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La contestata pubblicità del David col fucile

Posted on March 9th, 2014 at 15:10 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself -- Write a comment



Venerdì 7 marzo il settimanale l’Espresso ha pubblicato le immagini di una campagna pubblicitaria dell’azienda americana produttrice di armi ArmaLite. Nelle immagini si vede un fotomontaggio del David di Michelangelo che stringe in mano un fucile prodotto dall’azienda. Sotto, una scritta definisce l’arma “un’opera d’arte”. L’immagine è stata pubblicata da alcune riviste specializzate americane, come Rifle Firepower. Nonostante questa diffusione decisamente limitata, nelle ultime ore ci sono state critiche molto forti alla campagna da parte del mondo politico e della tutela dei beni artistici italiani.

  1. Rough translation – On Friday, March 7th, the weekly L’Espresso has published pictures of an advertising campaign from the American arms manufacturing ArmaLite. In the pictures you can see a montage of Michelangelo’s David clutching a rifle manufactured by the company. Below, an inscription defines the weapon “work of art”. The image has been published inseveral journals such as American Rifle Firepower. Although the ad distributions thus far has been quite limited, in the last hour, there have been strong criticisms of the campaign from political officials and from those concerned protection of Italian artistic heritage.

    If your in marketing – use these weapons to kill yourself – please!

  2. The problem is what?

  3. @Desiato: Oh come on! The gun is bigger than the dick, surely.

  4. Huh?

  5. @Desiato The problem is using our artistic heritage for such an insidious marketing campaign. The problem is associating David with death, destruction and the carnage of war – to name a copuple of reasons. I would rather is a million of these http://pastelninja.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/david.jpg than just one of the ArmaLite death machines. Quando questa bestia è morta, così fa anche il veleno!

  6. From what I’ve read, David should be associated with death, destruction and war.

  7. [Quote]:

    The statue represents the Biblical hero David,

  8. Oh dear, our precious artistic heritage! It will be sullied by use in advertising! After seeing that ad, we’ll never be able to appreciate a nice statue of David again!

    Sorry for the sarcasm, but really… is there any impact on the artistic heritage? Isn’t that the kind of thinking we decry on this blog when Disney feels they need longer copyright to keep others from remixing Mickey, or when someone’s fanfic gets taken down by an author protecting their precious IP?

  9. I don’t see this whole episode as “oh dear our precious heritage” but rather as a “gee, what a bunch of uncultured barbarians trying to sell stuff this way”

  10. OTOH equipping him with a gun rather than a sling makes sense of the fact that he is, for his size, quite poorly endowed.

  11. @Desiato – Not at all…. and equating / Disney Mickey Mouse with the likes of Michelangelo, Wow, that is telling. So I leave you with this: What would I prefer my children’s first introduction to Michelangelo: his real work or ArmaLites’s? The real work of course and if you have children, or search your memory, you will know the process about which I speak. I want my children to know history, including art history, at the source – not a distorted comic (or violent) image produced by some marketing department with an a collective IQ in the negative numbers.

    @John – barbarians indeed!

  12. So Michelangelo made spectacular classic art that is so good that it can’t withstand being remixed into some tacky modern context?

    I don’t follow that. It’s a great statue and always will be a great statue. If the ad diminishes the statue, I think the problem is in your head.

    Alternate perspective: who gets to decide what material is so special that it can’t be desecrated? You? Or muslims who get mad at irreverent depictions on their prophet? I mean, sure, you’re not threatening to kill anyone so it’s not in the same ballpark, but why should either of you get to decide?

  13. @porpentine: That’s what I meant to say 🙂

    @Mykolas: the only place that your children are likely to see this ad is in a magazine for guns’n’ammo or on some shrill blog that likes to expose the folly and banruptcy of the world…er…

  14. oh crap..

  15. @SueW – John answered the shrill comment and it was not limited to gun mags. It was all over the media.

    @Desiato – Sidestepping the validity or not of problems in my head, the fact that Armalite included the tagline “a work of art” distorts its intent and makes it disingenuous at best. It is not art. It is a commercial offer to sell merchandise. As such, it is not unique as there are many precedents. What makes it unique, in my mind or head as you say, is the theme of extreme violence, promotion and glorification of the sick and bankrupt U.S. gun culture, and, if Dario Franceschini, Italy’s culture minister, is correct, it “… infringes the law.”

    To be clear, I was not advocating new legislation, just complete social disdain. Moreover, the issue is not desecration. Please, control your leaps to religious analogy. You said “you’re not threatening to kill anyone so it’s not in the same ballpark” – my rejoinder is: promotion of the gun culture, promotion of violence as the way to solve all problems – are all threats to me, my family, and to civilized societies everywhere. Using your logic, then bans on tobacco advertizing and anti smoking campaigns should be rescinded.

    Hope that was shrill enough 🙂

  16. I see a lot of assumptions about each others point of view in this thread, so I am leaving this here.

  17. I’ll readily agree with you that the US gun culture is nutty, and I loathe a lot of advertising. I just find this ad (run in a gun magazine as you originally said) completely unremarkable and find the use of Michelangelo’s David completely unproblematic. By no means does this extrapolate to making tobacco advertising OK. If we decide as a society that ads for guns are not OK, that’s fine with me. We haven’t done so.

  18. @Mykolas: I see shrill as being a good thing. If we don’t react to such rubbish with either ruthless mockery or indignant squawking then we are just “comfortably numb”, surely?

    In essence the ad made the leap into the “outraged liberal” media (which is why it was “all over the web”, I assume, with deference to xkcd). This must have been part of the original objective. Gun culture is boastful and unapologetic. There’s nothing they like more than ruffling feathers 🙂

    @Desiato: I don’t think that gun culture is nutty, exactly. It has a deliberate purpose and it definitely speaks to a significant minority tribe of Americans.

  19. @SueW @Desiato – great banter on this thread. See you all on the next one! 🙂

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