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Human Billboarding: Peopled Publicity and a New Space of “Agency” in Advertising
Abstract

Abstract:

In today’s saturated media environment, advertising messages populate every part of the landscape, causing advertisers to seek new ways to break through the clutter and reach potential consumers. Against this backdrop, a renewed form of selling messages emerges, which continues to develop in pace with ongoing shifts within the advertising and mass media landscapes. This article analyzes the evolving phenomenon of human billboarding. Beginning with an examination of the history of this practice, the paper moves beyond the usual “end of the world as we know it” position of related research and seeks more productive ways to understand this new form of corporate messaging as a strategy for addressing social realities through carnivalesque performance.