2006_11_arts_turistas.JPGIn a savvy mixture of viral advertising and graffiti art, two different entertainment products have strikingly similar ads up around the city. Both of the campaigns for the HBO series Rome and the horror movie Turistas are playing on that tendency of New Yorkers with black markers to tag outdoor posters -- by doing the work for the would-be graffiti artists. What makes both of these posters seem clever is how nicely they fit in with the product, as well as the New York streets.

2006_11_arts_rome.JPGOn the first season of the historical miniseries Rome, graffiti which slandered certain characters was a part of the plot, so for posters to advertise the new series with slogans like "Pulo Is A Thug" or "Atia Is A Tramp" fits in with the show's story. As for Turistas, a scary movie starring Josh Duhamel about stupid American tourists attacked while on vacation in Brazil, it makes sense to visualize the movie with an attention-grabbing, faux vacation poster and the phrase "Turistas Go Home" scrawled across it.

If so much of the city's public space is going to be available for sale to advertisers, it seems like the least these companies can do is give New Yorkers something creative to read as we walk past.

[Photos by Karen Wilson of advertising space on East 7th Street at Third Avenue. Rome will air the second season starting in January and Turistas hits theaters Dec 1.]