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Do I Smell Something Creative?

 article about creativiity

This article belongs to BUSINESS MONTH: Creativity theme.


Creativity and advertising go together like Sarin gas and subways- a noxious ride along the underbelly of capitalist society. Watch one episode of TVs nighttime drama Mad Men, and you get the idea that the only reason creative people get involved in jamming consumer society down the throats of citizens--who only want to be entertained--is to fuel their own personal addictions. "If I can somehow get women to believe that a new bra will unlatch the floodgates of their dammed up happiness I can earn enough money to keep my mistress in mink."

True Art doesn't want you to buy anything. It may subversively engage your preconceptions on beauty, sex, gender, politics and spirituality, but there is no subtext of a looming purchase. Creative ad campaigns might utilize a strategy that involves "acting as if" art is involved, but this is like hookers wearing flowers in their hair, fresh, it is not.

Speaking of hookers. . .

Is it creative to launch a line of children's dolls called, Bratz, where the plastic toy resembles prostitutes in fishnet stockings, pumps and make-up? Or is this more of the same shattered dreams that advertising agencies mainline to us through our youth? Can one call a series of vignettes that create a fictional background, for a fictional character called Jack, innovative, or is it a desperate measure to induce the poor to eat food that can be classified poisonous, toxic or at the very least, unhealthy?

Adbusters, an international magazine, makes an attempt, in varying degrees, to separate the ads we see, from the underpinnings of overt sexuality, racist, and homophobic broad strokes used to stimulate our "buy" impulse. No matter how "creative" an jeans ad might be, one comes to basic thoughts when applying reason and logic to the million dollar mission: a poorly made cotton garment will not get you closer to your soul mate, paying hundreds of dollars to cover your legs and pubes does not improve the quality of life for the slave labor that made them, and, no matter what super model displays the new brand of "must have" jeans, your ass will still look fat.

I suppose there is a huge vein of appreciation for creativity in advertising that I am simply overlooking. With the disruption, and more than rumored, end of print newspapers, many people are searching for new ways to get the word out about their new product. The web is no newcomer to welcoming advertising dollars. And again, no matter how many famous directors make a short film about your new line of cars, creativity will not save General Motors. This is not creativity. This is about business' that have profiteered on the sweat and labor of individuals, lining their pockets with gold, whoring out any talent they can find to make them richer. This isn't creative--it is satanic.

Artists have to survive just like everyone else, but my hope, is that they save their truly creative ambition for something more than forest-scented douchbags.


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