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Advertising an Exhibition: Oudry's Amazingly Life-Like Animals

As the ad agency for The Getty we always have great material to work with, so it wasn't hard to bring Oudry's Painted Menagerie to life. The challenge, however, was to cut through the clutter of traditional advertising. As part of M&C Saatchi's "Brutally Simple thinking" we distilled the creative down to its simplest idea. Standing across from a massive life-size Clara or looking into the ferocious eyes of a feral leopard, it didn't take us too long to tell what that idea was going to be.

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The campaign centers around the concept that Oudry's paintings are so amazingly life-like they manage to take on a life of their own. Our first execution is a print ad currently running in LA Magazine, Where Magazine, LA Family and can also be seen on a wall at the Century City mall. It features a car parked under a billboard of Oudry’s Demoiselle Crane, Toucan and Tufted Crane painting. The unfortunate car suffers the fate of all cars typically parked under suspicious looking birds. Being a family exhibit we wanted the ad to be simple, quick, light hearted and have the type of humor that would connect with all audiences.

We had the fortunate opportunity to produce a TV commercial in the campaign as well. Using the same idea around the previous "Birds" ad, we created a commercial featuring a Getty janitor on his rounds throughout the museum. He finally makes his way to the Oudry gallery where he stops to clean up some bird droppings on the floor. Above which, it's revealed, hangs our guilty looking "Birds" painting. You can view the spot here. Let us know what you think.

clip from Oudry commercial
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Of course, we couldn’t leave the campaign without highlighting the exhibition’s favorite—Clara the rhino. Playing with Clara's enormous size and weight, we created several billboards throughout West Los Angeles where Clara "tilts" the board with her incredible mass.

We all really enjoyed working on this campaign and hope you like it as much as we do.

Re: Advertising an Exhibition: Oudry's Amazingly Life-Like Animals

I am not so sure about the ad strategy of emphasizing the obvious, or making a comment on the realism of the animals. I thought the humor to be a bit facile and not very creative- that is, the birds pooping all over and the weight of the rhino tipping the billboards. You could have easily copied Jumangi and had the animals stampeding all over the museum at night.

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