Ezra Torres's ePortfolio

A City Tech OpenLab ePortfolio

Art & Copy Essay

The film’s message is about advertising and where the inspiration comes to create designs for millions to see. It was very thought-provoking when it came to the advertisement field. Especially, how as a designer, we have to go beyond what has been done today and years before that to push forward. They showcase the most influential artist of their time periods to display their most powerful advertisements. Their work really changed how we see advertising and shaped our culture for years to come. The “Creative Revolution” in the 1960s, where these designers/copywriters changed the game in a business that was repetitive/basic. You had Mary Wells, George Lois, Hal Riney, Lee Clow, Dan Wieden, and more who were all featured and most notably for the infamous “Just Do It”, “Got Milk”, “I Love NY”, etc. They all talented in their own right to move the attention of millions of people around the world. From tv, billboards, and ads that all explored unique artistic approaches, ideas, and business as a whole.

During the film, they displayed statistics about advertising that was very interesting. For example, the film said “70% of U.S broadcasting revenue comes from advertisements” and “The global advertising business will exceed $544 billion by 2010”.  Furthermore, they stress the importance of what makes a powerful and successful ad is finding where the line between having something safe/secure and tasking the largest risk. It is truly something that designers fear because it’s easy to get rejected since even Rich Silverstein stated: “This is a business of rejection”. You can believe your design is perfect and a client or business can see the opposite. As a designer, you have to be prepared for these situations and grow accordingly to take it and continue improving it further. You do not become a world famous designer in just a few days, it takes a lot of hard work and many fail to grow to that status.

One of the campaigns that stood out to me the most with how controversial given the ad but how successful it became was the Tommy Hilfiger campaign [which is personally one of my favorite name brands]. It was designed by George Lois wanting to make Hilfiger’s brand known to consumers all around which skyrocketed their business overnight. He did not need to spend years building his brand with advertising and marketing when you have a campaign as shocking as George Lois made it. “The Four Great American Designers for Men are:” the consumers would have to fill in the blank Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Perry Ellis, and Tommy Hilfiger. At the bottom, it would display Tommy’s logo “This is the logo of the least known of the four”. What he said alongside supporting the ad “If you want any name recognition in this business at all, you need millions of dollars worth of advertising, over and over. If you want your name to know right away, and people to look at your clothes, you need something unique like this”. A very powerful statement and it followed true even though it may have caused a backlash. At the end of the day, publicity is powerful as the quote goes “all publicity is good publicity” and Lois’s success made Tommy Hilfiger a multi-billion dollar company still till this day.

   Watching the film, it really has changed my views about the advertising industry. It can be very cut throat and intimidating from my perspective. However, it is a place where creatives have the freedom to express a brand or product in unique/powerful ways. Advertising can also be timeless for the generations to come for future designers. I can still remember classic commercials./ advertisements when I was younger. For example, the Yoplait commercial “It was an itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikini That she wore for the first time today.” As well as the Orbit commercial lint licker one using humorous comebacks. They still stick to me until this day for being different and very entertaining. It’s something that is such a powerful tool for us designers to showcase what we are good at.


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