Kieran Preissler

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How to use art as a persuasive tool in everyday life

Art is everywhere. From the ads in the newspaper to the commercials on TV to the graffiti you see in the street. But what exactly do these underground art forms, street graffiti and advertisements, influence us subconsciously? What hidden tricks have companies played with to make us favor one product over another?

  • Feb 3 2012: Perhaps all art is persuasive of something, even if it happens at a subconscious level.
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      Feb 3 2012: Precisely, because art triggers emotions, and choices are emotional, not rational (as we would like to think...!)
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    Feb 3 2012: The purpose of ads is to trigger emotions: fear, envy, joy, etc. and relate these emotions to a particular brand; as in:
    "We have the solution for you" (fear, often in insurance companies' ads...)
    "Cool people have it, why don't you?" (envy; Apple's products)
    "My product will make you happy" (joy, check Coca Cola)

    So the hidden tricks you mention are IMHO just insights of human behavior and/or psychology.
    Lots of bullshit though... (is Coca Cola's sugared water making me "happy"? duh..). There are no evil masterminds in ad agencies, just people with a good understanding of how we work.

    Ads use art for stunning and eye-catching visuals. And also because Art is at the forefront of life, finding the latest insights, trends and reflecting the society. It's a powerful tool, even if the word "tool" is an awful word to put next to "art"...

    And it's always been like that.
    The Russian constructivist art movement in the late 1910's/early 1920's did help the Revolutionary hot-heads to spread the Soviet cause (before getting completely muzzled eventually because this beautiful art movement was too..."free").
    L'Oreal used Piet Mondrian's abstract geometry "Broadway Boogie Woogie" for its packaging of hair gel, Studio Line.
    (here and here

    And Banksy's work, to mention street graffiti art, is probably being "pumped" right now by creative directors. They just need time to convince their corporate clients to use these visuals to sell cars or insurances!

    So I guess an answer might be: ad agencies do employ creative, art-sensitive people, hence the presence of art in commercials.