Busting down barriers and breaking the rules may not work so well if you’re a doctor or lawyer. So welcome to the world of advertising and creative production, the perfect place for people who don’t care for or play by the rules. High quality, authenticity, and wickedly unorthodox content is achieved by pushing toward, and through, the edges of what has already come before.
Summer was on sale again in May at Southwest Airlines, whose smiling pilots and flight attendants offered one-way fares as low as $49 as part of its annual, multi-platform "Transfarency" marketing campaign. For decades, Southwest Airlines led the nation’s domestic carriers as one of the most aggressive advertisers, with a $218MM advertising budget in 2015. Its front-facing public relations and brand strategy projected an image of the nation’s most consumer-friendly airline with a family-style employee culture. The investment paid off with good press and high returns.
Until it didn’t.
Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” remains a standout after more than 14 years. By deconstructing beauty norms at a time when few women considered themselves beautiful according to modern standards (in other words, skinny, young, and blemish-free), the personal care brand created what Ad Age considers the No. 1 campaign of the 21st century. A successful brand campaign such as this may look effortless, but it’s the product of skilled marketing expertise, good strategic judgement, and boundless creativity. But what about the campaigns that don’t meet these criteria?
Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to creating a successful ad campaign. Ideas, trends, insights, data. Keep your finger on the pulse of everything with this curated list of industry blogs.
Experiential art connects viewers to one another and to the work itself in ways that surround, captivate and fascinate - producing experiences that are anything but ordinary. It was only a matter of time before the advertising industry jumped on board. “I believe art is a bottomless pit to be used for experiential inspiration. It allows advertisers and brands to behave badly or strangely and with a shrug of the shoulders say 'it's art',” explains Campaign. For art purists, that may be an uncomfortable line of thought. For agency executives, it’s a line of thought that works.
From Norman Rockwell and Kellogg’s Cornflakes to Kitchen Aid and Salvador Dalí, advertising has looked to the art world for inspiration around branded content and concept design for decades past. But for many of us who live between the fold, the question of whether advertising itself truly qualifies as an artform is open for debate.