Reverse The Wave. Various locations around Liverpool City Streets. Artist: Deena DeNaro-Bickerstaffe
16.09.2010 – 18.09.2010 and then weekend evenings throughout the Biennial.
“Reverse the Wave” is a ‘Subvertisement’ that brings Nokia’s brand identity closer in alignment to its actions. In the style of Ad-Busters Magazine and the Yes Men it offers “Brand Identity Correction” for a corporation who has put profits above privacy and basic human rights.
Created in early June 2010 and entered in the MoFilm competition for the Cannes Lions TV Advertising Festival 2010, the brief was to produce an innovative 60 second advertisement for one of the competition’s sponsors. Nokia’s brief, however, jumped out at us for the sheer inconsistencies between their projected corporate values and their actions.
The initial plan was to submit the subvertisement to the MoFilm competition and once it was rejected, mount a guerrilla projection at Cannes during the awards ceremony to raise awareness about how the Iranian government used Nokia’s surveillance technology during the election protests last summer. However, the strategy changed when, surprisingly, the film was short-listed to compete for the finalist round!
As it relates to the theme of “touched” this piece considers the reciprocal relationship between personal psychology and mass media control. While the primary objective was to call Nokia out on duplicitous advertising, I would also hope that viewers of it would experience increased empathy for the Iranian people.
When the election protests first broke out, my initial impression was one of irony and hope. From an American point of view, the notion of Iranians fighting for democracy seemed very ironic and I hoped that these events would wear some chinks in the armor of our own propaganda so that western mainstream media would stop equating the words “Iranian”, “Islamic” and “Muslim” with the words “Extremist, “Terrorist, “Fundalmentalist”. The same way I would hope people do not equate mainstream America with “Evangelist”, “Capitalist”, or more recently “Tea Partier”.
Part of the Liverpool Independents Biennial