Graphis Masters Series:
Advertising Re-imagined

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Project Re: Brief — Advertising Re-imagined™

Powerful advertising does more than sell a product. It triggers a smile, ignites a movement, tells a story or sparks an idea. At the height of advertising’s golden era — a time when M.A.S.H. TV show was still on air — spawned a series of campaigns that have since proven their timelessness by doing just that.

From Coca Cola’s catchy, upbeat jingle, “I’d like to buy the world a coke,” to Alca Seltzer’s “I can’t believe I ate that whole thing” ad, to Volvo’s classic “Drive it like you hate it” commercial. Each campaign resounded with a broad audience, established an identifiable brand name and put their product on the map. And let’s not mention sales, which, in all cases, shot through the roof.

But today, advertising has lost its power. Founder of Doyle Dane Bernbach Bill Bernbach said of the public’s feeling towards print advertising: “Our problem is they don’t even hate us. They are just bored with us.”

What has changed? The digital revolution has much to do with it. In an age in which we suffer not from a need to know more, but an overload of information, we must constantly sift through the irrelevant. And often, advertising has become just that: irrelevant. How to bring it back as an art? That’s just the question the folks at Google are asking, which has led to their recent Project Re: Brief:

We designed this experiment to re-imagine what advertising can be and push the boundaries of how creative ideas and our technology can work hand in hand. We believe this can change. After all, this is a position television advertising was once in, and print advertising before that.

With people spending more time online than ever before, it was time to put digital advertising to the ultimate test. We selected four of the most iconic commercials of all time, and asked the legendary creatives behind them to re-imagine them for the digital age. These advertising icons defined the mediums of the past. Now they’re back to help shape the medium of the future, prove that great ideas come first, and inspire a new generation of creative minds along the way.

Watch the process unfold as Emmy-Award-winning filmmaker Doug Pray documents the coming together of the five icons of advertising.

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