Art is a mirror that reflects a culture for the world to see. I left the small town of Bishop, CA for New York City at the age of 18 to become an actor, an artist and player on the world’s stage. Fast-forward 10 years, and here I sit, working for an ad agency. The biggest, most valuable thing I have gained is perspective. I am still an artist today but instead of acting on and off the Broadway stages in the Village, I get the chance to perform on a stage shown to the entire world using ad campaigns “to hold a mirror to our worlds’ hopes, dreams, and aspirations”.
For many, an ad is a cheesy billboard on the roadside or an annoyance between scenes during the latest episode on Hulu. For me a good ad evokes an organic emotion–it taps into something in our culture that is bigger than the brand, bigger than you or me. The magic I watch for is something that makes you heart race, makes you smile ear to ear, or bellow a genuine belly laugh. The formula of how to obtain those reactions is where my process begins:
- Understanding Aspirations:
- Every brand I work with aspires to change our world; step one is helping them make that change by understanding what drives that aspiration for change.
- Conceptualizing Your World:
- Any great work of art starts as a simple idea. The greatest advertising successes come from understanding and fully fleshing out your original inspiration. While it’s true that the final product may only reflect what was originally introduced, it’s important that the integrity and soundness of the idea continue to intersect. That ebb and flow is a key piece. We must be willing and accept the natural flow of the process. What sets you and your creative team apart is your ability to anticipate the outcome of your proposed campaign. It’s our job as creative leads to be able to both visually and verbally conceptualize our world. Be passionate. Be concise.
- Creating A Mirror:
- Perhaps the most obvious (and important) part of creating this mirror is to inspire a bit of introspection. It’s amazing what turning inward can do. By showing the truth through a unique lens, we often find that the message does the work. It’s important to let the ad speak for itself. Nothing is more powerful than human perspective.
Art can be many things–paintings, television, film, literature, video games, etc. That list is by no means exhaustive and that is our first clue. Art is subjective. As such, it’s can be very challenging to pin down what type of messages will be effective in your campaign. By focusing on an emotional idea, we grasp the very essence of what it means to tell a good story. A good story makes us feel whole, complete, and resolved. Advertisements that grasp this concept are head and shoulders above everything else. Artful advertising appeals to the heart. If we focus on getting our message across through relatable and meaningful imagery, real world ideas, and familiar feelings, we have accomplished what we set out to do—tell a story.