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Advertising and the Art of Selling...Stuff.

The world of TV Advertising has become ever more sophisticated and devious as the public has become more media-savvy. From the early days of a product being pushed in front of us and a cheery female voice or a man in a white coat suggesting we buy it, we’ve moved on – through an era of dancing bunnies high on battery power and roller skating young women extolling the virtues of certain feminine sanitary products, to a period when the product was rarely seen on screen and we were bombarded with imagery that seemed to bare no relation to the product being advertised. These days some TV adverts are like mini movies whilst others are projected deep into our subconscious and intended to make us feel slightly inadequate if we don’t continue to play the consumer game.

However, is the advert break still a convenient excuse to nip to the loo or make a cup of tea? Is the Scientist in the white coat still regarded as an authority figure? Are we, the viewing public, too wise for our own good? Can we still be tricked into buying something we really don’t need and, most likely, will become obsolete within a year? The artifice of advertising will always remain exactly that and yet there have been advertising campaigns that have gained a life of their own and even garnered artistic respect and admiration. Could advertising truly be considered an artform in itself?

  • Is advertising an art form? Yes; it requires creativity and finesse just like film, novel writing, and other similar pursuits. But what kind of art form is it? That's the perennial question, because as you mention, advertising is designed to push people into acquiring "stuff." Can we still be "tricked?" Oh, yes...but I think that raises the question, do we even care we're being tricked anymore? Or would we rather just enjoy a cleverly conceived commercial (or ten)? – Stephanie M. 7 years ago
  • any discussion of advertising should necessarily reference Edward Bernays, one of the original admen who wrote on advertising and PR campaigns as having the ability to manufacture consent and control the "masses." Also an important scholars to reference and read would be Naomi Klein, who literally wrote the book on the evolution of the advertising agency and the rise of branding, "No Logo." – Jonathan Judd 7 years ago