The Art and Anthropology of Advertising

December 29, 2010

This is a book that explores advertising and popular culture – how the human mind works and the primary social and  emotional needs that advertised brands hold  the promise to fulfill.

It is also an art book. I developed it for a college course I taught in Advertising Design Concepts – tearing ads out of recent issues of magazines (Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Us Weekly, etc.)  to turn twenty students each semester into art and social critics.  More than forty of these ads are deconstructed here to demonstrate the artistic techniques that are used to match up inherent qualities of the product with the desires of its consumers.

Because every day we are bombarded with so many awful advertisements, it wasn’t until I started looking for them that I realized that there were so many great ones. I believe you’ll be pleased to see how attractive and appealing well thought out ads can be.

© 2011 – Stanley Herbert Schulman

6 Responses to “The Art and Anthropology of Advertising”

  1. Raphael Wyngaardt Says:

    Thank you, this is great Stan!

    • iconicvillager Says:

      Thanks for looking, when you have the time read on as I am looking for feedback before I publish as an e-book.

  2. Harvey Bailey Says:


    I teach advertising here in San Francisco, and I wish I had your book!
    I have at least two courses it would be ideal for.

    • iconicvillager Says:

      Thank you Harvey, at the moment I am polishing it up and intend to publish it as an e-book and would appreciate any advice or opinions you may have in that regard. The manuscript was with Pearson Prentiss-Hall for over a year while they sent it out for peer-review. They sent it only to principles of marketing professors and those who understood what it was about really loved it, but even those who didn’t thought they would use it as a supplemental text. Finally however I ran into an impass with Pearson over obtain the rights to republish the ads I use as examples. It does turn out that by reducing the ads to the size shown here, the book does meet the fair use exemption of the copyright law and I have opted to go ahead on my own. I intend to price it at less than $10. Again, any suggestions regarding how to publish it will be most welcome. What courses would you use it for.

  3. Skip Finley Says:

    Dying to read this, long overdue!! Thank you.

  4. Stanley, this is amazing work!!! I am not in the ad business but I can appreciate this, since you advance so many various concepts that make these ad’s work. This book should be standard reading for all those who wish to pursuit the advertising business. They could learn a lot. You may have been a foot soldier in the business but now I understand why you were moved up to be one of the true imaginatory, leaders who broke new ground in the business. You came up with something new and exciting, in everything you undertook to do, it carries over now that you have decided to enter into the front end of the camera. I am so thankful that you made that decision to move into that end because you bring so much with you. Your TALENTS are phenomenal, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

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