“Let up before your nerves get Tired, Tense” ad

In terms of breadth and controversy, two 20th-century advertising campaigns are almost unrivaled: the drive to sell cigarettes and the backlash to get people to stop smoking. Selling Smoke: Tobacco Advertising and Anti-smoking Campaigns at the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library at Yale University presents these dual crusades side-by-side.

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Post image for Every Advertising Cliché in One Video

Oh, generic, you are so meh … but what diversity of skin colors!

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Post image for A Fusion of Facebook, Advertising, and Design Redefines the Creepy Birthday Hug

In what can be optimistically described as a case of something lost in cultural translation, Brazil’s Outback Steakhouse franchise had their American-owned ad agency design an anthropomorphized chair that “hugs” you when you are wished a happy birthday via Facebook. Yes, This is The Way We Live Today (or, rather, Esta é a maneira como vivemos hoje).

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Post image for Form Is Function: Billboards Offer a Place to Rest or Escape the Rain

Some ideas are so simple it’s kind of crazy they haven’t been thought of before, especially given the constant exhaustion of creativity in advertising. But these billboards from IBM — which act as ramps, benches, or rain shelters — represent a particular triumph of form and function.

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Post image for This Van Gogh Museum Cafe Ad Is Hilarious

From the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam comes this fantastic advertisement for their cafe. Do you get the joke? The quietly brilliant ad pictures a single coffee cup on a saucer, perfectly pristine except for the fact that its handle has been broken off.

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Post image for A New, Even More Graphic Anti-Islamic Subway Ad

Remember that subway poster that compared Muslims to savages and called for supporting Israel in order to “defeat Jihad”? The group behind that sloganeering, the American Defense Freedom Initiative (AFDI), is back with a second, even more inflammatory ad that the MTA is explicitly disavowing.

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Post image for Click on My Face, It’s Art

Artist Jesus Benavente has launched “Oh Hey. Whats Going On?” (2012) as an online ad, which is “about wanting to be something greater, but the realities of life preventing it from happening.”

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Post image for When Advertising Follows Art

Sometimes advertising follows art, and this is one of those times. Presenting Doug Aitkens’ “Migration” (2008) and a very recent commercial for Residence Inn (2012).

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Post image for Seeing Through the Crowds at the 2011 Venice Biennale Part II: The Arsenale

The Arsenale and its Corderie (Rope Walk) compose the remainder of the curatorial effort of the Biennale’s director. It is the sprawling nasty sibling of the Padiglione Centrale, and is somewhat of a chore to tackle. The entire layout of the Arsenale this year feels disjointed. On a whole, I felt like there was a dearth of strong work. I believe Curiger had aspirations to move beyond the trends of participatory art and ostentatious work seen everywhere else in Venice and other art fairs.

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Advertisers Clone the Work of Liu Bolin

by RJ Rushmore on September 20, 2011

Post image for Advertisers Clone the Work of Liu Bolin

PHILADELPHIA — Unlike too many pop artists, Chinese artist Liu Bolin has managed to retain a balance, or maybe a synergy, between popular throwaway aesthetics and the conceptual, while keeping the work readable to a wide audience. His work is designed to go viral, but it isn’t as shallow as a LOLCAT. Of course, viral ideas don’t come around every day, and advertisers love them, so it should come as little surprise that Bolin’s Hiding In The Cities series has been blatantly ripped off by a number of advertisers across countries and trades.

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