published Friday, August 12th, 2011

Local advertising execs go behind the scenes of 'Art & Copy'


What: "Art & Copy" in Back Row Film Series.

When: 6 p.m. Thursday.

Where: Lindsay Street Hall, 901 Lindsay St.

Admission: $15, includes reception with food, screening, Q&A.

Phone: 267-1218.


Just do it. Can you hear me now? Double your pleasure, double your fun. Mmm mmm good. How many licks does it take? Drivers wanted.

Chances are, you know what products are associated with the above slogans. Advertising permeates our daily life.

And not always positively. In his director's statement, "Art & Copy" director Doug Pray said "98 percent [of advertising] annoys and disrespects its audience." So he set out to make a documentary showing the smart side of the business, the artful side.

"Art & Copy" will be screened Thursday at Lindsay Street Hall, as part of the Arts & Education Council's Back Row Film Series. Local advertising professionals will be on hand following the film for a question-and-answer session.

"Advertising is trying to tell you the positive side of the product in a, hopefully, entertaining way, and that way it's up to the consumer to find out a little more information and decide whether the product is right for him or not," said Mike Polcari, creative director at The Johnson Group. "The power is always with the consumer."

Polcari said one of the ads that has always stuck with him is Miller Lite's "great taste, less filling" campaign, which introduced light beer to men.

"At the time, only women drank light beer. It was a revolutionary concept, bringing in ex-athletes and using humor to sell light beer to men. Back then, it probably seemed crazy when they first started talking about doing that."

More recently, the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" campaign, he said, actually affected his decision to buy a Mac computer.

And who can forget the Absolut vodka print campaign?

That, Polcari said, was an example of advertising meets art.

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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