Friday, June 28, 2013

Imagery and Advertising

A philosopher once observed that just as our eyes need light in order to see, our minds need ideas in order to think.

We recognize ideas as we encounter them. It is the natural discovery process called "realization."

Therein lies the great force of advertising.

This revolutionary advertisement for Smirnoff was the work of photographer Bert Stern who died earlier this week at the age of 83. He lived in New York City.

The slogan for this 1956 ad in Life Magazine was "It takes your breath away." The promise, of course, is that this drink is more astounding than the typical martini.

Here, in this "dry" environment, the experience has turned the world's largest object upside down.

This idea was so clear to readers, so compelling, and so easily extendable to follow-on ad pages, that it transformed America into a martini sipping country during the late 1950s.

Stern saw the "dry" connection to the desert two years earlier when he shot a prototype photo near Palm Springs, CA.  In 1955, Smirnoff sent him to Egypt to shoot the real thing.

This advertising demonstrates the power of original artistic expression when it works in service of a compelling selling idea.

Persuasion is not necessarily rhetorical. Indeed, "realization" is often more usefully produced by imagery.

    Copyright © 2013 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

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