At first glance, a series of posters plastered across Manhattan—mostly on the walls of subway tunnels—appears to be part of Apple’s intriguing “Shot on iPhone” campaign showcasing personal photography.
A closer inspection reveals a more sobering vision.
Andy Koo and Ji Kim, both 26-year-old seniors at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, are behind a guerilla marketing campaign that, although modeled after the tech giant’s, instead draws attention to gun violence.
The Korean students’ design swaps iPhone users’ photography for images of people mourning victims of recent AR-15 rifle massacres at a Las Vegas concert, an Orlando nightclub, Sandy Hook elementary school, a Texas church and at a high school in Parkland, Fla.
The National Rifle Association’s logo replaces the Apple icon, and text beneath each image reads, “Shot with AR-15,” instead of Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” signature. The ads’ dimensions and fonts are roughly the same.
Photos from the powerful campaign:
There have been plenty of doubletakes.
“Such clever guerilla marketing. I legit thought they were ‘Shot on iPhone’ ads at first,” Instagram user Max Chen said.
Kim and Koo decided their contribution to a student-led intitiative to support gun control would make use of both meanings of the word “shot.”
“Ever since we heard what happened in Parkland, the word ‘shot’ was all over our heads and we really wanted to do something with it,” Kim told the Daily News.
“We were on the subway and we saw the ‘Shot with iPhone’ ads and we thought to make use of the word’s two different meanings—taking photos and getting shot by a gun. We thought it would be a smart way to visualize and tell people what we were thinking,” Koo said.
The pair cribbed photographs of the gut-wrenching scenes from the internet and from news sites, but did not show individuals’ faces.
Photos of the weapon:
“It’s basically images showing people mourning, not people getting hurt or victims getting shot. We didn’t want to use specific photos that someone could identify, we wanted to make it seem anonymous,” Koo said.
The bottom right corner of the posters indicate where they were taken.
Koo and Kim came up with 12 different designs, which they printed more than 80 times. The first posters went up March 24 — the same day hundreds of thousands of protestors joined the March For Our Lives rally against gun violence.
Some of the ads have been taken down, but others remain in public view.
The students say neither Apple nor the National Rifle Association has commented on their project. Neither responded to The News’ requests for comment.
The pair say they now plan to expand the campaign beyond New York to other cities in the United States.
“We know a lot of people feel that same way we do,” Koo said.
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