Painters spied creating Microsoft Surface "art"

Last night, the word got out that some folks were creating "street art" in locations around New York City that seemed to be a viral marketing campaign for Microsoft's Surface tablet. So far, the company has not offered any comment on these images, which are a clever mix of billboards and graffiti.

Now yet another example of Surface street art has popped up, but this time the painters who created the ad were "caught in the act". Web designer Daniel Howell took a quick photo of the painters and posted it on his Twitter page. The workers were in the middle of their Surface painting gig on the side of a building in the SoHo section of Manhattan.

Howell's comment on seeing the art? "Like seeing my dad wearing skinny jeans and a jaunty hall." Unfortunately, Howell didn't ask the painters about their job while he was there, saying, "no I sort of chuckled a bit and moved on..". However, it does indeed look like Microsoft just started this viral campaign for the Surface this week and it's now spreading out in New York City (the first examples of street art were put in place in Brooklyn).

Microsoft is holding a joint press conference with Nokia in Manhattan on September 5th, but its unlikely that Microsoft will mention the Surface at the event.

Source: Daniel Howell's Twitter page | Image via Daniel Howell

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22 Comments

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I doubt there is any connection between this and the event on the 5th. It's just a case of two marketing campaigns.

Maybe the "Surface" is made by Nokia, and they are getting ready to release it on Sept. 5th.

Nah, Nokia is obviously terrible at keeping secrets. But why the campaign now just before the Nokia announcements? Seems curious.

ccoltmanm said,

I suppose it's hard to connect art to advertising, even if a paintbrush is being used.

The word actually has a pretty generic meaning that applies to the simplest things. A kids school project made from construction paper, decoration on a vase or book (book art), a conceptual drawing for a product design (concept art). You also have poster art, billboard art and ad art, which is all commercial.

Then, there's a more specific meaning of art that's short for "fine art". Lets face it, though, most stuff under the umbrella of "street art" wouldn't get any attention at all if it weren't graffiti and seen as "counterculture" by extension. There's no reason why something by a corporation is less deserving of the label "art" than most of the stuff on the street.

bdsams said,
Curious, did the title of this post lead you to believe that the above content would be about something else?

Considering there was an article about the drawing app a few days ago, I assumed this would be an article about artists using this to make some sort of art.

nvllsvm said,

Considering there was an article about the drawing app a few days ago, I assumed this would be an article about artists using this to make some sort of art.

This. John isn't very good with meaningful titles.

nvllsvm said,

Considering there was an article about the drawing app a few days ago, I assumed this would be an article about artists using this to make some sort of art.


This.

-Razorfold said,
Why is this news?

Do we really need 2-3 topics about surface advertisements in New York? Who else would have made them? Aliens?


exactly why Neowin is pro Microsoft... there is also a thread for that.... all authers are.

-Razorfold said,
Why is this news?

Do we really need 2-3 topics about surface advertisements in New York? Who else would have made them? Aliens?

In today's world, if a company or a celebrity tweets or post it on a social media site, it is already news. You should try watching news channels sometimes because they make those postings as relevant news.

RommelS said,

In today's world, if a company or a celebrity tweets or post it on a social media site, it is already news. You should try watching news channels sometimes because they make those postings as relevant news.


Sorry E! News isn't news I don't think celebrity tweets come up on BBC News 24/7 (for example).

-Razorfold said,

Sorry E! News isn't news I don't think celebrity tweets come up on BBC News 24/7 (for example).

Well that shows you that you are definitely behind the times.

-Razorfold said,
Why is this news?

Do we really need 2-3 topics about surface advertisements in New York? Who else would have made them? Aliens?

I like this news!!

but it's unlikely that Microsoft will mention the Surface at the event.

What if they do mention Surface and reveal that Nokia has been their partner in this all along!! I know it's a long shot but a possibility nevertheless....That would make some tasty news!!

Mohitster said,

I like this news!!


What if they do mention Surface and reveal that Nokia has been their partner in this all along!! I know it's a long shot but a possibility nevertheless....That would make some tasty news!!

I was thinking this too. A little Nokia logo on the top left would be very nice for the bank accounts in Finland I would think.