When you’re growing up, rarely does a kid go, “Mommy! I want to convince adults and kids into buying things they don’t want or need!” Even better, choosing a career they will forever have to explain to their relatives that “No, an Art Director does not direct films.”
Advertising is a pain in the ass. Why do you think art school is so expensive? Probably because schools are banking on you realizing half way through that it’s bullshit and you transfer to a real college. Just kidding on that last part — of course a school offering “The Simpsons as Satirical Authors” as a course is a real school.
What hooked me into the bait that advertising is, were the commercials. I’d often think of how I would remake them to seem “cooler” or which pop song I thought would fit. When high school came around, I made the smart decision to take four years of art classes instead of Spanish, where I came across Andy Warhol.
Warhol first struck me as a cop-out, honestly: simple lines, turning painted boxes into fine art, and etc. It wasn’t until I dug deeper into his creative process and found: “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”
Well, I’m not exactly looking for my 15 minutes, but it, at the very least, starts a conversation. People talk to you, look up to you, ask you for advice, and etc. Advertising is there to start a conversation with consumers, whether via print, digital, shelf talkers, annoying pop-up ads, you name it.
There’s been a lot of “bad advertising” over the decades, with only a couple standing as “classic.” The only people who remember great ads are the folks who have to write up “The Best Of” during the Super Bowl. The average Joe and Jane don’t have time to reflect on transitions, copy or even celebrity endorsements. And that’s when it clicked: advertising is only successful when it doesn’t look or feel like advertising.
Simple enough, really. If I can make one average Jane feel like a certain brand actually gives a damn about her, then my job is done. Now, challenge accepted.