Or is it guerrilla marketing? You decide. Gaetano Cecchini was at it again this past week in Rome. No, it's not a Sony Bravia commercial, it was Mr Cecchini's protest -- an artistic gesture to demonstrate the problems in Italy. "To do so, I used art," he said, "Both the Left and the Right are telling us so many lies and I and the Italians have had enough. They have broken our balls and hence this live art display."
Many of the people who were there collected the balls as souvenirs. You can see some in the video below. If they haven't found their way onto eBay, they will soon. While the passers by were mostly amused, authorities were only half smiling. The other half was busy arresting Cecchini. I saw different reports on the cost of this stunt -- anywhere from 14,000 to 15,000 Euros.
I was in Rome this past December during the holidays and I can tell you that the most difficult feat is finding those steps not covered with people. I wanted to take a photo and just couldn't. Here you see them as cleaning crews are removing the balls. [AP Photo/Andrew Medichini]
Cecchini poured half a million brightly colored rubber balls down the steps.
This was not the first time Cecchini pulled such a stunt. A few short months ago, he poured red paint in the Trevi fountain.
The fountain looked none for the wear when I saw it, yet I'm sure that the city of Rome did not enjoy the work and cost of clearing out the bright red water. Was this art as communication, was it guerrilla marketing used to further a message? What do you think?
UPDATE: I've received some great feedback to this post and admittedly my question was pushing definitions. If you have time, go dig in the comments here, some very good thoughts.