Wafer Thin Work

Encouraged by the magazine Creative Communications students produce in small groups as part of the program, I've been perusing print ads more carefully and copiously than before. Placing ads in publications seems precarious, there is generally no sound or motion to attract the eye. The piece is static, an image, copy, and cohesion. That is all. However, I've come across a few which engage impressively.

Agency; Publicis Brussels, Belgium
This print for Reporters Without Borders succeeds in being graphic and off-putting without incorporating any actual violence of evidence of injury. Further, one can imagine a reporter being accosted by severe government officials, their fingers being broken, and their pen, their greatest weapon, being torn from their hands and crushed under the heel of a boot.

Agency; Ogilvy, Paris, France
Incorporative and intriguing visuals, straight, informational copy. These IBM ads don’t turn phrases, nor do they make hyperbolic claims about the company’s machines. They simply state facts, and surround their facts with clever images that seize and please the eye. Simple and effective

Agency; Rusu+Borton Brand Growers, Romania
Both this advertisement and the ADOR Advertising Festival logo reference the sculpture ‘The Silent Table’ by Romanion sculptor Constantin Brancusi. Thus, the copy correlates directly to both the artist referenced, recognizing him for his copious contributions to Romanian art, as well as acknowledging the twelve individuals sitting around the circular table. The ad shows reverence for the act of brainstorming, congratulates creativity, and is acceptably nationalistic. I definitely desire to be at that table.

Agency; Kami.case, Montreal, Canada
I’ve long had an appreciation for hourglasses, so my enjoyment of this ad may be biased, but I am of the opinion that Cocaine Anonymous did well with this. That would be the question, how much time do you have left? Leaving much of the actual hourglass out of the visual makes the sinking sands the focal point, and underlines the intention of the advertisement. I do feel that the copy should correlate to the image more directly, it feels a little like a line they use on principle rather than one written specifically for this piece.

I've come to think the apparent weaknesses of print advertisement could also be construed as strength. Yes, you have only a static image and still, silent copy. However, there is something to be said of the captivating potential in that medium. The frozen moment seems endless, timeless, infinite. It's also a manageable medium, one where great work can be produced with relatively few resources. One must be grateful for that.

As the second semester commences, and we return once more to the unforgiving abyss, let this soft tune relax your frantic minds.

All images courtesy of www.adsoftheoworld.com


Dylan H. said...

Man! I love hourglasses too! We should hang out and watch the time pass!

And have you already listened to The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady?

Ryan McBride said...

That hourglass ad is sweet. Minimalist, affecting. Charles Mingus is god. Put the two together (hourglass + music) and you have the perfect mind-trip.

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