Advertising as art - Was: Re: Extro IT Techies list?

From: Russell Whitaker (
Date: Mon Jan 22 2001 - 15:11:27 MST

>From: Barbara Lamar <>
>My doctoral dissertation (not completed...yet)
>was on the psychological aspects of decision making, and it was in the
>marketing journals that I consistently found the most sophisticated
>research on what makes people decide and act as they do. A good marketing
>strategist seeks to know human nature and work with it, rather than
>fighting it and trying to re-shape it.

This is not surprising given that the rewards for successfully
understanding and working with that nature are dramatic and
_not_ automatic: if your surmise doesn't work, you see it in
your pocketbook. People simply don't buy what you're trying
to sell.

Contrast this to the practice of clinical psychology, where
two different therapists can adhere to equally bogus - but
diametrically opposed - models of the workings of the human brain,
even with respect to fundamental aspects of motivational
psychology (e.g. what would get you to plunk down money for
a widget), but have equally financially successful clinical
practices, regardless of the success in "treating" clients.
Churn those clients, baby.

Contrast that to the long term career of a successful advertising
strategist, the validity of whose guesses has a _much_ stronger
correlation to her financial standing.

>A personal note on the subject of advertising as art--one of my favorite
>works of art of all time is a television ad that ran many years ago. I
>believe it was advertising perfume--possibly Chanel. The ad is stored in my
>memory in black and white--whether the actual ad was b&w or color I can't
>be sure. It showed a woman diving into a rectangular pool and gliding under
>water. As she glided, the shadow of an airplane passed over her body. Does
>anyone else remember this ad?

Who could forget it? I didn't.

I was more struck, though, by the chance sighting (I didn't
often have my TV on then) of the Orwell-themed advert done
in (when else?) 1984. Made quite an impression on me: I'd
just gotten out of high school and was deep into my early
Objectivist phase.

See if you're interested in
the subject of "advertising as art".


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