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?

In April 1994 I travelled 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-making, was to change my life. However, that’s a story for another day. For now, let’s focus on communication and its importance in all human interaction and relationships.  This is why effective marketing communication is so important to building your brand. Indeed, it serves twin purposes,  establishing customer relationships as well as communicating the availability of a product, service or idea.

Not far from Gernika, in the province of Bizkaia, is the forest of Oma. There is much to admire there. For Agustin Ibarrola , artist and sculptor, 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 living tree. They help us see each tree on its own, and in relationship with others, questioning our perception of the forest and our interaction with the natural environment.  As the trees and forest continue to grow, so the installation will change and evolve. It is very much, a living canvas.

Marketing Communication

Art can be appreciated by everyone, 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.  For what we feel and think is often stimulated by memory and association. Put another way, what we see is denoted and what we think is connoted.

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, to build relationships with our customers rather than just 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.