I’ve often heard advertising referred to as a mixture of art and science. I agree. The thing about art is, well, it’s art. You assume the artists is doing it because he or she wants to make a living but that may not always be the case. I’ve worked with artists while brand planning on a web start-up and everyone I spoke to wanted to make money. They didn’t paint or sculpt, however, following a sales strategy.
The art that is part of advertising does have a sales strategy. Get attention, create interest and move product. The art may be pretty, mellifluous, poetic – if it doesn’t sell it isn’t likely to reappear.
In branding, art and science are also important. The brand strategy (one claim, 3 proof planks) is the “selling structure” — the science — and the selling tactics are the art. Brand strategy is a vessel (structure) filled with art. And the art can change. Best practices suggest muscle memory is built with campaign-able ideas, yet the reality is as long as the art supports the strategy, the efforts are brand-positive. That’s not to say all art is good art. So brand managers are paid to say “out with the bad, in with the good.”
Art and science are innately human traits. Those who get it right in marketing are the winners.