With all the high-pitched squealing around yet another season of inspiring Kodak moments with Don Draper, it’s small wonder that the Tribeca Film Fest blog and newsletter has been publicizing Art & Copy, Doug Pray’s new documentary about advertising, as “The Real Mad Men.” (See how they’re tying it in to something that’s hot and current to generate WOM? Presto, marketing!) Anyway, you don’t have to be an AdHunt reading dork like myself to appreciate the significance of great creative advertising. Seriously, like what would have happened to all those dairy farmers without Got Milk? And let’s face it — Nike commercials can make grown men cry. If I were Rupert Murdoch, I would create a channel that ran only award-winning commercials from around the world (subtitled, of course) 24-7. The Ad Channel, if you will. Nothing to TiVo out — all ads, all the time. The content pays for itself! I’d especially tune in for the Japan hour to see everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Brad Pitt sell brands. Anyway, my brain fart of the day.
Art & Copy opens tomorrow (8/21) at the IFC Center in New York, as well as other select markets.
Update: I saw this on Saturday and really enjoyed it despite the fact that there were a lot of gaps and questions that I wished they’d pursued, like what’s the impact of all this media fragmentation on the future of creating iconic, everyone-remembers-it advertising? Is the communal TV experience just being replaced by the forwarding of YouTube virals? In many ways the film felt like a eulogy for a golden age in advertising that will never return. The days when there were fewer channels and fewer billboards and no such thing as banner ads; the days when you could air a 30-second commercial and expect half the country to have seen it by lunchtime. The film definitely tended toward the nostalgic rather than giving us any sense of what to really expect in the future; which is fine, fair enough. For me it was just refreshing to see the celebration of truly great advertising while acknowledging that most everything else the industry produces is pure garbage. As a marketer, I don’t think I could have sat through another over-simplified Adbusters-esque “this is why advertising is evil and melting your brain” torture session. It’s great that this film is giving much deserved shout-outs to the visionaries who created the concept, art and copy for some of the most culture-defining public messages of our time.