Let’s Get “The Art” Back In The Art of Advertising

Brands and their agencies often turn to noted (and emerging) film directors for their TV advertising needs. Spike Jonze, Spike Lee, Errol Morris, Ridley Scott, David Fincher, Wes Anderson and Terry Gilliam have all made significant contributions to the short form.

Have you ever wondered why brands don’t also seek out “real” artists and writers to help shape their messages? Of course, brands do rely heavily on writers and artists today, but the function is in-house at the agency where writers are not writers, they’re copywriters, specialists at creating brand communications. And the artists aren’t artists, they’re art directors and they too specialize in making brand communications.

I’m suggesting that the challenge presented by the gaping content hole every brand faces in today’s voracious media environment can be met, in part, by partnering with authors, poetry slam winners, sculptors and so on. Not just to appear in the brand’s next ad campaign, rather to be featured in special section of the company’s site, in a series of books or records or in some other configuration. Why? Because customers will respond to brand as curator, brand as editor and brand as exhibitor.

There is a well established precedent for this, as many of the ads of the 1920s, 30s and 40s are clearly endowed with a more artistic sensibility than the crass commercialism that passes for advertising today.

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