Time and time again, Adam Curtis has demonstrated an inimitable ability to delve into the heart of an issue – be it the manufactured and simplified story of militant islam as espoused by western powers in Bitter Lake, or the failure to harness the utopian potential of early technology in All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace – and sketch out the complex histories, mechanisms and important figures that underpin these particularly postmodern narratives. HyperNormalisation, which was released on BBC iPlayer on Sunday night, is Curtis’ latest attempt to trace the multifaceted malaise that seems to pervade overstimulated life in the 21st century.
To quote William Bernbach, one of the founders of the famed DDB advertising agency, “Advertising is fundamentally persuasion, and persuasion happens to be not a science, but an art”. In this article, we wanted to take a look at some of the most influential and outstanding pieces of advertising in recent memory. Our selections, both new and old, have either managed to embed themselves into pop culture and a popular consciousness, transform the face of the industry, or shape the culture and convention of the very society that the they operate in. Check ’em out: