True Works Of A(dve)rt(ising)

True Works Of A(dve)rt(ising)

Our Summer School folk spend a lot of their time researching ads and finding inspiration. James shares some beautiful ads that got him thinking.

During my time here at e>erything d.fferent in Summer School, I’ve discovered just how thin the line is between art and advertising.

Here are three works of art that I wanted to share with you.

‘House Of Cards’

If you were looking for Kevin Spacey gorging on BBQ food then you won’t find it. What you will find is one of my favourite ads.

Taken from Leo Burnett’s Humankind, the House Of Cards advertisement for Shelter is a work of genius. Scoring an 8 on the GPC scale, this advert was designed to raise awareness to our housing market, which is on the verge of collapse.


It didn’t stop there, the television advert was closely followed by print ads, further cementing the message but also creating a different take on the normal charity adverts.

Their guerrilla campaign at Glastonbury involved real houses of cards which were placed between tents of festival-goers to help raise awareness for their cause and with the help of famous artists such as Damien Hirst and Vivienne Westwood, Shelter were given an entirely unique deck of cards to auction, created by some of the most creative minds in Britain.

Some of these are stunning by themselves…

Just take a look

‘Heaven And Hell’

samsonite billboard james wilson summer school

Originally, when I came across this, I didn’t know what to think. Showing your brand in a negative light rarely works in your favour so I was quite impressed that they managed to pull this one off.

But the more I looked, the more I discovered just how effective and awe-inspiring this piece of work is. If I came up with idea in a brainstorming session, I would sound bonkers but the execution behind this concept may be atop of my list. It looks like it should be in the Sistine Chapel!

I am sure the baggage staff are not demonic but the concept is designed to show how much punishment the suitcase can take. From left to right, you can see the suitcase be sat on, squashed into a tight corner, fought over by demonic pets and covered in magma fresh from the pot, only for it to emerge in one piece, as shiny as when you left it.

And where are you, when this durable suitcase is taking a beating? Sitting on goddamn clouds listening to beautiful music perfumed by an orchestra of angels and cherubs. If that is what first class is like on a flight from Newcastle, I want in.

‘Khede Kasra’

Simplicity and effectiveness comes in numerous forms but this one takes the prize for that.

Scoring an 8 on the GCP scale, Leo Burnett Worldwide helped design a campaign for the Hariri Foundation for Sustainable Human Development in Beirut, focusing on ways to empower women.

The campaign took guerrilla approach, printing off stickers and distributing them across Beirut in the form of the kasra like so:

James Wilson Summer School


Let me explain. A kasra is an arabic inflection that appears differently for men and women. The inflection sits above the word when addressed to men and below when addressed to women. And what happens when there is no inflection shown? It is addressed only to men.

With such as small sticker, or even a stroke of lipstick, women across the country could empower themselves and change the perceptions of people around them. Social media, news channels and emails all shared this, helping it grow from an interesting campaign into a masterpiece of advertising. The campaign got national coverage and changed a symbol of inequality into a symbol of equality with a single thought. This is a perfect example of creating lasting change.

So these are some of my opinions but what about yours? Do you have any favourites that you want to share? There are some amazing advertising campaigns out there and I want to see them all!*


*We’re actually compiling an round of our favourites, so watch this space.

by James Wilson

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