Rampant Beck’s poster pilfering reverses general attitude towards advertising

Humans typically go to great lengths to avoid advertising. But every once in a while it’s so good that it … gets stolen. And Beck’s Playable Posters, which were created by Shine and launched to promote the beer brand’s sponsorship of NZ Music Month, were apparently “disappearing like sausage rolls at a birthday party”.

Phantom Billstickers placed 120 Playable Units across eight centres—Whangarei, Auckland Hamilton, Palmeston North, Napier/Hastings, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin—and account manager Dan Collins estimates 80 percent of the playable units were pinched and ‘souvineered’ by the public (from the brand’s point of view, it could either be seen as frustrating as others don’t get to see them, or great because they live on in someone’s living room). 

“Probably the coolest thing I saw was a Facebook post from a friend of a friend of a friend, who’d obviously found one and pinched it … One of our Auckland installers told us that he installed a set of the units on K Road, and by the time he’d finished pasting a site just up the road and driven past again the playable unit had been pinched. So they certainly seemed to be hot property and sought after, and that’d be a fairly common sort of outcome for these. Many won’t have lasted the day after being installed. The most amusing part from my perspective was in Dunedin where someone may have got the wrong end of the stick and went and pinched the companion units (so the green arrow and the Becks bottles creative), but left the playable unit in place, which was quite odd I thought.” 

No word on how much the posters were fetching on the black market. But Becks did auction one poster that was signed by Phoenix Foundation off on TradeMe, with proceeds going to NZ Music foundation. 

Kiwi band​ Two Wolves added some spice to its track, offering poster touchers an intimate live show. 

This isn’t the first time advertising has been stolen, however. Ecoya had one of its saucy billboards ripped down from Fanshawe St, although that may have been more out of spite than love (in a similar fashion, political advertising often gets a punishing). And a Warriors billboard near Eden Park was also stolen recently. But Stolen rum, as its name implies, fully embraced theft by giving away 200 sofas

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