Smart Urban Stage is Smart Advertising

by: Jonathan Newhall

June 22, 2012

On the whole, advertisements are not out there to make you think or to question how your society works. Ads are there to inform you about a brand, to sell you a product, and (if they are good) appeal to you on some fundamental emotional level.

Smart, that Euro clown car company, has decided to take the intellectual path towards advertisement.

Meet Smart Urban Stage, where “We [Smart] ask pioneers from metropolises around the world to question the urban status quo. The results are visions, ideas and solutions for sustainable lifestyles, modern social systems and forward-looking developments in the fields of architecture, design and technology.”

That is a pretty lofty goal for an online advertisement.

What it translates into are short articles about a multitude of problems and solutions facing the world’s cities today. “How is it possible to make art affordably accessible to all citizens?” is one question posed, or, “How can cities incorporate urban food production to feed and nourish their citizens?

These are not just questions thought up in a marketing boardroom that are slapped together because of their SEO potential (that’s Search Engine Optimization). For example, Daniel Liebskind asks artist Leon Kreer “With all of the challenges faced by cities, how do we take into account the role of human desire?” Another intriguing series of questions asks “What is the sound of….” where bloggers from that city (be it Rome, Berlin, New York, etc.) record the different sounds of a day in their city.

Of course, there is some advertorial thrown into the mix as well. A picture series showcasing what people like about their Smart eBikes makes an appearance. There is also an article about the inspiration behind Smart’s unique billboard in Tel Aviv. Smart is a brand that thrives almost exclusively in urban environments, so this marketing scheme makes sense for them.

Altogether, cheeky publicity is kept to a minimum and the entire website is really a comp. lit. major’s wet dream.

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