As with David Bowie, the ‘Graffiti Room’ is Exploiting Prince’s Death for Sales

Posted on: May 2nd, 2016 at 9:32 am by
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Much like with David Bowie, the Graffiti Room restaurant is now capitalizing on the death of Prince. Its ad-art wall around the corner on Kenmare Street now boasts a mural of the departed artist, complete with purple paint splatter (rain) on the sidewalk below.

As before, the issue is more the blatant advertisement of Graffiti Room (i.e. the hashtag placement) behind the memorial. Essentially saying – Prince, brought to you by this eatery.

Yeah, not cool. On a related note, Billboard has an article about corporations jumping on the “death bandwagon,” so to speak. It’s on a much larger scale, but the thesis applies here…

It wasn’t long before the online tributes to Prince following his death last Thursday included corporations turning their social media portals purple for the artist, whose animosity toward corporate control was such that he once changed his name to a glyph in order to thwart Warner Bros. Records.

“Everyone is climbing on the death wagon, and that’s understandable because that’s where the audience is, that’s where the clicks are,” he said. “But it’s disingenuous, and it’s borrowed interest. Cheerios and Prince shared the same city but not the same values. These companies are borrowing from the shared passions, good will and shared sorrow of Prince’s brand community. And after the second and third and fourth corporation, don’t think that the grieving community doesn’t see through that.”

David Bowie’s death in January provided a preview of the perils corporations potentially face when they associate their brands with the death of a celebrity. Levis, Diesel, Vera Wang, Google and even London Heathrow (“Ground control to Major Tom …”) posted Bowie tributes on Twitter mostly without major blowback.

As previously reported, the eight-month-old Graffiti Room is a snack shop on Mott Street that’s banking on artwork to sell, in its own words, simple fusion foods like ramen noodles, sandwiches, and juices. This wall offers rotating selection of street art curated to attract the camera lens, thereby advertising the brand.

This image has been archived or removed.

An earlier version without the hashtag placement

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