Sunday, June 21, 2009

The dying craft of classic print advertising

A classic piece of print advertising. There are a lot of things I love about this piece. The first, and what sets it apart from so much of advertising today is the unassuming quiet manner in which it lays itself out and invites a quiet consideration, an almost philosophical contemplation. Although the image is provacative, it is very much a word based ad. It's not selling on image, brand or or visual sizzle.

The name Porsche is include in the small set headline, but the logo does not appear on the ad. There are no tell tale parts that would identify the laid out pieces as belonging to a Porsche.

The Porsche ad is created very much in the style of the headline, image, body format that was pioneered so magnificently by Doyle Dane Bernbach for Volkswagen in the 60's, but is more subtle than those generally where. In the classic format the juxtaposition of headline and image was resolved in a "got it" moment in the readers mind. You generally didn't have to read the copy, it provided expansion that followed from the arresting moment created by image and copy. The meaning here folds out from image to headline and finally pays off in what is a great example of finely crafted copy.

As this sort of advertising fades from the pages of publications that are themselves on the verge of extinction I find it hard not to feel a bit of nostalgia for a form that feels, compared to the today's visual culture, almost "literary".

We are at the end of an era. For 50 years the huge dollars spent by automobile manufacturers were the financial backbone for the advertising industry and the media that they supported.

A collection of classic VW print ads by Doyle Dane Bernbach.

Big thanks to KidCobra for sending me this ad and giving me a moment of reflection. Happy father's Day and happy driving brother!


Charles Frith said...

A lovely ad made more powerful by the absence of gratuitous branding. That 20th century marketing leitmotif.

morlok said...

I love these designs, actually I use to getting a ride in my best friend's porch, my friend kamagra has a modern porch I love it, I don't know if I love the car or my friend.m10m

viagra online said...

Awesome pictures, it is true, I miss those type of commercials from the old days, much more professional.