The Art of the Sell — R. Crumb for MTV

These posts celebrate the movie trailers, movie posters, commercials, print ads, and other promotional material that stand as their own works of art.

It can’t be overstated how dominant a cultural force MTV was in the nineteen-eighties and into the nineteen-nineties. They stumbled on exactly the right concept at exactly the right time. That was part of it. But they were also, for ten years or so, better at marketing their product that just about any other media entity. That concerted effort included the employment of counterculture cranks who wouldn’t otherwise have anything to do with the glossy, image-fixated cable network. Getting Mojo Nixon to shill for them was remarkable enough. Hiring R. Crumb for some freelance work, effectively promoting music that couldn’t be further removed from the vintage jazz and blues records he revered, was downright miraculous.

Other entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Art of the Sell” tag.

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