January 18, 2012

Chess in Advertising

Posted in Arts and Culture, History

Chess in Advertising

magnus-carlsen-g-star-photo250px72dpiChess Prodigy Magnus Carlsen for G-Star RAW, Photo: Anton Corbijn

References to chess permeate our culture in many ways. Terms such as “pawn” and “stalemate,” for instance, have connotations outside of the game.  Chess references have similarly been employed by advertising companies to sell everything from alcoholic beverages to denim. Often alluding to intelligence and strategic thinking, chess indicates that consumers are making a smart, well thought-out choice when selecting the featured product.

Chess has historically proved a popular motif in alcohol and tobacco-related advertising campaigns, often referencing the “cultured” man or woman selecting a sophisticated product. Chess was even used to promote the television show, Charlie’s Angels. The ad features the show’s three stars in front on a chess set, indicating that they are not only beautiful, but intelligent as well.

Most recently G-Star selected Norwegian chess prodigy Magnus Carlsen to star alongside actress Liv Tyler in the clothing company’s Fall/Winter 2010 advertising campaign. Recognizing Carlsen’s uncompromising approach to the game of chess, G-Star equates the Grandmaster’s impressive tactical skill with the brand’s own hard line fashion philosophy.

Where have you seen chess advertised?