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Vinyl Ads Just Don't Cut It on the Hotel Figueroa

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, April 14, 2009, at 09:42AM
Ripped Supergraphic Eric Richardson [Flickr]

A ripped vinyl ad for Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars hangs on the Hotel Figueroa.

In December of last year, CBS Outdoor ended a long tradition of hand-painted ads on the outside of the Hotel Figueroa when it slapped a vinyl sticker for Target on the building's three-part southern face.

While these new ads might look similar, they lack the character that the previous pitches on the building had possessed. Whether you were a fan of the advertising or not, you had to admire the work that went into painting photo-realistic images on a 15-story building.

Today's ads are nothing but stickers, spit out of a printer and stuck to the building. Ready for a new ad? Just slap it on top, layering away the texture of the building beneath.

Over the weekend, winds ripped the center panel in the hotel's current ad for the video game Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. Underneath the flapping, tattered wrap is an orange background, part an ad for the film "Kung Fu Panda."

It seems funny to wax nostalgic for an advertisement, but I miss seeing the side of the building get whitewashed before a new ad went up. I miss the multi-day process of passing by the corner of Figueroa and Olympic and guessing what it was that was going up.

While other areas of the city are trying to fight ads and billboards, the people that I talk to Downtown are generally in support of ads. All they ask is that the ads show some site-specific creativity, adding something to Downtown instead of just plastering images over it.

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