If communication has always been inspired by art, sometimes to the point of influencing it itself, 2018 places the power of historical codes in the creative process of brands a little more, to the point that today Today, the latter claim more and more of a nostalgic aestheticism by constantly keeping an eye in the retro…
All artists? At a time when social networks and applications make each user a photographer as compulsive as they are talented, creative professionals are gradually claiming their original (and original) playground by turning to the visual codes of classicism cultural. The history of art, more than a discipline, then becomes a creative standard and goes from an object of fascination to that of inspiration, even of reproduction. In this sense, it is then permissible to think of the emergence of a new renaissance, this time contemporary, in that it establishes the link between the aesthetics of several eras – or when the codes of yesteryear become the landmarks today.
Vintage and retro are no longer simple fashion effects, but rather the reappropriation of know-how that sets itself apart. Photography is undoubtedly the most convincing example: the play of light, the choices of subjects and their attitudes towards the spectator as well as the frames in which they are staged are increasingly reminiscent of classical paintings or the first film shots. So much so that the “vintage portrait” query in Getty’s search engine increased by 94% in 2018.
Big providers of images and creations of all kinds, brands obviously did not miss this “retro-turn”, which they even helped to shape due to the historical collusion between art and advertising. The reappropriation of major cultural references by advertisers is part of the purest tradition of “retro branding”, or “retro marketing” – that is to say the use of marketing built around the emotions that a return to the past provokes. either common and on the scale of humanity, or individual and on the scale of childhood. Nostalgia reassures, comforts as much as it brings together. Many actors have understood this, surfing on the codes of an era (the 80s for example, with the Netflix Stranger Things series).
Or with Spotify, the products of a youth (Coca or Nike republishing their products)
Or the cultural heritage of humanity (Lexus and the artistic bludgeoning of its latest spot).
In a world with an increasingly uncertain future, the trend would therefore be to rediscover a familiar past through a benevolent present. An anachronism appreciated, claimed and sought by the spectator-consumer himself: “by referring to an era when everything seemed simpler and more reassuring, in an idealized economic framework, the consumer has the impression of regaining his dimension of individual , and gives more interest to the advertising message. “.
Three brands with a recomposed past
On his Gucci Beauty Instagram, Gucci highlights a series of portraits around a subtle blend of cultural references, classic works and contemporary subjects. In a frozen parade of intergenerational models, the brand sketches a certain idea of beauty (especially feminine) and its design. We thus find fictional figures alongside real people, historical subjects rubbing shoulders with anonymous models, nobles like commoners, etc. And all without having the impression of attending an unstructured carnival: Gucci’s strength is to build a common thread, an aesthetic framework behind which each portrait can find its place.
Chanel, photograph of an era
Nostalgia and art is also and above all storytelling. Something that Chanel, with its Inside Chanel series, has perfectly understood: a platform entirely dedicated to the history of the brand and more precisely of its creator. A range of 24 videos immerses us in the intimacy of Chanel by making us relive her passion, her journey and her favorites. All of this using vintage images, witnesses of a generation, but also of a unique aesthetic: that of the first videos and first shots. More than a heritage, Inside Chanel is a destiny that we relive every time it is told to us. It is no longer a simple reference to the time, but the experience of that time.
Monoprix street art
Art is also in the streets: in May 68, on student posters, and in May 2018, on Monoprix posters. The brand already has an almost artistic visual identity in itself by favoring bright color codes borrowed from cubism and pop art. To this, Monoprix adds messages of assumed frivolity very often inspired by puns and other popular puns. By registering this identity as part of the 50 years of May 68, Monoprix brings up to date an irreverent art, raw and displayed in its simplest (or complex?) Expression. We are no longer in classicism and yet we remain in nostalgia. Like the posters of the demonstrators, art is no longer in the intention, but in the result.