Saturday, November 17, 2012

Good T.V. Commercials may Motivate and Teach Us

"Hibiscus Glory" commissioned 16 x 20 OIL on canvas SOLD

Today many T.V. commercials are far from boring. Spontaneous belly laughs result from watching people like us make complete fools out of themselves in order to sell product. Watching these commercials unfold is not necessarily a waste of time. There are lessons to be learned.

Good commercials have several traits in common. These same principles make any product or presentation better. Even artwork gains an interactive response through these techniques.

"Blending In" 16 x 20 Acrylic in Barn-wood Frame $300

·        Perfect execution: This goes without saying. But how many times do we hastily spew something out or slap on the paint without giving it our best? From the first brush stroke to the last, your purpose your vision must be perfectly clear, perfectly executed, perfectly understood.

(Photo from a contact in Uganda)

·        Timing and Flow: If a commercial is too long or it’s difficult to follow, we change the channel or turn away. If the music or dialogue catches us from the start and carries us easily to the end, they have us! Now apply that to your product or painting. Does your composition pull people in? Does it take the viewer on a journey through color, line and form? Do viewers want to stay and experience? Did you grab them from the start?

"Work in Progress"

·        Succinct: Gets right to the point. There’s no convolution or meandering; no vague or misrepresented “bunny trails” or side tracks. Of course, I have seen successful commercials that come in from the back door and then give you a surprise ending; but often they lose viewers before the final climax. Likewise, a product or painting should have a clear center of interest.  It should get right to the point and express its function and intention.

"Hey, Coconut Mon!" 14 x 18 mixed-media on canvas $500 (acrylic underpainting)
·        Clear Message: Commercials want to “wow” you into buying. They must motivate you quickly, clearly, and successfully. If the message is too subtle or hidden between the lines, it may be funny, but does it sell? If you’re left wondering who the sponsor was or what they were advertising, the commercial has failed. With a painting, the message or story must at least suggest that something has happened or is going to take place. Subject matter must at the very least stir emotion or provoke feelings of energy and excitement.

·        Purpose: Commercials want you to buy. Sometimes they only want you to remember their product name so you’ll at least give their brand a try. Repetition, songs, and humor do this in a powerful way. Does your product or artwork have a purpose other than to please yourself? Are viewers able to connect with your vision? Is your purpose simply self-expression or is it entertainment? Do you want your artistic expression to appeal to others on a higher level or are you satisfied with simply making a statement? Know thyself and your paintings will have a purpose.

·        Motivation: On what level does your product or painting relate to others? If you can answer that question, your painting will likely motivate someone to buy. The purpose of the preceding steps was geared toward motivation:  motivation to watch, motivation to enjoy, motivation to buy.

Looking at your artistic creations as products gives you a clear path to follow for success. After all, we can’t create in a vacuum, and unless we’re able to share our artistic vision with others, we are unfulfilled.
"Kelly's Rose" 12 x 16 OIL on Board $250 with white frame
Lesson Video – “How to Draw a Water Droplet
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