Truth and Advertising Touts Santa Ana’s Art Scene

Blue-collar city workers take center stage in a new ad effort aimed at positioning the city of Santa Ana, Calif., as a hotbed of art and culture.

The pro-bono campaign from local shop Truth and Advertising promotes the city’s Artists Village and aims to dispel the notion that the small city just south of Los Angeles is devoid of noteworthy art.

Truth and Advertising’s president and creative director, Joe Duffy, said two TV spots breaking later this month highlight the city’s thriving arts community in a humorous way. They suggest that “even city workers support the arts,” he said.

In one ad, upbeat jazz plays as an impassioned painter creates what appears to be a Jackson Pollock-type of abstract piece using white paint. No sooner does the artist triumphantly explain, “The paint just speaks for itself,” than he is snapped back to reality by a co-worker who interjects, “Yeah. And it’s saying, ‘Get back to work.’ ” The painter, it turns out, was simply creating the word “Stop” at an intersection.

Another spot shows a worker interrupting his road construction job to recite Shakespeare.

Both ads close with the tagline, “Santa Ana. A place for art,” and a Web address.

The objective is to remind Orange County residents that they don’t have to go far to find quality works of art. “We’re trying to get all those people who pass Santa Ana and drive to L.A. to get off the freeway here,” Duffy said.

The agency has also relaunched a Web site for the Artists Village, created street-light banners and published a brochure highlighting various pro-art venues.

The Santa Ana Artists Village has been a client of Truth and Advertising for six years. The 12-person shop is located in the village and specializes in advertising, interactive work and Web design.