ads without products

the mystical physiology of advertising

with 2 comments

Interesting article in the NYT about an exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs on French TV advertising.
But one thing in it has left me intrigued and confused. The guy speaking in the following paragraph is the “chief creative officer for Havas, the country’s second-biggest advertising agency”:

Or as Mr. Séguéla formulated the situation: American commercials go from the head to the wallet, British ones from the head to the heart, French, from the heart to the head. That accounts for why, as in a classic French commercial for Canal Plus, the French pay television station, a man describes a movie about emperor penguins in Antarctica to a woman who pictures hundreds of Napoleons sliding around the ice. Or why, in an ad for Air France, sexy models use clouds as pillows, clearly not dreaming about low fares and on-time departures.

Could be that I’m that I’m again taking throwaway langauge too seriously, but I’d love to understand what all of the head-to-wallet, head-to-heart, heart-to-head stuff really means. The idea that there are national trajectories to ads, or even to the little plots that constitute ads, is too attractive not to wonder about for a bit…

Written by adswithoutproducts

February 19, 2009 at 2:11 pm

Posted in ads

2 Responses

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  1. Hi,
    People’s aspirations, values and needs are not homogenoeous (or static). Neither is the Advertising that purports to sell stuff meant to fulfil People’s aspirations, values and needs.

    Frankly, I see divergent trajectories every 500km! And about every 5 years or so. Advertisements in every demographic and geographic section is different and unique.

    That is the real world. But increasingly, advertising agencies are working hard to identify ‘insights’ that explain everything about ‘why’ people buy stuff. Wishful thinking, in my opinion.

    I’m a copywriter. (I dabble in art too.) I’ve been creating advertising in India and the Middle East for over 10 years.

    Shanty Mathew

    September 1, 2009 at 11:03 am

  2. Of course not, they’re not homogeneous, but I buy the idea that there are sort of national phenotypes that inform the overall organisation of the things.

    I actually think, further, that that ad-men and ad-women are very good at getting at the taproot of consumer desire. I mean, look at the shit we buy!


    September 1, 2009 at 11:36 pm

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