Ways of Seeing

Topics: Art, Painting, John Berger, 1969, Advertising / Pages: 7 (1739 words) / Published: Sep 9th, 2011
Ways Of Seeing (Chapter 7)

In today’s world, marketers and advertisers are fighting for every spot they get to display their ads and market their products. The ultimate aim is to get as much exposure as possible. This in turn, they hope, will translate into sales. The literature “Ways of Seeing – Part 7” underlines the theory of publicity. I chose this literature because it elucidates the backbone of marketing and advertising – publicity. It interests me because designers and advertisers revolve their careers around for many years in order to obtain ‘Publicity’.

‘Kodak sells film but they doesn’t publicize film. They publicize memories’ (Theodore Parker).
This is the mystery and theory of publicity today - to incorporate human emotions to affect the behavior and thereby to promote the product or a desired cause. The only intention being to draw the viewer not entirely towards the product but towards his own superior future, the future which is enhanced due to the presence of the product. This clearly indicates that human actions are based on emotional instinct, not logic.

When there come emotions, there comes art. This is because art uses the emotional palette for its expression. According to Marshall McLuhan, ‘Advertisement is the greatest art form of the 20th century.’ Publicity images being considered as an art form is a new expression given to commercial design. The approach taken for these images are being compared with the ones of oil paintaings and a cultural continuity is said to have established from the oil paintings of the 18th century to the publicity images of the 21st century.

This comparison with the previous century oil paintings and human behavioural response to publicity are the two main highlights of John Berger’s thought provoking write up in ‘Ways of Seeing’.

John Berger began his professional career as an artist. An art student from the Chelsea



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