Is Advertising Modern Man's "Art"?


“Creating a film (or in the case a reel) is less about showing who you are and more about showing your clients who they can be.”

Our Creative Director, Mr. Christopher Behnen, coined that little gem today while we were putzing around with this reel. It’s a zinger. And taking a step back from the poetry of that phrase, I think our good friend is on to something here. But lets take one more step back before we dive in, shall we?

I had a professor in college (who shall remain nameless until we receive explicit approval to include him) who said something that has stuck with me ever since. “Jake,” he said (that’s my name), “Advertising is modern art.” And he put the emphasis on the word is. Like… IS.

“Advertising is modern art.”

Not a form of modern art or an expression of it… it IS modern art. SCOFF. No. Consumer America doesn’t get to win this one, too. Or have they already?

I’m not going to go all, “According to Webster’s, art is defined as…” on you,**push up glasses**. I will say this, though: art is an expression of something in the form of a tangible medium. I think we can all agree on that at least, right?

Now, historically, popular art has been made popular because it was funded in some way or another. This is not to argue that that is the only way recognized talent has been discovered; however, I would venture to say that it is the primary one.

Think of our Renaissance heroes in the zenith of their existence — “oh quelle joie!” Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello and the other Ninja Turtle that no one likes… these men were perpetuated by commissioners. The argument my professor was making back in my glory days and the one I stand firm on today is that the primary commissioners of “art” today are big companies.

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About the Author
Jake LeVoir is the Director of Sales at Slate and Main. He has built a career on helping organizations grow by developing engaging video campaigns that drive consumer traffic and increase brand awareness.

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