The idea is so ingenious, it almost seems obvious: take advertisements and remove the text that makes them so, leaving only a string of images behind.
When aviation took off in the early 20th century, safety was still shaky and the public needed some convincing to get them soaring among the clouds in the noisy metal contraptions.
The Saudi artist Ahmed Mater is suing watchmaker Swatch for using one of his works to sell a luxury timepiece.
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.
Oh, generic, you are so meh … but what diversity of skin colors!
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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).
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.