Visual Culture

McDonald’s, Perrier, and other brands appropriated Banksy’s shredded painting for ads.

Alex Wexelman
Oct 10, 2018 5:18PM, via Adweek

The “Framed Fries” design created by Richard Agius, Creative Director at TBWA\ANG. Courtesy Richard Agius and TBWA\ANG.

McDonald’s creative agencies, apparently unaware of where Banksy’s allegiances lie, have swiftly begun appropriating the artist’s recent auction house stunt for branding purposes. “We got Banksy’d” is how Alex Branczik, head of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s in Europe, put it after Banksy bamboozled collectors and (reportedly) staff alike when, right after it sold Friday for $1.3 million, his painting Girl With Balloon (2006) self-destructed. Now, major brands are rushing to get Banksy’d, too.

An image by DDB Vienna combining the shredded Banksy and distinctive McDonald’s branding. Image courtesy DDB Vienna.

The image of the shredded work has been memed and is now serving as fodder for Golden Arches’ marketing. Two branding agencies served up some art of their own featuring french fries in place of the tattered image. Richard Agius, senior creative director at TBWA\ANG in Malta, posted one such picture on his Instagram, and DDB Vienna posted its own take on Facebook.

A Banksy-inspired ad for IKEA Norway explains how to make a similarly shredded work; Perrier also got in on the act, as did many other brands, co-opting Banksy’s latest viral moment to move product.

Alex Wexelman