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Business students get creative with advertising at Gallery Hop


A class of business students from Nipissing University will be examining the commercial side of art at the upcoming North Bay Gallery Hop on November 17. In a creative departure from a typical business presentation, the students in the third-year Advertising and Promotion course are presenting their recent Art in Advertising project in a gallery-style exhibition at the Discovery North Bay Museum from 7 - 9:30 p.m.

For the assignment, each student was asked to pick a specific genre of art, from Abstract Expressionism, Baroque and Cubism to Surrealism, Pop Art, Neoclassicism and everything in between. Students were tasked with researching how that genre impacted or was reflected in adverting.  The format of the presentation is wide open, limited only by a student’s imagination. In previous years, student presentations included paintings, posters and interactive installation pieces.

“Last year was the first year we brought our course research of art and its impact on the advertising world to the North Bay community and it was very successful and very entertaining,” said Dr. Anahit Armenakyan, Associate Professor in Nipissing’s School of Business who is teaching the course. “The students had a lot of fun with this project and learned a lot about advertising. They gained an appreciation for the aesthetics involved in advertising and promotion, and an ability to critically assess advertisements and promotions. They also enhanced their presentation skills and further developed their research skills.”

Student Taylor Hummel chose to focus her project on Surrealist art, as the genre is centred on eye-catching, unfamiliar, anti-reality images.

“I want to stand out and catch the eyes of our guests, this is exactly what Surrealism is all about, and I find the concept fascinating,” she said.

Hummel’s project features a presentation board as well as a slide show and a book featuring over 100 different print ads that have incorporated elements of Surrealism. Student Abbey Thompson looked at Renaissance art, incorporating Nipissing’s 25th anniversary ads utilizing the Mona Lisa. Other students have explored body art, symbolism, abstract expressionism, art deco and graffiti. 

“Advertisers’ biggest hurdle is breaking through the clutter of ads,” said Hummel. “The task for a marketer is to find that point of differentiation, that attention-grabbing element that forces the consumer to process the ad. Surrealism, I learned, has become a huge asset to mass market advertising because it's intention is to grab attention with it's bizarre and mentally-confusing imagery. One study I read while researching this project indicated that surreal ads induced the most effective information processing of the ad’s content in terms of recall, recognition, attitude, effects towards the ad and behavioural intentions.”
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