Experian, the consumer credit rating agency, maintains a huge, geographically based database of lifestyle types called MOSAIC. Experian use the database to gain insight into new and potential markets, and in turn sell this information to companies who wish to target advertising or new products at specific audiences. The London part of the database is called ‘London Tribes’.
A set of fifteen ‘calling cards’ were litho printed and foil blocked. Each card contained a phrase describing a MOSAIC lifestyle type. The phrases were taken directly from the ‘London Tribes’ database and each referred to a specific ‘tribe’.
The cards were left anonymously in places where a particular ‘tribe’ might find them; between the pages of a particular book in Waterstones, in the pocket of a pair of Blue Harbour slacks in Marks & Spencer’s, in the toilet of a members only bar in Soho. The location of each card was then recorded in a leather bound logbook.
The intention was to expose the hidden language and machinery that drives advertising and targeted marketing, and to create a sense of being watched or manipulated by an unknown, Orwellian overseer.