The power of visual language


A few campaigns that had been launched recently had caught my attention. Not only because of its brilliant idea or execution but coincidently they all seem to have been inspired by visual arts.

Sony’s ‘Soundville’ brilliantly turned Seydisfjordur, a small village in Iceland, with a ‘sound installation’ for a week by putting up speakers playing music from the likes of Death In Vegas and Bob Dylan. The clever thing about this campaign is that they have chosen such an unusual setting to convey the message, there is a poetic effect to it. The result had encouraged the audience to focus on the message rather than influenced by the familiarity. Alienation all of a sudden becomes so approachable in this case.

Volkswagen’s ‘Theory of fun’ outdoor stunt had converted a set of steps at the Odenplan subway station in Stockholm into working piano keys. The campaign built on the VW’s brand personality of the joy of driving and encourages people to take the staircase instead of the escalator. It has often been said that commercials riding on emotions rarely transcend cultures, but in this case I think they have absolutely nailed it. It can be understood and appreciated across cultures and can also be easily adapted creatively using local site specific executions. 

The recent CCTV commercial advocating ‘The power of the brand’ had used ‘ink animation’ to illustrate the progress of modern Chinese culture. It is a brilliant video art on its own. Not only it is visually stunning, it also demonstrates that traditional cultural elements can be translated in contemporary context too.

With the impact of visual arts globally and the consumers’ growing interests in the appreciation of artistic projects, visual arts could be one of the powerful tool in creating globally effective communication.