Towards the end of this semester, I had made up my mind that advertising wasn’t for me. Sure, it’s a viable career path, it’s something I personally feel that I’m good at, and it definitely interests me in a lot of ways. However, when I look at current trends in advertising, I see that a lot of the creativity I love about advertising is beginning to fall away. The basis of advertising, to sell, has always reigned supreme and it is increasingly destroying advertising as an art form and platform for discussion. When I think about my favorite advertisements, there is an element to them aesthetically or story wise that sets them apart as being REAL and HONEST.
I love the scene in Mad Men where they discuss Volkswagen’s Lemon ad because it speaks to this subject so well. The men discuss the flaws of the ad, its humor value, and whether or not it actually “sells” the car, all of which lead Don to conclude that the ad works. Why? Because it leads to discussion. In my mind, that is what good art does. It prompts the viewer to ask questions and participate in debate.