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Let's Play Tag



Description of campaign/project

We created a multimedia ‘culture jam’ tag to be placed on furniture in Harvey Norman that is sourced from native Australian forests. The tag subverts Harvey Norman’s well known graphical style and features a ‘QR Code’ or bar tag that is underneath a tag line ‘Find out how you can win’. If consumers have a smart phone they can then scan the QR code and it takes them directly to a video that shows footage of real destruction caused by the logging of our native forests – for which furniture is often the excuse.

The intention was to challenge the standard level of interaction between customer and company, and to encourage accountability in product labeling. We were also hoping this innovative approach would cause some interest in traditional and social media, thus generating conversations about the products, issues of native forest logging, labeling and our organisation.

We used guerilla marketing and an extensive online push through social media channels as part of the communication and dissemination of this action. Members of the Last Stand coordinated with activists across Australia and visited Harvey Norman stores to discreetly place tags on furniture known to come from native forests. The action was then launched through social media channels with traditional media follow up, action kits for supporters to download to participate, the video was promoted online and all Harvey Norman retailers were also contacted via post with a letter informing them of the campaign.

We wanted to open up a new style of communication with multiple audiences.

Consumers are becoming more and more educated, and demanding greater accountability from the corporations they buy from. This is highlighted through many different industries – from beauty products labeling their chemical compounds, the demand for labeling for genetically modified foods, or those containing palm oil.

Through this action we are drawing attention to these concerns, both to the retailers, and the broader public. In this age of social media and information overload it is in the interest of retailers to not only source products from sustainable sources, but provide clear labeling so consumers can make informed choices.

This action was conceived to interact with different levels of audience in different ways, with several objectives.

Customers: It was hoped that if the tags stayed up for a while that tech-savvy customers might become interested and scan the tag, leading them to the video.

Retailers: Once the mainstream media reported on this action we were aware that a direct result of the publicity would be that the tags would be removed earlier. We had hoped this would also provide a trigger for retailers and staff to view the video – to be informed about the practices with which their company was associated.

Our supporters: Were encouraged to participate with an early warning teaser campaign via facebook, and then a mail out to supporters linking them to a full action kit. We also made the video available for sharing. We like to provide DIY resources so our supporters may fully participate in actions, both on and offline.

Traditional and social media users: This was reported in the Hobart mercury and several high profile online news sources, which helped seed a response online. There were over 100 ‘retweets’ and sharing of the action, which generated discussion not only about the innovative tactics being reported, but the issue itself. Social media also provided an interactive environment for people to watch and share the video, or take action themselves.

We learnt that through creative and clever actions like this we can widen the reach of our campaign far beyond our traditional demographic.

Curators comments More info on Curators & Editors ›

Mischievous, clever and informative. Let’s Play Tag has been very clearly thought out and smoothly executed in both on and offline environments, in Harvey Norman shops and in the media. It’s both enabling and reaching new audiences by allowing participation to take place on a number of levels.

I was immediately drawn to the work because of the cheeky energy contained in the design of its logo. I can imagine Harvey Norman shoppers must have experienced something similar and their consequent viewing of the video would have been something else all together!

I watched your video online, and what struck me most were the three very different comments that ran below:

This is criminal behaviour, I hope Gerry Harvey gets out of bed on the wrong side one day soon and sues your collective arses off.


Old growth, regrowth, plantation, it all looks and sounds like this when you harvest a forest. If its allowed to grow back then its sustainable, as it will be possible to harvest it again later again and again.


Such an amazing idea to use these tags. Thank you for the great work.

I love the diversity of opinions here, however difficult or uneasy it may be to the sympathetic ear. I imagine the actual viewing of the video inside Harvey Norman was met with a similar range of responses and it is this diversity of opinions that activist oriented works like this need to find ways to engage with and build upon. To open up a dialogue, and to start moving from where the video ends. The sharing of information is one thing, but conversation is another.

For me it is these fragments of experience and response, things that are intangible yet so central, which I am always left yearning for in public interventionist works of this kind. Media coverage and the distribution of this work through social media networks are some avenues that open up these potentials but they are not the only paths.

I find it useful to think of works like this as an ongoing process – which I am sure you are already doing as individuals and through The Last Stand – but one could use this process as a means through which to produce a more creative continuous narrative through an art work that would continue to engage and expand the breadth of one’s audience over time and that too with increasing intimacy and political urgency.

View other works commented by Alana Hunt  ››

I have never been a friend of moralist activist propaganda - I always preferred the fun and subversive way as we all learned from the Kalle Lasns "Adbusters". And I am still happy to see those guerilla marketing actions - made by activists: "Available online for free"-Sticker by Evan Roth (http://rebelart.net/evan-roth-available-online-for-free/001092/), offical looking free parking signs by Chifumi (http://rebelart.net/update-chifumi-2/0010285/) and many more - and now I have to add you on the list of great "subverting" jams.

View other works commented by Alain Bieber  ››

This project strikes me as a really well thought out aesthetic campaign. There is a physical action (which has been actualized), a social media component, a press component, an action kit, and a design component. Additionally, the artists/activists have given consideration to site-specificity and diverse audiences (supporters, shoppers, retailers, workers, etc).

The design components could easily have become superficial and trite. On the contrary, they are smart and funny. The action itself seems fairly well documented, although I wonder if there is a missed opportunity for more of a dramatic, human element. For example, they've done a wonderful job setting the stage with all the right props, but I really want to see the drama played out to its fullest potential.

It's difficult in this instance not to defer to the Yes Men as the model for a project like this. The artists here are already masquerading as the retailer by appropriating their design language. Why not appropriate other aspects of the unfolding narrative (concocted corporate press releases, faux shocked shoppers, the illusion of a more massive campaign, etc)? As noted in their submission statement, the duration of the tags in the retail environment is limited. Why not maximize their potential staging additional layers of interaction with all of those audiences that have already been identified as stakeholders in this righteous campaign?

View other works commented by Aaron Gach  ››

This is a great, subversive, intervention. I really like the fact that the interaction happens right in the stores, allowing for critical reflection, and possibly debate, at the point of purchase. As described in your text, the campaign is effective on many tactical levels connecting to a range of audiences, engaging supporters, and the mediatisation of the campaign is a testament to it's success. It would have been/be great to push the campaign further, to try and reach an even larger audience.

This being said, I am a bit critical of the video itself, which I think could have been better thought out and executed. Better production values would possibly have engaged an unsuspecting audience, and better, punchier and shorter copywriting would be more effective given the context of viewing on mobile devices while in store. The design and editing, sound, etc. all could have been more engaging given the important subject matter.

View other works commented by Kevin Yuen-Kit Lo  ››

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Curators comments

This work has been commented by 4 curator(s):
Alana Hunt Alain Bieber Aaron Gach Kevin Yuen-Kit Lo go to comments ›

Entry details


Let's Play Tag


Culture jamming Harvey Norman

Concept author(s)

Paul Kimbell, Nicola Paris

Concept author year(s) of birth

1981, 1975

Concept author(s) contribution

Paul Kimbell - Graphic concept, design and video Nicola Paris - Support, media, text edit and distribution *Organisation: The Last Stand




Paul Kimbell

Designer(s) year(s) of birth


Designer(s) contribution

Graphic concept, design and video



Competition category


Competition field


Competition subfield


Subfield description

The Last Stand is an action focused environmental organisation based in Australia. We use creative direct action and online campaigning to encourage retailers to stop profiting from selling native forest products.