(buy, buy, buy! Sale, sale, sale!)
Advertising is a difficult process. More thought goes into adverts than most people would think.
However, good adverts come in many forms and for many different reasons – with 4 distinct categories: Surrealism, Abstraction, Sexuality and Comedy.
Surrealism in advertising can be found in adverts like the old cadbury’s advert, with the gorilla drumming to Phil Collins:
This works due to the simple inherent ‘weirdness’ about the whole situation. It doesn’t do anything to advertise the product, bar maybe include a background whose colour scheme matches the wrapper of the chocolate.
Another great example of surrealism in advertising is any one of the Old Spice adverts:
These work – again – due to the strangeness of the adverts – however, one particular quality of The Old Spice adverts is that they have gained a memetic quality, allowing them to be spread much further, and in many more means than the standard terrestrial advert.
Two examples of said memetic remixes can be found here:
Abstraction adverts are good for selling – what would otherwise be a boring – products. These are more often used to sell more ‘lower-end’ cars.
Abstract adverts normally rely on flashy visuals and fantastical settings to make the viewer believe that this is the sort of thing that would happen when you drive one of these cars, despite this obviously not happening.
Sexual adverts are normally used for things such as perfumes. These too, can be abstract, be will more often than not just be depictions of people of the opposite gender to the target audience, lusting over the man/woman wearing the fragrance
Again, tying in closely with surreal adverts – comedic adverts are also memorable – however, comedic adverts are hard to pull off – due to differing tastes in comedic preference.
Examples of comedic adverts are
Of course, the best adverts are ones which people will remember – no matter how they presented – good examples are ones that are memetic, when people can make derivative works of the advert that can spread to many other people throughout the world – through the internet’s surreal sense of collective humour.
Another good method – albeit at a great risk – is using controversy in order to promote something.
A prime – current – example of controversy was Donald Trump’s Campaign which didn’t cost him a dime – instead, relying on the public’s reactions and the media’s soft skinned attitude to spread wildly.
Another more ‘classical’ example is that of the Tango Campaign, when an advert came along which depicted people being slapped by a man shouting: “You’ve been Tango’d!” which was banned after bullies began using it as justification.
Initially, the brief for this new project seemed simple – select one of the pre-listed companies involved with the DandAD project, then design a simple advertisement around them. So I went with ‘Desperados’… and never got much further than that.
Well, I did get further – into the loose drafting stage/ideas for posters –
but then I learned that the brand actually had nothing to do with Mexico other than the name… and the styling… and the ingredients… however, I could tell my conceptual idea about Desperados being ‘The only ammo you’ll ever need’, wasn’t going to fly – so…
I decided to instead to go with an advert for Doctor Martins boots – this required a few things. For starters, it needed an advertising campaign – like most of the list – however, it also included a radio advert, which appealed to one of my favourite art forms, music. The campaign also included a hashtag: ‘#Standforsomething’.
So, I began with a simple transcript of the original idea –
Which quickly evolved into a deeper idea…
…involving other concepts, such as tying in the quiet stepping of Doctor Martins boots.
One idea was even to have a few seconds of dead air, followed by quiet stepping noises, then someone close/whispery to the mic announcing the ‘silent revolution’ and to “join the movement on twitter – stand for something”
Another idea was to have no talking, just the sound of boots marching – accompanied by ‘rebellious’ songs, starting from when Doctor Martins first existed, up to now.
Another – more of a side-note – idea that I had was for the DandAD project itself known as; ‘Fortune Favours the Brave’. It was to be a short film idea – starting in a cold looking workshop, a block of wood is on a lathe. Camera shows faceless figure enter the room, following them into the room, as the person dons a pair of goggles. Cuts to a sword being pulled across the floor, sparking, as a narrator talks about qualities and brave deeds. The lathe is powered on and the sword is heard swinging, sounds of clashing metal and classical warfare can be heard, as the narrator keeps talking about zeal and valour. The Sword can be seen swinging wildly left and right, with wood shavings flying everywhere.
The narrator stops talking, as the actor steps aside to reveal that the block has been carved into the shape of the DandAD pencil award – as the narrator says: “Fortune Favours the Brave.”.
This advert didn’t take for a few reasons, one such being that while I do have access to all the effects, my video editing skills wouldn’t be up to the task – another being that, I don’t feel this conforms as tightly to the brief as what would be desired.
So, back on track – the advert was to be designed as a radio advert, however, I then decided to read the brief closer and noticed that it didn’t have to be exclusively radio – it could also include visual accompaniment.
So my new – refined idea was: Use an image of a Doc Martin boot, then include a ‘rebellious image’ of the time – 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s 00’s – such as a flower in the lace-eye or a safety pin attached to one, then in the corner, including a ticket for a concert of that time period, re-worked into a Doc Martins logo/product title.
The initial draft looked… Basic…
however, it served it’s purpose as a simple design plan, cementing my new found idea in my mind
I looked up old ticket designs, such as this one from the 1960’s:
Examining the fonts used, this shouldn’t be too difficult a task to replicate.
I also purchased a pair of Doctor Martins boots in order to make the pictures seem more authentic. I then took several pictures of the boots in several different states of damage. This was to give the illusion of time passing and the boots being damaged over time.
This took some fore-thought on exactly how to damage the boots, as well as at some points, decorating them in a different manner – such as using safety pins and flowers braided into the lace-eyes.
This was the first image that I edited which started as a simple test – mainly on the accuracy of the ticket, after a short peer-review, the ticket seemed accurate to actual 50’s and 60’s tickets. A Short refinement later created this:
This was an initial attempt at using photoshop to weather the boots – which worked to some extent, however, I feel the effect could be improved exponentially with the use of actual damage, regrettably, this proved harder than I first expected.
Despite this, I still took various images of the boots in several places – which I would later edit to a damaged state. This was to create the thought that these boots had been through a lot.
The tickets in the corners are there to show the boots, as if they actually visited the concerts.