Thursday 28 May 2009


'Imagine If They Worked Together.' That is the slogan of a big poster advertising campaign by... Actually I've never noticed (isn't advertising wonderful?), but I imagine it's one of those huge, exotically named finance companies, and I imagine the aim is to justify some massive corporate gobble-up or merger (somehow I doubt if LloydsTSBHBOS is running this one). The posters show two supposed creative geniuses, and ask us to imagine if they worked together, and we no doubt are supposed to think Gosh yes wouldn't that have been great? Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol feature on one poster, so let's imagine what it would be like if they worked together. Personally I imagine they'd cook up a grand scheme to make a monkey of the art market and gain yet more money for production-line tripe - pretty much business as usual then. Another poster shows Bob Dylan and John Lennon. If they worked together, the result would probably have been, at best, an amusing jam session rather than any kind of creative collaboration.
Of course the campaign is based on just the kind of crass misconception you'd expect from advertising 'creatives', as they're ironically called. It rests on a mathematical conception of creativity: Dali good, Warhol good, Dali+Warhol double good. That may be how advertising works - but look at advertising. And look at art.


  1. I also wish they'd stop polluting our musical memories by dragging old favourites into service as jingles. But then I still haven't recovered from Iggy Pop selling insurance and Jonny Rotten selling butter. Unbelievable until recently but quite inevitable, I suppose.

  2. That's also a classic music journo trope, isn't it?

    ...The De Trop Rainbows' new album sounds as if Marianne Faithful had never met the Stones but spent the 60s in a nunnery, then joined the Clash for a jamming session with Bob Marley in a Cuban dance hall, with Keith Moon on drums and acid, and Miles Davis on flugelhorn....

  3. Brit - you're a sad loss to music journalism. And Gaw I'm still recovering too. Seems rock n roll is just so not rock n roll after all...

  4. Oh well, considering how good 3D and rendering effects are these days, let's just be thankful it wasn't Marlon Brando selling the butter or Genghis Khan selling tomato ketchup. Advertising has a kind of inverse effect here: if I see an advert, it's often a helpful encouragement to avoid the product in future. And considering that the banks and carmakers are mostly all bust and under state aid, I'm amazed at how much they still spend on the ads. I suppose it's all our money, that's the secret.

  5. oooh that's a rubbish advert (if viewed by a semi-intelligent person) however, most of the public will think that the idea is quite exciting and original, such is life.

    ps. I work in advertising - please feel free to hate me by association

  6. Advertising seems to be in the doldrums and the good old days of bbbartlebbboglehhhegarty in full flood are a distant memory. Apart from the odd stroke of genius, the meercatsky, and the original Honda advert now copied by everyone with access to Maya, we are left with the awful DFS & Co.

    Incidentally, has anyone ever questioned their ludicrous price cutting claims. Indeed has anyone ever bought their junk.