Red Bull: parting words

Red Bull

I bet you thought we were done with the whole Red Bull black cube thing, huh? No such luck.

Being a responsible citizen journalist and all, I decided to tie up some loose strings and give you a link group of articles discussing the Illume installation in Minneapolis. Most of them feel that tying up the bridge, a major bike commuting route, for ten days was not a good idea especially when the photos were only visible for a few hours after sunset.

Highlights of the set include Lisa’s post at Corporate Babysitter, the blog for Parents for Ethical Marketing. She notes the direct tie-in to Red Bull in the photos (several athletes are on Red Bull’s payroll) and the difficulty in finding out who approved the exhibit in the first place. (Minneapolis has rather opaque governance.) It turns out Red Bull paid $25,000 for a permit to the Minneapolis Park Board.

The Star Tribune even published an editorial by a recent Humphrey graduate as to the folly of the exhibit after initially publishing a press release with no comments.

I should also mention the glowing review of large-scale corporate advertising over here (not sure who publishes this blog) wherein the auther states:

Yes, it’s not art like Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s “The Gates” in Central Park. But for an advertisement on the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis, it’s really well done. And it just may have expanded my perspective on large scale marketing campaigns. Well done, advertising.

Somehow “Well done, advertising.” just doesn’t compensate for 10 days of blocked bicycles.

Questions left unanswered:

Was there any discussion with the Park Board as to where to locate the exhibit?

Did Red Bull demand the Stone Arch Bridge location? (Erica Mauter at Metblog points out that Gold Medal Park — which is down the block from the bridge — might have been a suitable location.)

Did Park Board Commissioners even know about the permit? (And, did they discuss closing a bike commuter route?)

I plan on emailing this post link to the Park Board. Maybe they have some answers.

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