Spider-Man Leaves His Mark on Los Angeles - How We Pulled It Off

February 17, 2012

Mark of the Spider-Man Viral

We've left our mark in the name of Spider-Man. Permanently this time! Last night I was called on the phone I picked up in the Mark of the Spider-Man viral to meet up in downtown Los Angeles to participate in an incognito event around the city involving tagging the Mark of the Spidey on walls around Hollywood. It was awesome. And you can still see our work. This isn't the only city either, as groups have hit Atlanta, Seattle, Denver, and also coming up tonight, New York and Phoenix, too. Our group of 10 and the Mark crew took stencils and rode in a van around the city last night spreading the word of Spidey. Here's what went down.

Note: Before anyone says anything, this was a completely legal, virally-coordinated event involving Sony / Columbia Pictures in the background. All of the locations were marked and chosen and this was designed to be an "in-fiction" event for Spidey fans like us to experience. It is not meant to encourage illegal activity or vandalism and we did not just ride around choosing random walls to tag. That said, it was an awesome idea and if you know the locations, you can now find these Spider-Man symbols hidden all around the country.

So here's what happened. The five people who picked up phones/hoodies in the first viral drop earlier this week were called and told to show up at 8:30 at a location downtown in Los Angeles, with an extra person. That means 10 of us in total showed up to the spot last night, which was located right under a gigantic Spider-Man logo tagged on a building in the background (see the photo) which was the perfect tease for what was to come. After being briefed by the Mark guys about our plans to start spreading our support of Spider-Man, we gathered up in a black van and drove around up into Hollywood to three different locations.

Mark of the Spider-ManMark of the Spider-Man

Mark of the Spider-Man

This crew of 10 rag tag Spider-Man taggers, which actually included two fans who were real taggers, took stencils and paint to an undisclosed first location and started our work. They divided us into teams, the first group would set the stencils on the walls and start painting with the red spray cans. Think Banksy meets Project Mayhem, but with Spider-Man. The other two teams were documenting/tweeting (you can find non-stop reports by searching #markofthespiderman) and handing out info cards with a QR code link telling everyone to "support Spider-Man!" Because, you know, The Daily Bugle and the cops think he's a menace. Poor Spidey! We used different size stencils at all of the spots to make it look unique each time.

All of us who participated had an amazing time, getting our hands dirty on the streets in support of Spidey. I came with my friend @infamous and ran into @zachlipovsky and his girlfriend as well, and we made up the team that hit the very first tag. At the end we received a unique print signed by Marc Webb, and our work was turned into a staticy video on the website. They also took the viral phones at the end, but told us there is plenty more coming, so this isn't the end. The last two cities will get their Marks tonight and Spider-Man will start getting supporters around the country thanks to our work on the streets.

I did my best to document the entire event as it unfolded last night on my twitter. Besides that twitter hash tag, our friends on Tumblr and Mentorless are updating this viral closely every single night. I recorded a quick video of the stencil and painting process and took as many photos as I could to show you what it was like and how amazing of an experience it was to go around doing this at night in Los Angeles. Watch here:

For those who want to check out the locations in LA to see our Spidey art, I found a complete listing of addresses for all three spots on twitter. You can find all of them pointed out on this Google map, as well as the fourth spot downtown that was already painted when we showed up (and I think another one might've gone up near Culver City). Go check them out while they still last! Here are more photos from last night:

Mark of the Spider-Man Tagging

Mark of the Spider-Man Tagging

Mark of the Spider-Man Tagging

Mark of the Spider-Man TaggingMark of the Spider-Man Tagging

Mark of the Spider-Man TaggingMark of the Spider-Man Tagging

This last group photo of the viral crew courtesy of @jerrybandito, one of the taggers in our group with us:

Mark of the Spider-Man Tagging

What I don't think this is trying to show is that we're all vandalizing in the name of Spider-Man. This was coordinated because there's a scene in the movie where Spidey does the same, and it's allowing fans to play and live in that world, and experience it like we're in the movie. That's why it was so damn cool. All of this was legal, the spots were chosen, we even had a security escort, and no cops ever showed up. I'm sure all of the other crews had a similar experience as I've heard nothing but great things from everyone else. While this didn't unlock anything in terms of progress in the viral, but we did leave our mark in a very public, prominent way, and I think people will definitely take notice. Support Spider-Man, and down with crime!

I can't wait to see what's next if this is only the start of the Mark of the Spider-Man viral, since we still have six more months until The Amazing Spider-Man lands in theaters. Thank you to Sony / Columbia for even allowing this to happen, I'm sure everyone in all of the cities won't ever forget this, and if anything hopefully we can start an even bigger Mark of the Spider-Man movement out of it. Stay tuned for more viral updates.

Find more posts: Cool Stuff, Feat, Hype, Viral Marketing



Wow, that's just really really really cool. You guys in LA get all the good PR and marketing stuff:P Looking forward to the upcoming events Alex!

RidgeRacer4 on Feb 17, 2012


That's so awesome!

Isildur_of_Numenor on Feb 17, 2012


Love it!

Zeus on Feb 17, 2012


i use to spary paint spidy's logo on buildings.... Then i took a bulet to the knee.  Jk. this is pretty sick

Michael Baldwin on Feb 17, 2012


Ah i should've paid more attention to this viral :/. Totally missed out on tagging the spidey mark all over Denver 

Edgar Alan on Feb 17, 2012


Really cool! But if it were me doing this, I wouldn't spray the logo multiple times next to each other. But perhaps that's the reason why I'm not a spraypaint artist and I have no clue really 🙂

Neuromancer on Feb 18, 2012


Ground level... You lose points for not getting up.

Max Renn on Feb 18, 2012


A movie news site is promoting the viral marketing of an upcoming film. Another example of how corporations and media are in bed together.

Bobo_Vision on Feb 18, 2012


We are not "promoting" the viral so much as supporting the viral (how else would people know about it?) and talking about it because I, genuinely, EARNED my way in by collecting a prize like every other fan there. I covered it because I thought it was AWESOME and wanted to show the rest of the world what it was like to be there! Why the backlash? I don't get it. This was an amazing experience and our work is out there to prove it!

Alex Billington on Feb 19, 2012


Its a very old trick in manipulation. You get people to do what you want by convincing them that it was their idea. You make it an exclusive thing, and then people want in. They want acceptance, and they want to be living the dream. So you fool them into thinking that's what it is, and that they earned it. Its like selling a 200 dollar suit to some guy for a thousand dollars, but you convince him that its worth 3000 and that hes a good haggler and he outsmarted you into giving it to him for 1000. Its a con. If youve deluded yourself into believing that they are not using you to promote their film, but is just a cool happening that you were lucky enough to be a part of...then im not going to convince you otherwise, and i dont want to burst your bubble. But its kind of like Wolf Blitzer of CNN stenciling the logos of American Airlines, Corn Flakes, and Nabisco shredded wheat on various street buildings...and then making an article about it on the CNN website.

Bobo_Vision on Feb 19, 2012


Yes, but I did this because I wanted to be a part of it myself, not because they asked me to. I am happy to promote it, the effort put into designing it deserves it, I had a great time as a fan, and now am happy to promote it. What is your point? It's a good viral campaign, I had fun!

Alex Billington on Feb 19, 2012


These PR folk paid the property owners before becoming gorillas and being all edgy? Stencils are a bit old, even for Marvel. The trouble with marketing folk is the cocaine, once my friend was asked by some PR tools to run around a music festival in an actual gorilla suit spraying the logo of some crap drinks brand, too much cocaine. That was in 2005. My friend did one campaign for a clothing brand that had a contract where if he got caught doing the stencils they would deny it, but he had to do a certain amount in specific streets to get the money, though that was in 2001 or so. If they really wanted to be cutting edge they should have parkour-urbexed the streets of LA, tripping over the washed up musicians and failed actors sleeping the alley ways. You know there's even an Urbex Zombie movie now? That's Bobby Brown baaaaaaaaaaad.

Crapolafoam on Feb 19, 2012


I may be naive but isn't this illegal?

Cms on Feb 19, 2012


 never mind, read the full post

Cms on Feb 19, 2012

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