Creative Marketing and the Painted Forest

Why did I include a picture of the Painted Forest on my Website? Where is it and what’s it got to do with marketing anyway?

In April 1994 I traveled to a peace conference in Gernika, in northern Spain. My host was Gernika Gogoratuz, the Basque peace research institute. The time that I spent there, participating and learning about conflicts and peace, was to change my life. However, that’s not today’s subject. I learned that communication and miscommunication are central to understanding both marketing and conflict transformation.

Not far from Gernika, in the province of Bizkaia, is the forest of Oma. There is much to admire here. Artist and sculptor Agustin Ibarrola has transformed the natural beauty of the forest into a living canvas. 

Artist and sculptor Agustin Ibarrola has transformed the natural beauty of the forest into a living canvas

It is now known as Bosque Pintado, the Painted Forest or Bosque Animado, the Animated Forest. Ibarrola’s anthropomorphic shapes and symbols challenge us to think more about our interaction with each tree, the forest and the natural environment.  As the trees and forest grow, the installation will change and evolve.

Marketing Communication

Art can be appreciated by all, yet each of us will react and interpret it differently. It is both a medium of communication and a communication message. Our interaction with art is based on what we see, what we feel and what we think.  What we see is denoted and what we think is connoted. For what we feel and think is often stimulated by memory and association.

In early Christian times, when few people could read or write, art was used by the church to teach people the bible stories. At that time church and state were one and the monasteries were the universities of their times. Monks spent their time creating and copying books by hand.  The Sovereign gained his or her power and legitimacy from the church. This is why the symbols of state and church often mirror each other and why the great masters were so often commissioned by both.

Brand Building

I included a photograph of the Painted Forest on my website as a symbol of how creative design and marketing campaigns can transform business. They can take the ordinary, add value and change how we perceive a product or service.  

Great design can stimulate desire, motivate purchasing decisions and even add to the customer’s level of satisfaction.

They have a role to play in helping us sell more, building relationships with our customers rather than one-off transactions.  Great design can stimulate desire, motivate purchasing decisions and even add to the customer’s level of satisfaction.  The commercial transaction is now transformed into a mutually satisfying experience, like Ibarrorola’s Bosque Pintado,  This is the essence of great marketing and the key to Brand building.

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