Harold Bishop has a posse

The Rae St Institute > Blog archive > The Zero Dollars (yet) Movement

There are a few examples in recent history of weird billboard art that had no corporate sector funding, was interesting, and wasn't trying to hock us crap.

Sadly, though, most apparently non-commercial billboard/poster "art" is both dull and trying to sell us something.. so when I saw these going up, alarm bells immediately began ringing:

Advertising is always about a constant cycle of appropriation.. ripping off ideas, trying to stay "cutting edge" by pretending to be such; pretending to be a "movement" when you're actually something else. Let's look closely at the last photo.

ZERO SUGAR... right. A "movement" that wants zero sugar. Is it just me, or has someone in the agency fucked up and put the "Stage 2" posters up ahead of time?

If you go to the site advertised there, you find - HEY PRESTO AND OH SO FUCKING EDGY - a blog.
Wednesday, January 4, 2006 Why can't chick flicks be: guy meets girl, guy gets girl, guy watches footy, girl gets snacks?

What is it with chick flicks? And what is with girls who want to drag me along to see them? And then all that - awwwwww that's so romantic, glancing over at me as if to say "you taking notes?" I say why can't chick flicks start giving women realistic expectations? The plot can start out traditionally enough - guy meets girl, guy gets girl, but then things would take an exciting and unexpected twist - guy watches footy and girl gets snacks. Nice, huh? Trust me we would all be better off.
erm... right.

Moving right along, the blog is full of vapid shit that pretends to be observational comedy but you can't help but get the feeling it's hiding a badge underneath that flannel shirt.

Well, it is.

The site is owned by the Coca Cola company.1

I also seriously suspect it's a corporate CMS hiding underneath that blog facade, because the URLs look utterly wrong for blog software, and I haven't tried posting a comment, but I suspect they're HEAVILY moderated (or just completely made up) -- any blog nerds out there who'd like to confirm or disprove this please do so; I'm avoiding doing in depth web stuff for a few weeks. :)

What's more, as well as PRETENDING to be a blog, PRETENDING to be a movement, and PRETENDING to be "about" something, they have the fucking audacity to tacitly encourage people to "spread the word" by putting up badly-shot photos of their posters (as usual for pricey corporate promotions pasted five hundred at a time over the top of anything local or real) and their fucking stencils!

Perhaps it goes to prove there are no "real" movements anymore. Perhaps it's making a statement about the often vapid and pointless manifestos of various vague movements of disaffected affluent people... but either way, it's another costumed incursion of the corporate world into the turned-off sphere; pretending to be something it's not, pretending to be "street" and non-commercial when it's just, like everything else, trying to sell us another fucking product. Interestingly for all its fake edginess, it's not even a first.. by a margin of years. Nike did the same thing in 2001.

The final proof and roundup of what it actually is is found here: http://www.ricetek.net/?p=145
Today I received a big black package in the mail, and opening it I found a carton of a new product by Coca-Cola Amatil, "Coke Zero." Twenty-four 390ml bottles, just for me. Ooh, and I got one of those weird rubber wristband things that says "the zero movement".
Hmm.. So it's another "zero sugar" thing.. thus presumably exposing Another Market Segment to the wonders of Aspartame, and putting paid to all the bullshit marketing junk that the "blog" comprises.

Why can't I drink something without increasing my risk of Brain Tumour?

Why can't I drink something without increasing my risk of Lymphoma?

Why can't a drink just be a drink and not contain a genotoxic compound that's there to make me think I'm ingesting already questionable refined sugar?

Why indeed.

Welcome to the 21st Century. Leave all thinking at the door and just wander round in a fucking daze like the agency responsible for this campaign expects you to.

As for me, I'll be the dude in the corner drinking beer. And maybe I'll put some Raw Sugar in it just to spite the fuckers; it'll probably taste shithouse, but I don't care.
1 - For the geekage behind my claim, expand this:

14 Comments - [post a comment]

no rss - ozzmosis, Thursday, January 5, 2006, 1:30 AM
thezeromovement.com also fails as a "real" weblog by not providing an XML RSS feed...

- ozz
revolting - Laura, Thursday, January 5, 2006, 1:54 AM
revolting, embarrassing, and totally naff. I feel dirty having spent a few minutes looking through the site.

blogspot - ozzmosis, Thursday, January 5, 2006, 1:56 AM
Incidentally their layout is just a ripoff of the one used by blogspot.com...

- ozz
Why can't I walk down the street without reading Coke ads? - zerocoke, Saturday, January 7, 2006, 2:40 AM
thezeromovement.org - the movement is growing. Check it out.
website - Bob, Monday, January 9, 2006, 11:57 PM
I tend to agree the the responses (at least in part) must be completely made up. If you have another look at the dns entry for the website, you'll notice it was registered at least 5 months after the first supposed post took place.
zerosux - Jason, Thursday, January 12, 2006, 9:50 PM
THis is possibly the worst advertising I've ever seen and what a suprise it comes from coke.

Tried Coke Zero, it sucks! Its a blatent rip off of Pepsi Max but um, Max tastes good!
maxsux - antimatter, Friday, January 13, 2006, 9:55 AM
sorry, but do you by any chance work for Pepsi 'Jason'? "Um, Max tastes good" - no, what I think you mean is "um, max tastes like toilet water with added crap". Get back to corporate world ad agency scum....
choke on it - MitH, Friday, January 13, 2006, 11:35 PM
posts on zeromovement.com are filtered - huw, Monday, January 16, 2006, 9:32 PM
Found zeromeovement.com this morning (before this site) and was utterly disgusted. posted a comment saying how repulsive it was that a site peddling all this rubbish about "days off work etc" was actually a front for selling more coke. When I posted, it told me that it would be reviewed and put up shorty. needless to say, it hasn't appeared yet. they're obviously not into zero censorship.
Brilliant - anonymous, Wednesday, January 18, 2006, 10:57 PM
Love your work.
coke xero sux - sam, Saturday, January 28, 2006, 10:24 PM
lmao this is gr8 lovin the zero movement sux t-shirts - has anyone ordered any?

but um, i like pepsi max better as well (even tho i don't drink much cola either ways) how exactly does that make me ad agency scum 'maxsux'?! i think U work for COKE lol
Neither dull nor selling - Zoe, Monday, February 6, 2006, 10:21 PM
Some much more interesting poster art from some Canberra locals is at http://www.bebo.com/PhotoAlbums.jsp?MemberId=79984664

And no it's not mine! No pimpin' in this comment ;)
Have you seen these ads? Crikey! - Guerilla, Monday, May 22, 2006, 9:12 AM
hehehe - yaleman, Wednesday, May 24, 2006, 10:46 PM
I had to post on here, since you linked to my page (I run ricetek.net) - most of the slogans they use in their marketing, and as seed ideas for their blog were actually shown to us as part of the market research thing that we had to do at the end of the "trial" of the product. Seeing the billboards come out only weeks after the questionnaire was completed was pretty weird to see, and knowing where they came from was an eye-opener for me.