empty billboard structures, which without their signage appear ghostly and oddly beautiful.

All photos by Tony de Marco

Creative Review's article was illustrated with a series of epic photographs of the empty billboards by Tony de Marco. Home Corp, the production company behind the Sky advertisement, were already shooting the spot when the issue came out, but they were so impressed by De Marco's shots that they approached him to advise on the shoot. The ad, which was created by Kit Dayaram and Tom Spicer at WCRS and directed by Sara Dunlop, pans across the city taking in the empty billboards, accompanied by Gene Wilder singing Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. It ends with the line "because you like movies with no interruptions, we took away the ads".


It is uncertain how long the Clean City law will last in São Paulo, and the ads will begin to creep back in. For now though, De Marco prefers his city the way it is. "In the weeks before my birthday," he says, "my visual enemies began to disappear like the happy end of a motion picture. To see my city clean was the best birthday present and my photos are the record of the feast." More of his photographs can be viewed online at



Nice Collection; Nice Movie.
Would be nice to see at least some streets like that in real life!
2007-08-17 18:18:09

wow... very beautiful for some reason. I had to share this on my own blog, it was so striking.
2007-08-17 22:06:48

The ad maybe be sunny and beautiful, however it gave me the impression that a world without advertising would be poorer and underdeveloped than a world with. It emphasizes too much there is something missing from the city, and not something added.
Before I clicked play I was excited to see how they would show a world without advertising, then quickly disappointed by a sequence of simply shots of empty advertising space.
What about the effect it as on people, and the changes to their way of living. Showing empty billboards just seems like the easy way out.
James (James & Joe)
2007-08-18 10:11:59

I'd say it was done better in this video. plus i think it in the vid it actually makes you want to not have ads, unlike the sky one where the world looks a little more... well dull!

heres the vid..
2007-08-21 14:36:04

wow… very beautiful for some reason. I had to share this on my own blog, it was so striking.
Advertising city
2008-07-07 12:18:19

hello dear sir, andar here. i enjoy post of yours very much so. i am agree to you. good day.
2008-08-12 01:42:20

ok thats good post ...
Website Design Company
2008-09-30 13:48:40

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