DETROIT (WWJ) -- One of Detroit’s most iconic murals is getting a temporary makeover.
Rocket Companies has announced that the “Whaling” mural painted on the side of Broderick Tower in downtown Detroit will be covered with new artwork on Nov. 16.
Designed by Detroit artist Phil Simpson — who is the founder of The Smile Brand — the temporary vinyl attachment covering the whales will be an ad for Rocket Companies and feature the slogan “Detroit Is Home.”
“With ‘Detroit Is Home,’ I believe everybody is going to drive past Broderick Tower and see themself in some form or way, and hopefully they can smile when they see it,” Simpson said in a video promoting the new ad.
According to a press release from Rocket Companies, the decision to cover the whales came after it was announced the city would once again allow advertising on the wall.
“When we heard this property was going to be used as advertising space again, we saw it as a great opportunity to take control of the space and bring more art to downtown Detroit," said Casey Hurbis, chief marketing officer of Rocket Companies. "Such a high-profile location — seen all around the world during Tigers’ home games — needs to be a place to display the work of Detroit artists."
"We hope other Detroit companies and property owners will also explore using their buildings as canvases for local artists," Hurbis added.
From 2006 through 2012, the wall was also used as ad space for brands such as Blackberry, Jeep and Verizon.
The whale mural was painted by Robert Wyland in 1997 as one of 100 “Whaling Walls” that can be found on buildings across the world.