I’ve always been fascinated with the surreal. Growing up, Salvador Dali inspired me to go outside of the normal and mundane. He created an alternate universe dedicated to the fascination of stranger things. Dali’s work was impactful on my life. I aspired to become someone who saw things differently. Changing the world around me into a new perspective. There is a word for such work as this, and it’s called Surrealism. Meriam Webster defines it as a “20th-century art form in which an artist or writer combines unrelated images or events in a very strange and dreamlike way”. Sound familiar?
Interestingly enough, manipulation of pictures started back as early as the 1900’s. Photographers would take individual pictures and stitch them together creating a complete image. Before the software to alter images seamlessly, people tried to change what is real to an ideal that is not necessarily tangible. Desiring something more is a basic human nature. Technology has just stretched the opportunities to manipulate the reality.
We live in a world of advertising, where companies are dedicated to trying to break through the wall of “clutter” into a whole new realm of evocative work. According to Forbes Magazine, contributor Michelle Greenwald lists 7 tips for effective advertising. Number 1 on that list is being memorable. Unforgettable can be accomplished in a variety of ways, one being through the art of digital manipulation.
Digital Manipulation is a modern day Surrealism. It’s seen everywhere. People take the ordinary and morph it into a separate entity. Surrealism is an art form dedicated to the unique and memorable. Sure, there are your average pictures of a bag of Pringles hot and spicy chips, but wouldn’t it be more memorable to see an advertisement like this?
Riccardo Bagnoli, a digital manipulation photographer and creator of the Pringles Hot and Spicy advertisement, creates memorable ads that stand out from the regular images of a product. He forces the audience to take a second glance and really try to capture what the brand is trying to say. The result is a permanent mark on a persons’ brain, remembering the image, and hopefully, when executed well, the product itself.
We have so many tools and accessories now a days to accomplish our work. Why not utilize these gifts? Our world keeps on evolving, and it would make sense for marketing to move along with it. If they don’t then soon, their work becomes obsolete. Understanding the modern day consumer is vital to gaining profits. Digital manipulation uses those tools, and creates content that is worthy of their audience attention. People are drawn to the surreal, and through advertising, people can see something beyond the reality of the normal and average day.
When it comes down to it for me, the real question is whether or not it is ok to create a fictional reality in order to buy a tangible product. If it provokes you to have an emotion, a want to buy a product or service, then it is effective advertising. Being able to tie a brand to strong emotional feelings initiates marketing at the most basic level. Creativity has no limits, and when it comes to marketing products, marketers need to be clever in their work.
In the end it is not misleading when the audience knows it’s an exaggeration of the truth to emphasize the point of the product or services’ use. Marketing jobs consists of pushing products or goods and services to consumers, with the technology present. Our minds become so desensitized to advertisements, the only way to stick out in the world, is through memorable and inspirational images that make the audience take a second glance. Digital manipulation is an art form, it pursues a message, and the proper response is to buy into the feelings it evokes.
Creativity has no limit, and I believe that digital manipulation can be a tool to push us into making great work.