Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Art & Copy
January 16, 2009 (Sundance Film Festival)
88 min
United States (English)

Directed by Doug Pray

You should glimpse the world of advertising in "Art & Copy," a documentary/advertisement that proposes "creativity can solve anything."

Do you watch "Mad Men"? The complicated and despicable lead in that series, Donald Draper (Jon Hamm), says the following in the pilot episode, "Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It's freedom from fear. It's a billboard on the side of a road that screams with reassurance that whatever you're doing is OK. You are OK." I like to think of "Art & Copy" as "Mad Men" in real life, though it certainly casts these clever devils in a better light.

"Creativity can solve anything." This quote comes from George Louise of Esquire. He is but one of the talking heads in "Art & Copy" that deserve to be listened to because of their impressive career in advertising. My favorite component of this documentary was learning the conception of some of the most famous ad campaigns our country has ever known: Wendy's "Where's the beef?," Nike's "Just do it.", VW Bug's "Think small.", and, of course, Macintosh's "Think different." Apple's 1984 commercial (directed by Ridley Scott) still sends shivers down my spine. Best commercial ever? I think so. Apparently, if you are going to have a slogan it should be 2-4 words only.

Doug Pray directed the film, but editor Philip Owens deserves a shout-out as well for splicing together all the content itself. The film is virtually void of conflict and narrative, which some might consider a failure. I prefer to think of it as an ad about ads. Yes, it is overwhelmingly in the favor of the great campaigns presented, but the constant feed of facts makes for an eye-opening realization of American consumerism and free enterprise. "Art & Copy" is a historical account that definitely finds its place in the world.


CONTENT: brief strong language, some provocative images

1 comment:

Galyn said...

Since I'm not a mad man fan, would Art and Copy leaves little to be desired for me? It sounds a bit interesting because there is a part of me that finds commercials fascinating. There have been times that I've enjoyed the CLIO awards. I do think that creativity may be able to solve many things but not everything.