Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Dear Marketing Agencies,

Please retire the overuse of iconic paintings! While I am in fact a marketing major graduate, I have a firm grounding in visual culture. And if I see one more commercial using Creation of Adam I will scream.

Creation of Adam by Creation of Adam by Michelangelo, part of the Sistine Chapel
Milk, you are currently guilty of this infringement. Luckily if a person is only paying attention to the first half of the commercial they will likely think it’s a Red Bull commercial because the cartooning looks so similar to Red Bull’s past ads. 

Also not okay: Using the Mona Lisa. The Dairy Farmers of Canada are guilty of that too.

Andy Warhol, I do not want to see another ad campaign with Andy Warhol based images unless you are Campbell’s Soup. I recently was looking on a Canadian agency’s website and in their “Who We Are” video I see that one of their online engagement examples involved turning your picture into Andy Warhol pop-art. NO to Andy Warhol Facebook pictures, NO to Mac Andy Warhol picture generators and NO to using this in marketing. It is not unexpected, we have seen it a million times and no one who has a passion for art connects with this campaign because everyone knows Andy Warhol.

The only agency I will forgive is Twist Image, they recently tweeted this piece of art that re-imagines Van Gogh’s Starry Night. As far as I can tell from the super confusing landing page, this is actual art, but its also extremely cool. Check it out.

My dearest agencies who I would love to work for, consider this: Lady Gaga. She embodies the unexpected, which is a key to a successful ad campaign. Do you think that her outfits are grounded in her imagination? No, they have their origins in obscure visual culture. Perhaps, real art enthusiasts would be excited about your campaigns if you referenced something more unique. And clearly given Gaga’s number of followers and record sales crazy visual culture references communicate well to everyone. See proof of statement below:

Lady Gaga’s now famous meat suit which she wore to the VMA’s to promote the abolishing of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is based on a photograph called Vanitas of an Albino Anorexic.

I admit these two photos don’t seem super similar but Gaga was actually an art history major and the angles of her telephone hat seem to reference the look of the lobster tail. As soon as I saw the music video for Telephone I thought Salvador Dali’s Lobster Phone

 I’m just saying…I would be willing to reconsider this post in exchange for a job.   

In all honesty and reverence,


Sidenote: I will now consider removing Piet Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie Woogie from my background as not to seem hypocritical as the De Stijl movement is bit overdone. To be fair I think Broadway Boogie Woogie is very different from Mondrian’s other work and less popular…

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