Parsons School of Design

BFA Communication Design

Thesis 2013

Axel Hammarskiöld Spendrup
Ban the Banner
Axel Hammarskiöld Spendrup
Ban the Banner

When our phones first went wireless, then smart, the internet became a commodity we take for granted. We made billions of friends and watched cat videos with bleeding eyes until we saw internet access as a right rather than a privilege. When our children adapted to use touchscreens before books, we adapted to avoid online advertising. Swearing at every pop-up we encountered, we forgot that advertising keeps the internet free. It has supported advancements of every online technology except for the advertising model itself. Today, we are left naively abusing a dated system, because it is the only way we know how. We have to ask ourselves, do we want to be remembered as the generation whose greatest innovation was held back by ignorance, or do we want to go down in history as the pioneers who refused antiquated practices and stopped at nothing to push the boundaries of possibility? If we want to keep the internet free, we need to start thinking differently about how people interact with advertising. If we want to continue to progress, we must leverage the full potential of the internet and turn advertising into what it used to be. Ban the Banner is an initiative to discover and document unexplored opportunities, such as subliminal advertising, web habits, and embedded calls to action where action is already happening. Is is a motivation to move advertising from irritation to interaction. The solution starts with recognizing the problem, banning the banner, then starting anew.

Nika Simovich
Lesley Sakinah Steele
Daddy’s Girl: A Documentary Film