Advertising is an art form that has no equal. Unlike other art forms it is a practical application of the aesthetic that has a practical goal. The sale of goods or services to people who didn’t know they needed to buy them (or at least were going to but them from another supplier).
Art should provoke a reaction, you should feel something. It doesn’t matter so much if that reaction is love, disbelief or outrage. Though provoking pure outrage is too easy and means that some artists mistake abominations for art. Provoking outrage should be a means to an end not an end in itself.
… returning to advertising.
Advertising has in recent years has introduced a lot of people to new concepts. There’s the application of CGI to expand what’s possible in the visual arts, cultural influences from across the world and new music.
For most people, even those around at the time of its release some music is a bit obscure. Adverts can introduce a new band to the public, Nickelback benefited from this phenomena, as did (regrettably) Babylon Zoo. Both Jeans in commercials incidentally.
The one that really stands out as being powerful and subversive is the tyre advert featuring the Psychedelic Furs Classic Venus In Furs. I’ve mentioned it before but make no apology for mentioning it again. It’s bloody marvellous and featured in the video of the Dunlop commercial above.