Why Advertising Is Art Not Science
Science works like this:
You come up with an idea, called a theory. You test that theory. Once proved right that theory becomes established and new ideas\theories can be built on the last.
The result is that science is constantly advancing. So in genetics, Darwins Origin of Species, Mendel’s inheritance, Watson and Cricke’s DNA, The Human Genome project. These represent huge milestomes on a pathway where thousands of theories are constantly being tested and either proven or rejected.
The arts don’t work like this. Yes, there are boundless ideas and theories but proof isn’t part of the game. So arts don’t advance in the same way that science does.
If advertising were a science we would be constantly proving new theories that would feed into advances in the science of advertising. In truth the creative bit of advertising hasn’t changed much in a lifetime. The media landscape has changed drastically largely thanks to science but the science of advertising creative effectiveness hasn’t really moved on much.
Not that that’s such a bad thing: book writing, movie making, song writing and Tv programming are all more art than science.
As William Goldman, the famous screenwriter once said about the film industry,”No-one knows anything”. It would be a brave adman who admitted the same but maybe we should celebrate the unknown, the need for gut feel and instinct. I am not suggesting that we ignore sciences role in advertising just that we don’t kid ourselves that it can be distilled down into hard facts and