Manhattan Mini Storage: How to Insult Jews and Buddhists.
Mikal Reich, creative director at New York's Mad Injection (www.madinjection.com), a creative-only spinoff of Mad Dogs & Englishmen, has launched a clever new
Published on Mar 18, 2004
Mikal Reich, creative director at New York's Mad Injection (www.madinjection.com), a creative-only spinoff of Mad Dogs & Englishmen, has launched a clever new campaign for Manhattan Mini Storage, in which shelved objects talk about themselves via what look like graffitied word balloons. "It's a big deal for us and I expect will get a lot of people's dander up," said Reich, mere days before it did just that. One ad, featuring a Buddha statue saying, "My owner's a Jew . . . again," has already been pulled after an outcry from New York Jews. Not Buddhists. "My people are better complainers than Buddhists," says Reich. "Anyone offended by this ad obviously misunderstands it or is just pissed at Mel Gibson." For those who may think the ad has something to do with reincarnation, it doesn't. "The owner of this Buddha was somewhat fickle with his choice of religion," explains Reich. "This ad is based on an extremely common modern occurrence: There are many people who belong to Western religions who are exploring Eastern forms of spirituality. The intent was for people to take this ad completely in fun, as they did when Woody Allen dabbled in other religions in Hannah and Her Sisters." About the campaign in general, "Manhattanites are a special breed of people," says Reich. "Besides a true lack of space, their lives are affected by a different set of factors than anyone else's. And there's no better way to look into Manhattan's soul than by looking at the things we hold on to." As for the interesting hand-drawn headlines, "we were just trying to humanize the items as much as possible. The handwriting for each ad came out of the personality of the item. The soldier is manly, for instance, and the blowup doll is sort of bimboish. It felt stupid after a while trying to figure out how to write like a moose. All us here did the lettering. We started out just using a typeface, but we all got emotionally attached to the items and felt that they deserved more."