What is Advertising Art?

Instructor: Endya Perry

Endya has taught corporate training courses and led seminars in various business topics. She has a master’s degree in business administration.

What is advertising art? When and why is it used? Is there a strategy to advertising art or is it simple creativity? Find the answers to these questions and more through this lesson.

What is Advertising Art?

It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Therefore, in an era of constrained character limits, content restrictions, and translation complexity, advertising art can be a powerful tool used to convey promotional messaging. Advertising art can be defined as the graphic design used to advertise and promote. Advertising art can be in the form of photography, digital development, illustrations, and more.

The ultimate goal of advertising art is to persuade consumers and/ or convey a message. With this in mind, advertising art is a form of visual rhetoric. Visual rhetoric refers to the framework by which visual images are used to communicate a message, idea, or point of view.

The following image is an example of advertising art.

BMW effectively utilizes advertising art.
Advertising Art

When is Advertising Art Used

Barbara and her team worked for a leading advertising firm. She had been given the assignment to develop a tactic to promote a new line of athletic shoes. Her character limit was very small, yet she had multiple messages she wanted to convey. She wanted to be sure that consumers realized that this new line of shoes were both available and valuable to all people. At the same time, she wanted to demonstrate that high profile athletes wear the shoes as well. There wasn't a way, within the defined character limit, to communicate all that Barbara needed to get across to consumers. Therefore, she decided to use advertising art; advertising art is often used to communicate thoughts and ideas, that due to specific constraints and limitations, words cannot.

The Strategic Side of Advertising Art

As Barbara began working on her assignment, she explored various rhetorical strategies that she could leverage in her artwork. She considered some of the most common strategies:

Plain folks appeal- This strategy requires the company or persuader to present their product as available and beneficial to all. The product or service is framed as an 'everyman's' item.

Association - This strategy utilizes images that are linked to important people and popular ideas to foster potent psychological connections to the product. Having celebrities endorse products or services is an example of the association strategy.

Glittering generalities - This strategy refers to emotionally appealing phrases (often paired with an image of the product or service) that are very closely connected to strong values and beliefs without any supporting evidence. For example, an organization may state that its product or service is the best in the world.

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