Lately, I’ve been contemplating where the line between art and advertisement is blurry. I’ve come to this conclusion: art is can be in ads, but art is not always an ad. Make sense?
I would be beyond idiotic to say ads don’t have art. Persuasion may be much greater of an influence than pure artistic expression, but you cannot look at these ads and say they are not art. The classic Volkswagen Beetle ads, this P&G Secret ad and lastly the AirBNB Superbowl 2017 ad. They are poetic, memorable and inspiring.
Artistic expression, as I know it, is driven by the individuals vision/perspective on life, or how it should be. It is beautiful and expressive in many ways, but it means something to the artist. They enjoy the act of creating, not just the final good. My favorites are Jackson Pollock, Vincent Van Gogh, Georgia O’Keefe, Claude Monet; I nerded out this spring break in Paris looking at so many amazing pieces (see below).
The overlap is even more pronounced here: my best friend’s amazing tampon box designs. She is the most amazing, creative person I’ve met, and heck yes I would buy those tampons, purely because of her design and marketing campaign. It is in Apple’s “Think Different” campaign from the late 90s. I once heard Steve Jobs wanted everything about Apple products to be an experience: from opening the box to hearing that first angelic tone to turn on the computer. It’s in President Obama’s campaign posters saying “Hope.”
There is art in ads, ads can be art, but most definitely, whether it’s art or ads, great works are captivate and fill us with awe.