There's nothing new with using the vocabulary of documentary photography or fine art photography in commercial work. I think this turnabout confounds some. I know that it challenges my thinking. I think using the vocabulary of the studio/set piece/art-directed photograph for the production of art is a worthy thing to undertake.
Some people prefer non-fiction to novels. I like Joseph Mitchel and Tracy Kidder but I don't think what they've done is more difficult than what Hemingway or Steinbeck did. Some people prefer documentary films to "cinema." I don't think the Maysles brothers worked harder than the Coen brothers. Milage may vary.