Art For The Masses: Why Modern Ads Can Be Considered An Art Form

Advertisements. In today’s world, it’s impossible to stream videos or music, watch television, listen to the radio, check your social media or even walk down the street without seeing or hearing an ad. Companies everywhere put a lot of time and money into creating these ads to get your attention and tell you about the latest product or service they’re offering.

While often irritating, sometimes disruptive, and (probably the worst thing about them) catchy, there is an element to these ads that people tend to overlook: how some of these ads can actually be treated as forms of art. It sounds terrible, treating these invaders of playlists and social media as art, but the truth is, there are ads that should be treated like works of art. Here’s why:

They tell amazing stories

An ad from the Philippines caught the world’s attention a few months ago. It’s an ad for a popular food chain, but rather than focusing entirely on the food and what they offer, it focused on a different aspect: the memories made in its stores, or involving its food. Through a series of ads, it tells the story of a boy and his mother, ranging from how she worked to send him to school up to the point he graduates.

While the premise is simple, it resonated emotionally with a lot of people. It’s this effect that’s a hallmark of good storytelling. Some would even argue that the story told in the ads is more compelling and personal than a lot of the popular fiction on the market today. If a series of short ads can inspire that much emotion, it’s definitely more of an art than garbage like 50 Shades of Grey. Which leads us to our next point

They inspire emotion

Good art, whether it’s visual, physical, music, or spoken word should inspire or evoke a specific emotion. Ads have gotten better and better at doing so as the years have gone on. Rather than simply presenting text that describes a product or service like the ads of old, the new ads use imagery, color, and other elements to drive the emotion they want to convey home.

From close-ups to pizza toppings and salad leaves, to cars roaring through rivers and roads, ads agencies have put a lot of research into finding out what they need to do to elicit specific emotions. It isn’t so different from how artists use colors and imagery, musicians use specific notes played on certain instruments, or the words novelists and spoken word artists use to invoke emotion in their audiences.

They draw attention

Art is never meant to be completely passive. It’s supposed to draw the eye, to catch attention, to make an impression on whoever sees or hears it. It’s hard to argue that ads don’t do just that. From massive billboards with eye-catching imagery, annoying jingles that stay with you for years, even when they’ve gone off the air, ads are carefully designed to stay with you for most of your life.

Good music and good art are essentially the same, tailored to make sure that the leave an impression on their audience.

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