Thursday, October 11, 2007

This hurts

It's true, it's kinda funny, but what interests me is that whoever made it felt compelled to express their gag in ad form.

I'm guessing it wasn't done by someone in the industry (it's not single-minded enough. While there's nothing wrong with the wrinkle on the Adidas tagline, it's a seperate thought that doesn't really gel with the main one. Plus there's too much information in the headline).

So why did they feel the need to construct a simple gag as an adidas ad?

I think it's one of two things.

Either the languge of print and poster advertising has become so pervasive that it's the first thing people think of when confronted with a task that involves combining images with the written word.

Or there's something immutable and eternal about the principles of communication generations of writers and art directors have evolved to tell a story.

I'm quite tickled by the latter idea.

Perhaps anyone, anywhere, would formulate a set of principles of communication similar to those we employ. I'm not talking about content here - just things like what function a headline or a subhead serves, how relative weights between the elements affect the overall meaning, how the same headline can mean different things depending upon where it's placed in the layout and so on.

And it makes me think: this really is a fabulous language we have here - it's economical, flexible and, at its best, capable of conveying things no other medium could. So why is it not more widely used to communicate things other than commercial messages?