Our belief that advertising should be entertaining and fun is a firm one. But remember that at its best, advertising, too, is artful. Twelve21 Gallery posted a blog in February about Installation Art, calling it the ‘fun’ of the art world. Installation Art’s effectiveness lies in the fact that it is experiential. It takes place on a grand scale. You can only witness a piece of Installation Art in one place, at one time. Of course pictures are always convenient, but a picture never compares to seeing it for yourself. When you see a picture of the Grand Canyon, you go, “Wow.” When you see the Grand Canyon in person, you pick your jaw up off the ground.
Another amazing thing about Installation Art is that it becomes part of the room or landscape it occupies. Imagine walking down the street one day and coming across this:
A few thoughts would come to mind. Who did that? How did they do that? How long did that take? Where did they get all those chairs? We would already know the answer to “Why did they do that?” The answer: because it’s awesome. We’re sure the artist had some more reasons, such as turning trash or junk into something that is not trash or junk, making people think differently about the object (a chair) itself, etc. But on the simplest level, when you walk by this piece of Installation Art for the first time, your day just changed. You were given something out of the ordinary to differentiate this day from all the rest. You’re given a memory.
When advertisers create an ad that doubles as a piece of installation art, the same process is at work in our brains. A company moves beyond associating itself with a product, image, or slogan. It associates itself with a feat of awesomeness. And people remember feats of awesomeness. People talk about them. People like us, for instance.
So here are three pieces of Installation Ads, that by talking about, we are providing a little extra free advertising:
Denver Water Installation Ad
There are billboard advertisements, and then there are billboard advertisements. We’d refer to this one as the latter. It makes art out of a billboard pole. Talk about maximizing your ad space. It’s usually pretty easy to ignore advertisements that tell you to change a behavior you don’t want to change. But it’s hard to ignore this. It’s something you don’t see every day. Or ever, really. It’s safe to say that you can never make the excuse, “I didn’t know there was an ordinance to cut water usage.”
Pepsi Light (European Diet Pepsi) Installation Ad
We’ll call this mobile-installation art, or art on the move. The use of perspective, for one, is amazing. It really does look like the inside of the truck, as if the part of the outside is made of clear plastic or glass. And the fact that the artistic scheme is in perfect conceptual harmony with the “Light” part of the brand name, making it an understated/subtle joke and a wonderful visual pun, well, that just adds to the joy of looking at it. For a minute, we forget we’re being manipulated into appreciating their product. Probably the best part about this Installation Ad is that it travels. And because it travels, so many more people can see it. The worst part about this Installation Ad is that it takes eyes off the road. Rubberneckers for days.
Kit-Kat Installation Ad
Everybody loves benches. They provide instant relief for standing when you don’t want to stand. Benches, you might say, give you a break. Wait. Isn’t Give Me a Break the Kit-Kat slogan? Somebody on Kit-Kat’s advertising team should get a hefty raise for this. Do you think people ever go buy a Kit-Kat and get a picture of themselves eating it on the Kit-Kat bench? Oh, the novelty.