Serve for ad's Sake
You’ve almost certainly seen this painting before. It’s one of the most iconic images from the Art Deco period.
The striking blonde woman at the wheel of the green Bugatti giving the massive side-eye is Tamara de Lempicka – it’s a self-portait.
In 1929, this portrayal of a woman hurtling towards the future behind the wheel of one of the great racing marques was undeniably invigorating, and remains so.
A vibrant encapsulation of the roaring twenties – a woman in control, full of purpose and aloof composure.
Tamara arrived in the art world after a series of reinventions, and her highly stylised technique ensured that she was never unnoticed.
Given this, it’s no surprise that Madonna is one of her biggest collectors.
She had a killer instinct – combining the effort of marathon painting sessions, established upper-crust social skills and an attention to detail in the fashion-stakes (Chanel and Schiaparelli dressed her regularly).
But – Lempicka didn’t own a green Bugatti, she owned a yellow Renault.
Not that it mattered in the slightest…
Pretty much all marketing and advertising is giving the audience a glimpse of what a better life could look like with the help of ‘Product X’.
These days that usually means you feel like breaking into some form of dance…[sigh].
Brands want customers to come join their ‘community’ – it’s easy, just do it, join us now etc.
But, there’s a very potent energy in presenting almost as if you don’t need the consumer, as if life could go on without them, because you have your own world – because you’re better than the consumer.
It’s exclusivity, it’s confidence, and it instills pure desire.
Here are some absolute serves…
Porsche never let humilty get in the way of a good line:
When i-D Magazine relaunched with great fanfare back in 2013 they unleashed a raft of brilliant YouTube clips using an A-Z theme. This was the first and greatest:
Harvey Nicks is better than you:
There’s only one Harrods:
Pefect pose. Better boast:
A script entirely in French (Flemish? 🤷) for an English audience served reassuringly expensive.
And here’s another exclusive beer:
More faaaaaashun now, and this Mugler SS21 film is a brilliant convention breaker of the classic catwalk approach:
Do you have a favourite ad that served big time?
Drop a comment, send a reply – and I’ll share next time.
Thanks for reading,
She was described as a “hot little potato”…
Want to hear more Tamara de Lempicka stories? Listen to her episode of Kunst Please:
If you’re not a subscriber, you should be.