House of Morgan Uses Socialist Imagery To Promote Responsible Capitalism

Morgan Stanley via The Martin Agency is repurposing the public works mural from the 1930s in order to promote itself and the same banking system that brought our nation to its knees.

According to Adweek, the brand’s new 60-second anthem and other elements in the campaign “echoes New Deal-era murals by artists like Thomas Hart Benton and Diego Rivera to illustrate, with a contemporary edge, Morgan Stanley’s approach to money.”

“The creative brief was to own responsible capitalism and connect that to Morgan Stanley and no one else,” said Martin creative director Alon Shoval.

Responsible capitalism owned by one irresponsible firm. Damn, that’s a big idea!


Martin also made a 60-second anthem to drill this idea home.

I will say I enjoy looking at this art, and I wish more ads were artfully rendered in this way. Sadly though, I look at the art and ask, “why place oil wells on the ridge, when wind turbines are clearly the “responsible” choice? Also, what are all those people doing standing around in the background?



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.