Friday, August 07, 2015

Now See Here!

In the City Gallery’s current exhibition Demented Architecture there's a felt tip pen rough of an advertising campaign Saatchi & Saatchi developed for the Brodsky and Utkin exhibition. Nice to see it has survived as stuff like this is very rare as we discovered when we were researching exhibition files a while back. When art museums get advertising agencies to create their campaigns, anything can happen. 

We posted some years ago about a hilarious campaign offered to the National Art Gallery using Edvard Munch’s poignant image of a child at her mother’s deathbed. The empathetic catchline? 'Lighten up Edvard'. While that didn’t fly the City Gallery did once trick up a fake McCahon as an opening billboard. And then there was Te Papa’s needy ‘Get in the picture’ campaign and the Auckland Art Gallery's Monet TV ad. All the 1980s paraphernalia of choppers and security vans, ostensibly bringing the super valuable paintings to the gallery, certainly has a different tone today. 

The latest in these agency brainwaves is the Govett-Brewster’s current launch campaign. It reaches back for inspiration to a decade or so to, say late 80s/90s when ad agencies were full of confidence and bluster. Social media was still to been invented and believe it or not hectoring your audience was considered cool. In 2015 this tone jars. The G-B campaign barks 'Art punches and screams and kicks'. And as the poster next to it taunts, 'If you don’t feel something, maybe you should.' On the other hand why not step out of the way and let it kick somebody else.

Images: top Brodsky and Utkin ad layout and bottom Govett-Brewster campaign