In a protest of the inclusion of a P&G print in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Mary Warlick, art historian and executive director of The One Club, declared that advertisements aren’t art. But when watching many advertisements both old and new, there’s no denying that marketing executives have been pushing the limits of what art means. Hell, Andy Warhol made a career of the question: “Where does art begin and end?”
In this age of hyper stimulation, where technology allows increasing opportunities to bombard viewers with advertisements are becoming more and more abundant, advertisers are pushing the art-ad envelope more than ever. Look no further than Volvo’s latest ad, featuring professional bad ass Jean-Claude Van Damme (above).
While it’s Van Damme’s epic split that’s been causing such a buzz (I’m sure most of you have seen this ad somewhere on your Facebook newsfeed already), there’s a lot more to admire in this video. We’d probably still be talking about it regardless of production value, because van damn, what he’s doing is impressive. But if you ask us, this is a veritable example of art. Pay careful attention to the timing and choice of the music, the Impressionist-inspired cinematography, the poetic language he’s using. As the viewer, we’re being drawn in by a lot more than just his physical feat. There are big-budget movies that aren’t as beautifully produced and executed as this commercial.
Volvo’s definitely not the only brand coming out with well-crafted commercials. Here are a few more ads released this month that blew us away:
Not only did this beautifully shot, emotional story improve Google’s brand image, it actually got two nations that have traditionally disagreed about everything to come together in appreciation of this spot.
3. The trailer for The Machine
Trailers usually show only the best parts of the movies they’re promoting, but even so, the intricate detail, hyper-realistic special effects, and fantastic lighting made this 30-second piece a must-have on this list. Watch this ad and, if you love sci-fi as much as we do, you’ll definitely be watching this flick when it comes out.
You gotta love meta-ads. This hilarious commercial from a Canadian design firm plays on other ads that unashamedly boast about how many awards the company has one. We appreciate any company that can laugh about itself and make a slick video in the process.
Animation is as difficult and time-consuming as it is beautiful. Honda released this spot earlier this month to showcase the curiosity that has allowed it’s engineers to create some of the most important mechanical solutions in today’s society. The transitions in this video are so smooth and seamless it almost seems like magic.
In this day and age, everyone needs to be a marketer. Whether it’s for the company you work or for yourself, understanding how to grab people’s attention and communicate a core message is more important than ever. Let these ads inspire you to explore more creative ways to sell yourself.
F*ck with Wu Tang, one of the most recognizable brand names of all time