Saturday, 10 September 2011

Ottawa Poster Collar Campaign: Phase Two

Phase Two of the Ottawa poster collar campaign took place today as I drove downtown, jack sack loaded, and tackled Ottawa's telephone poles with a fresh set of posters.

This time I forgot to take my camera with me, so the best I can do is include thumbs of the two posters I papered the town with today. One, as you can see, was aimed at promotion of the upcoming book signing at the Chapters - Pinecrest book store, while the other stayed with the cryptic teaser approach to promote The Plaid Raccoon Press. Puzzle them, and they will come.

I've always believed it's very important to be a lifetime learner. I've always said there's stuff you can learn from every situation you encounter in life, and this particular endeavor was no exception. During my previous poster plastering trip, I happened to come along just after the powers that be had cleared most of the poster collars of the old material that had been hanging around for god knows how long. So there was some bare space on the collars here and there where I could mount my poster. I carefully positioned each one so I wasn't obscuring anyone else's poster. After all, there must be some kind of poster ethics, right? Don't cover the other guy's ad? Help him out with a little bit of extra tape if his poster's corner has worked free, next to yours?

I'm so naive.

I visited each of the poles I'd visited last week because the plan was to follow up the first cryptic teaser poster with the book signing promo poster. Just put the new one right on top of the old one. Passersby would be used to looking at the cryptic one, and now there'd be the very specific one. "Aha!! That's what the 'fresh new voice in crime fiction' stuff was all about!!" I've seen bus ad campaigns like that which worked well.

I'm so naive.

I was dismayed to find that on every pole my first poster was completely buried beneath several layers of paper. In particular those @#&$^es slapping up big honking posters for concerts just papered the entire collar, completely disregarding everyone else's efforts, in clear violation of the city regulations, which I happened to have read beforehand, not only with respect to size of poster but also the limit of one poster per collar.

Is there no decency in poster plastering? Are there no ethics anymore?

It didn't take me long to adapt. By the third or fourth pole I was taping my l'il ole 8.5 x 11 on top of whatever the hell I felt like putting it on top of. Tough cheese, fella. Eat tape.

But it was a beautiful day today in downtown Ottawa and I really enjoyed it. It was busy in the Byward Market and I took my time at each pole. I chatted with another guy who was putting up a poster on the other side of the pole from me next to the Beaver Tails vendor on George Street just down from the television station. I watched a busker entertain a big crowd, and put up a poster on the pole right next to them.

Now the plan is for tonight's crowd going down to the Market for dinner and drinks will see the posters before they get plastered over by the next round of concert promos in a day or two. One learns to adjust one's expectations, doesn't one?

And the best part? I discovered that parking in Ottawa is free on Saturdays, so this time I didn't get a ticket!

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