PR's Blog

March 25, 2010

Andre the Giant: Does He Really Have a Posse?

Filed under: Uncategorized — perryrobbin @ 2:14 pm

Andre the Giant (real name Andre Roussimoff, a.k.a. Monster Eiffel Tower, Jean Ferre, Giant Machine and The Butcher) is the source behind one of the most popular “real-life” memes, created by artist Shepard Fairey– “Andre the Giant Has a Posse/OBEY.”

The irreverence that is so often associated with a successful meme is easily visible in the sticker below. Thousands of these went up in and around Philadelphia, New York and Providence (Where Fairey went to art school), starting in 1989. This was a sort of pre-internet viral campaign, although the monetization of the meme didn’t happen until years later and the message was oblique.

This meme has been successful for a number of reasons. One is that it is inclusive – if you were putting up Andre stickers, you were part of the posse. And you were often “sticking it to the man,” so to speak, vandalizing property . Another is the respect and adoration that people (at least me) had for Andre, the 8th Wonder of the World.

The most important reason in this meme’s success is probably its customizability. The concept is broad enough and subversive enough where anyone, or thing, could conceivably be made into a similar sticker.

Tony Danza, He's So BOSSY

This meme even inspired me and my friends to make a few stickers in the same vein. While the “Poop Milkshake Has a Posse” sticker might be a little too bleak and gross to post here (as would the “Captain Boner” and “I Like to Eat Garbage (It’s a Lifestyle Choice)” stickers), this sticker of my roommate’s stepfather on a trip to China illustrates my point – these stickers are totally adaptable (and can be made into anyone’s inside joke), which makes them so popular.

Advertisements

2 Comments »

  1. Good.

    Comment by ricksrss — March 25, 2010 @ 7:00 pm

  2. Poop Milkshake Has A Posse

    Comment by Neil — April 2, 2010 @ 6:01 am


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: