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Oh Grand and Glorious Southern Guru, I am perplexed. What ails thee, my peabrained little grasshopper? My sleep has been short, my walls have been climbed, my hair has been pulled.
I must know the difference between advertising and high art. Oh Great Creator, please give me the answer.
Stir no longer, little vacuous one. Art is in the eye of the beholder, and yes, advertising can be high art.
But Holiest of the Holy, whilst I acknowledge there is a role for subjectivity in the appreciation of art, and that art and advertising similarly use form, color and symbol to convey messages, and that both can be aesthetically pleasing and accessible, and that both share the goal of changing behavior and attitudes, and that both often highlight the tension between reality and ideals and can shape aesthetic tastes, does not an adequate answer to my question depend upon a precise definition of the term art?
Are there not different degrees of creativity and originality? Are there not different types of art?
Surely Majestic One, advertising is not "high" art, but rather popular, propagandistic art?
Not so, little inchworm. Art is a function of apprehension, ergo, there is no difference between "high" and "low" art.
But Mighty Aphrodite, do not ads see the world only through a blinkered lens: as products and services, as target markets and audiences? Do they not promote only consumerism and uphold only the status quo? Are not their motives restricted by budgets and deadlines, and by the necessity of pushing product?
How can ads experiment with ideas for their own sake when fettered by this capitalist manacle?
Do ads not craft specific messages for specific audiences at specific times?
Is not their goal to elicit singular responses?
Do they not aim to please, to arrest the intelligence and to allay our fears with easy solutions, and are they not primarily concerned with positive reactions?
And does not the prerequisite of mass appeal demand mediocrity? Does not art allow for a delight in, and the free play of, ideas for their own sake? Truly outstanding art rarely secures immediate popularity, n'est-ce pas Mon Dieu Seigneur?
Does not art encourage many ways of looking at the world?
Is it not often purposefully ambiguous and open to conflicting interpretation?
Surely, oh Towering One, artists do not worship audiences in the way advertisers do?
Do they not intentionally break boundaries, counter the status quo, and question accepted beliefs?
Many spend decades deconstructing society, transcending political, economic and religious systems, do they not?
You listen not, my pint-sized parvenu. Art is in the eye of the beholder. Hence an advertisement, even if it's only one in a million, can be high art.
But Lord of the Rings, is it not the sale that motivates the creation of advertisements?
Does this not put advertising solely in the realm of the shallow and material?
And thusly, are not ads only original in the context of commerce? And furthermore, did not the great Canadian literary critic Northrop Frye suggest that ads are farcical, ironic and trivial (and that their prodigious power rests here precisely because we view them as a joke, without analyzing their bountiful effects)?
In short, Monsieur Le President, are not advertisements viewed primarily with scorn?
And does not true art inspire awe?
And does it not create new ways of looking at the world and increase our depth of understanding about the meaning of life?
And, as such, does it not reside squarely in the realm of the deep and spiritual?
And does not great art burst forth with such stunning originality that it changes the way we see the world and ourselves?
And are great artists, those rare geniuses, not moved by more than the simple desire for coin, and do they not dwell deeply on the profound questions of man's universal condition?
And is not the equating of "high" art with advertising symptomatic of decadent, hollow, bankrupt, violent societies, which value material goods, "happiness" and facile solutions above all else?
And as such, All Knowing One, is this not an equation we should actively oppose?
Get not thy knickers in a knot wee Gordian. Your philosophizing incites me to slumber.
Nigel Beale is an Ottawa, Canada based writer.
The Advertising Equation Isn't Broken, It's Incomplete
Forbes Agency Council PR, media strategy, creative & advertising execs share trends & tips Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Post written by. Jonathan David Lewis. Jonathan David Lewis is a partner and strategy director at McKee ...
Amazon Has a Plan to Become Profitable. It's Advertising | Digital ...
The ad money going to Amazon is often coming from budgets once directed to TV or offline retail promotions.
Amazon has a plan to become profitable. It's called advertising ...
For more than two decades, Amazon.com Inc. chief Jeff Bezos has famously sacrificed profit for growth. Now along comes a business that could generate consistent and healthy returns: advertising.
This Is Amazon's Master Plan to Become Profitable
Amazon has a plan to become profitable: advertising
Amazon strategy to generate profits through advertising
Wall Street Journal
Advertising's 'Mad Men' Bristle at the Digital Revolution
Wall Street Journal
One of the world's biggest ad agencies, Publicis Groupe SA, PUBGY 1.14% fully felt the disruptive power of advertising's digital revolution when McDonald's Corp. , a huge client, put its account into play. The fast-food chain wanted a marketing plan ...
LOOK: The NFL is already advertising a Patriots vs. Vikings Super Bowl
If you're a Jacksonville Jaguars or Philadelphia Eagles fan and just so happen to buy into NFL conspiracies, now is the time to get scared. Two days before the conference championship games kick off, the NFL's official Facebook page has already started ...
Something doesn't ad up about America's advertising market
IMAGINE a world in which you are manipulated by intelligent advertisements from dusk until dawn. Your phone and TV screens flash constantly with commercials that know your desires before you imagine them. Driverless cars bombard you with personalised ...
Virginia business removes post advertising Tide Pod-themed doughnuts after backlash
SUFFOLK, Va. – A Suffolk business removed a Facebook post advertising Tide Pod-themed doughnuts after receiving criticism online. A WTKR viewer sent a screenshot of the post by O'doodleDoo's Donuts before it was taken down: The doughnuts had frosting ...
Canada's strict branding and advertising rules will try to take fun out of legal weed
“You've got no advertising, you have plain packaging, how are you going to differentiate yourself and grow your market?” said Levine, whose company manages C$650 million. Officials say their goal is to squeeze out criminal dealers, not encourage more ...
South China Morning Post
Rampant click fraud on China's internet hurts digital advertisers
South China Morning Post
Retail giants like P&G and Unilever invest billions of dollars a year in advertising on China's digital media platforms in the hopes of reaching the country's 1.4 billion consumers, but one in three “hits” are generated by banks of mobile phones ...
York School Committee weighs boosters' advertising plan
YORK, Maine -- The York High School Athletic Boosters came before the School Committee this week for the second time with its proposal to raise funds by placing business-sponsored banners in the gym and along the fence at various school fields. Under ...
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