Wednesday, February 3, 2010

From Art to Ad: Trompe L'oeil Makes Its Way Into Outdoor Advertising

As an Art History double major, I am CONSTANTLY finding parallels between art and ads. One technique that I am seeing popularized in the advertising creative industry is that of trompe l'oeil.

Trompe L'oeil literally means "trick the eye" in French. This technique of painting was developed with the intent of fooling the eye and making the viewer believe in the image, believe the 2D as 3D, and to believe the fantasy as reality. Here's a historical example by Pere Borrell Del Caso entitled "Escaping Criticism":

Doesn't that just make you smile? It's amazing how clever artists could be way back before PhotoShop and digital techniques!

The modern, real world, advertising translation of art's trompe l'oeil is this outdoor ad by Folgers on the streets:

These creative geniuses turned a steaming city manhole into a steaming cup of coffee! Imagine during the morning rush in a big city when it's freezing outside and the streets are filled with disgruntled employees dreading their 8 hour day ahead of them...and then they come across a HUGE, warm, steaming cup of coffee...on the GROUND!

Even if this outdoor ad did not boost sales considerably, it might have been the boost someone needed to get their morning started, or the thing that made someone smile or laugh, etc.

Sometimes smiles mean more than sales...

From Art to Ad: Trompe L'oeil Makes Its Way Into Outdoor Advertising

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