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Art Inquisition: How Gross Can You Get?


Up in the Great White North of Canada (yet tragically far from MAL’s Ryan) is an assuredly fantastic place called Science World, “a not-for-profit organization that engages British Columbians in science and inspires future science and technology leadership throughout our province.” (In other words, don’t freak out about that extra U in ‘colour‘.) Also in Canada, with offices in both Vancouver and Toronto, is a clever creative agency called Rethink.

Sauroposeidon advertisement from Rethink Canada
Perhaps a refreshing swim? (image: Rethink)

Early in October, advertisements created for Science World showed up in listicles on Twenty-Two Words, Pleated Jeans, and Buzzfeed as being Super Awesome Science Museum Advertisements. Rethink has been working with Science World on this series of advertisements since 2004, though… maybe listicle-writers are just now really getting into fantastically gross factoids?

In their ages and ages of working with Science World, Rethink has figured out what will and won’t work for their client. And with the museum’s tagline of “We can explain,” anything might be possible. But would references to glowing cat pee, swallowing snot, and the volume of your farts make you want to visit?

(I know my answer, but I’m secretly six years old.)

What do you think? Is this idea great or gross? Does this sort of thing catch your attention or make you gag? Is this appropriate advertising for the museum, for certain demographics, for everyone, for potty-mouthed children, for snickering adults? Who do you think would be most interested in going to this museum after seeing these ads? Do you still make poop jokes?

The ART Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Mad Art Lab community. It appears on Wednesdays at 3pm ET… Make with the comments!

(Bonus fact: research has shown that hot chocolate sipped from an orange cup tastes better.)

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  1. I have no problem with this sort of thing (though perhaps it shouldn’t be ALL a place has to offer), but there does need to be consideration of how it’s done. I worked at a science center for five years, and as part of their human body exhibit they had a display with the fancy words for various bodily functions (like “eructation”), and if you pushed a button you would hear a recording of that function (a loud belch). Fine, no problem. They located it, however, near a ledge that overlooked the science center’s cafe on the lower level, so whenever you ate in the cafe you would quite clearly hear belching, vomiting, and farting noises coming from over your head. In its own way, it was kind of genius.

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