PRINT Summer 1996


Babylon Zoo

THEY STARTED SHOWING up in mid-December. Posters featuring a larger-than-life graphic of an alien’s head—with large green almond-shaped eyes, machine-gun slit nose, and pesky eyebrows—were suddenly all over London. Bold and anthropomorphic, speaking a different language than most advertising, this unsettling image offered no clue as to what it was promoting, except the legend, “Beam me up I can’t breathe.” Yup, any of us smog-saturated Londoners can identify with that. Right on, whoever you are.

Round two followed in the New Year: the same alien outline now overlaid with human hair, lank and center-parted. The legend was simple: “He is coming.” At the same time, a new Levis ad was running on prime-time TV: the old arrival-of-the-alien routine—this time, an attractive young woman emerged from the spaceship wearing “the only jeans in the universe cut from 01 denim”—against a moon-valley

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