The Salesman – By @NicholasKugge
By Nick Kugge
“It’s an art Nick, advertising is Art!”
It was late in the evening at a party in the South of France, the air was still warm and dry and the amount of wine available was exceeding my expectations. Some family relatives had come over and it was the time of night when the wise gave their advice to the young on pretty much anything – including advertising. From all this generous nonsense, I only remember the previous quote. I didn’t feel like arguing the matter, everyone was having a good time – I regret it now.
This weekend, as I was visiting the Ai Weiwei exhibition, I remembered the events of this hot summer night; and how I strongly disagreed with this statement.
We are not artists, we are salesmen.
We don’t consume art and advertising in the same way. People deliberately consume and analyse art because they are interested and have time for it. Only us advertising junkies spend countless hours dissecting posters and commercials day after day for our own pleasure.
Artists have the benefit of letting visitors wander around, making their own opinion for themselves. Admen don’t have this luxury, we cannot let people guess what our message is.
After doing a first tour of the exhibition, I decided to pick-up an audio guide. And weirdly enough it felt like watching ads instead of art. There was no room for interpretations.
When discovering Ai Weiwei’s visions and comparing them to mine I realised how important it is in our job to be able to justify any creative choice. He wasn’t necessarily right and I wasn’t necessarily wrong, but his ideas made sense.
The other learning I took from listening to this audio guide was how important it is to share your passion for your idea when you present it. As I was listening to Ai Weiwei and his collaborators I could feel the energy they had invested in every piece or art; and how communicative it was. I was sold.
So it doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong, just be interesting and share your enthusiasm.