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Daft Signz
August 12, 2013 6:54 PM   Subscribe

Does what is says on the tin. The Artistry of sign spinning.
posted by skatz (30 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
More: Elbow's "One Day Like This."
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:01 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I did not know about this thing! Thanks.
posted by jessamyn at 7:01 PM on August 12, 2013


Wow! So amazing - thanks for sharing!
posted by michellenoel at 7:04 PM on August 12, 2013


Arrgh! where's my etiquette? via, via
posted by skatz at 7:18 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Their actual job title is "human directional."
posted by mudpuppie at 7:41 PM on August 12, 2013


This would be a better Olympic sport than some of those goofy ribbon twirling ones.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:51 PM on August 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


I can aspire to doing the canoe routine. That was fun, thanks.
posted by arcticseal at 8:04 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


OK one of the things I miss most about living on Melrose is the dudes who were hired to spin signs in front of the Jiffy Lube. Not only were they skillful dancers, they were incredibly engaging people. It's not easy to make the dude driving a shitty truck with no AC through late afternoon Hollywood traffic smile, but they did it every time. Getting out in the crosswalk, making eye contact, dancing and clapping, all the while foisting that horrid and stupid arrow up into the air with panache.

Also, can't believe they went out to Wilshire/Alvarado for the scenes in front of the 99¢ Only store. That corner is crazy.
posted by carsonb at 8:10 PM on August 12, 2013


I did not know about this thing! Thanks.

Which part? That people hold signs for pay or that some of them are pretty talented with it?

Is this not something that happens everywhere?
posted by LionIndex at 8:12 PM on August 12, 2013


The sign spinning thing. I have occasionally seen people with random signs but never one doing the spinning thing prior to today.
posted by jessamyn at 8:14 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, wow. I saw the note in the text about the video that it was born in CA, but I wasn't sure if I believed that. But, I've seen guys doing this for 15+ years, so I just sort of assumed it was all over.
/invisible backpack
posted by LionIndex at 8:18 PM on August 12, 2013


Also, lol, 6th st. bridge at the magic hour. How'd they get those shots without the 8000 other photographers and their models mucking up the shots? Oh yeah, by going down underneath it. Heh.

I liked this video a lot. Thanks!
posted by carsonb at 8:27 PM on August 12, 2013


Quintessential LA, from start to finish, from the radio tuning across stations into Morning Becomes Eclectic to the nearly final scene evocative of surfers heading back from a day at the beach.
posted by euphorb at 8:37 PM on August 12, 2013


If I cannot read the sign, doesn't it defeat the purpose of holding the sign? I say this as someone who held a sign as his first job. Wearing an Oscar-the-grouch costume, no less.
posted by sharpener at 8:39 PM on August 12, 2013


LionIndex: "I did not know about this thing! Thanks.

Which part? That people hold signs for pay or that some of them are pretty talented with it?

Is this not something that happens everywhere
"

As a point of reference, I associate this very closely with LA. I think I saw some guy in Las Vegas kind of try to do it half-heartedly once. But I think it's an LA thing.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:42 PM on August 12, 2013


Well, SoCal. I'm in San Diego and I see it all the time.

The ones that crack me up are the ones advertising condos. Because those are total impulse buys.
posted by LionIndex at 8:47 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


As a point of reference, I associate this very closely with LA. I think I saw some guy in Las Vegas kind of try to do it half-heartedly once. But I think it's an LA thing.

They've been doing it here Savannah, GA for about two years.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:55 PM on August 12, 2013


Back in the 1980s, there would often be young women at corner parking lots selling flowers in San Jose. Most of them had pretty sweet dance moves (swinging the flowers) that I as a preteen was envious of. (although as an adult I wonder if it was a prostitution front, they always wore pretty skimpy outfits.)
posted by vespabelle at 9:02 PM on August 12, 2013


I've travelled a bit around Europe, and the only place I've ever seen anyone hold a sign for pay was London.
posted by Harald74 at 10:12 PM on August 12, 2013


People who hold signs go on to hold...other things.
posted by ShutterBun at 10:20 PM on August 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm in the Midwest and I've never seen this in real-life. (Closest we have is this.) I can imagine it being adapted to almost any suburban strip area, but I'm pretty sure that LA represents the ideal conditions -- heavy car usage, combined with urban youths with their own street dance experience and a desire/need to work out that need/improve their skills by doing this for minimum wage or whatevs.

So, yeah, even though I've barely actually been there, this seems quintessentially LA, to the point that the bit in The Office seemed out of place (set in Florida, but as with everything else filmed in LA).
posted by dhartung at 1:38 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is so cool.

Is this not something that happens everywhere?

Dublin is full of sign holders, and I have never before this moment seen a sign holder dance or even employ any kind of motion. They stand stock still, or sometimes sit on a portable stool. I've seen a few reading books, which made the job seem more tolerable.

There probably wouldn't be enough footpath room to spin signs in most of the places you'd see them here. Our streets are tighter.
posted by distorte at 2:19 AM on August 13, 2013


I was pretty sure it'd been in DC for a very long time, almost as long as I've been here, and a look at the history timely indicates that the company that claims to have invented this style of advertising, AArrow, expanded to DC in Oct. 2002, less than 6 months after the company was founded. So it's surprising to hear there are places that don't have this--it's ubiquitous around here. You especially see them advertising for new housing subdivisions or condo buildings.
posted by drlith at 4:03 AM on August 13, 2013


Yeah, double that, I have seen it in Rockville (DCs little LA) I thought as far back as 10 years ago.
posted by jonbro at 4:45 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Aside from the sign spinning, let's not overlook that this video helps us forget about Get Lucky.
posted by The Deej at 5:11 AM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I would just like to point out that this is paid for by sony to advertise daft punk. see the directors page: http://cargocollective.com/randallstevens/About-1
posted by jonbro at 5:41 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sign holder here. Here's me.

I hold this sign for every Orioles home game outside the bar I work at. I've been doing it for four straight seasons now and I get asked very regularly why I don't spin or dance around with the sign. The main reason is that if I'm spinning it, no one can read it. And the message is the most important thing. I'm not the star. The sign is the star. I exist to hold it and get the message out that this is the place where you get "cheap ass beer". Now, this stuff is undeniably cool, but because I make money based on on how many people come inside and spend money, it doesn't behoove me to make a spectacle of myself that people will stand out side and watch and not come in to spend money or block the entrance of the bar to paying customers.

TL,DR

We're different kinds of sign artists but game recognizes game.
posted by josher71 at 7:08 AM on August 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


The main reason is that if I'm spinning it, no one can read it. And the message is the most important thing. I'm not the star. The sign is the star. I exist to hold it and get the message out that this is the place where you get "cheap ass beer". Now, this stuff is undeniably cool, but because I make money based on on how many people come inside and spend money, it doesn't behoove me to make a spectacle of myself that people will stand out side and watch and not come in to spend money or block the entrance of the bar to paying customers.

Oh, totally. This video is completely about the dancing part of it, so it's a little misleading as to what actually happens in the field (at least from what I've seen). Not everyone does the complicated dance routine thing - quite a few sign holders just rock the sign back and forth or just stand there. Maybe 1 in 10 does anything as complicated as what's in the video, but those guys usually do the dancing thing in bursts and then hold the sign. So, they'll get your attention with the moves and tossing the sign in the air, and then pause every once in a while to allow the sign to do its work. They're basically the obnoxious animated GIF banner ads of meatspace. They're usually working at signalized intersections, so they have some time to put on a show and get people's attention, and blending into the background is not really part of their job description.
posted by LionIndex at 9:13 AM on August 13, 2013


And yet not ONE sign was advertising a plate of beans.
posted by The Deej at 11:07 AM on August 13, 2013


I would just like to point out that this is paid for by sony to advertise daft punk.

Am I missing the subtle irony in this statement? All music videos are promotional material for the music they feature.

If you're just being silly about 'pointing' out the business associated with this post, well... uh, work on your dance moves bro.
posted by carsonb at 3:45 PM on August 13, 2013


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