Money gets Illustrated

July 3, 2009 at 11:03 am (Art, economy, Graphic Design, Illustration, News, print media) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Money MagazineDo the right thing in a recession
In a tough economy you may face some hard decisions when it comes to money and your relationships with family and friends. Our ethics experts weigh in on how to handle some particularly thorny dilemmas.”

This is not the title and intro of an article you would expect to have interesting, or even good, illustrations associated with it. Surprisingly enough the staff at Money Magazine have arranged for this and many other articles to have strong graphics and illustrations complementing their reports.

Toronto based illustrator Kagan McLeod created the illustrations for the “Do the right thing in a recession” article. I really enjoyed this set of graphics. Our protagonist remains the same identifiable character throughout the article. He is groomed and dressed in the same uniform – gray shirt and bluish-gray pants in various states of dress – throughout the article, while the antagonist(s) for each sub-article are displayed in monotone gradations.

The graphics are easy to digest as simple visuals, and they complement each storyline well. The content of the article is good, too. I look forward to the editors of Money Magazine continuing with the strong graphics, after all, illustrators need work, too.

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Beating the Message into People

July 2, 2009 at 10:02 am (advertising, Environmental Graphic Design, marketing, News, print media) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

amnesty444236

Amnesty international is known for making alarming ads – the 2006 Swiss “It’s not happening here but it’s happening now” campaign ranks among my all time favorites. This time they’ve really pushed the envelope in regards to what a shocking ad is, how it’s made, and what it does. Their latest bus stop poster, introduced as a single display last month in Hamburg, Germany, uses an eye-tracking camera to gauge when it’s being looked at.

While the viewer is not looking directly at it, the poster features a couple that appears to be a nice, friendly, average couple posing for a picture. If a viewer is not looking directly at the poster the image changes to “a dude punchin’ a lady.” When the viewer turns to confirm their suspicions, the image changes back to the afore mentioned smiling picture of the couple. This change occurs after a slight pre-programmed delay allowing the viewer to see the beating for a split second.

The message “It happens when nobody is watching.”

The poster has been the cause for much controversy, but it has definitely raised awareness. It does not sound like there will be many more versions of this poster around, though there has been plenty of third-party publicity for the one incarnation.

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World’s Most Interesting…

June 26, 2009 at 11:49 pm (advertising, Branding, commercials, print media, TV advertising) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Dos EquisHe once had an awkward moment to see how it feels.

He taught a German shepherd to bark in Spanish.

You can see his charisma from space.

It is said the sun comes up later on the 6th of May, in case his Cinco parties run long.

He’d never initiate a conversation about the weather, even in a typhoon.

He is The Most Interesting Man in the World.

Beer is one of the most competitive arenas for advertising. So when the creatives at Euro RSCG Worldwide were presented with a project for Dos Equis they wanted to take a new approach and set the brand apart.

Apparently it wasn’t enough to attempt the now-too-common viral video campaign, and clever commercials are funny, but not always memorable. The scenes of college-aged guys chasing after scantily clad girls are about as boring as they come, and most Mexican beer ads show pictures of beautiful beaches, blue ocean, or stereotypical Mexican flair.

Enter The Most Interesting Man in the World. He’s a seasoned, adventurous, and charismatic individual who performs amazing feats of interestingness and absurdity. Women love him; men want to be him. After all “the Mayans prophesized his birth.”

All the TV and radio spots end with “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis. Stay thirsty my friends.”

Whooaa!? He’s not even telling us to buy the product, just mentioning that he enjoys it sometimes! There’s a good article from Slate that discusses this phenomenon.

So did the agency meet their goal “to do more than just create awareness… by generating conversation among the target audience,” and “find a way to insert the brand into culture, to present Dos Equis in a way that would spark chatter and pique curiosity…”?

The short answer is, YES – by over a third in yearly total dollar sales! I’ve been telling all my friends, and now the world, how much I enjoy this campaign.

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Extra Fishy Ad

June 24, 2009 at 11:52 pm (advertising, Branding, print media) (, , , , , , , , )

A special thanks to my friend, Dominique, who sent me more ads from AT&T in response to my last post. I especially like the Zimbabwe one with the cheetahs and the grass hands – the coral hands in the Jamaica ad are very nice, too.

All these ads display an almost instantly recognizable cultural feature from the destination, while keeping the graphic simple. They also reinforce the clear, concise, and memorable theme that Jorge Lázaro Díaz (www.careerjockey.org) discussed at freelance camp. The more I see from this campaign the more I like it.

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Fishy Ad

June 23, 2009 at 6:26 pm (advertising, Design, Graphic Design, print media) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

AT&T ad What do decorative Koi fish and cell phones have in common?

On the surface not much, that’s what caught my eye about this ad for AT&T. The color language allows the Koi to pop from the background and be instantly recognized. The fish frame the phone nicely as if playfully moving it whilst floating in a blue-green pond. It is only on closer inspection that the viewer realizes that the Koi are in fact painted on a pair of hands and arms – a nice detail and tie-in to the phone’s use as a handheld product. The Japanese imagery with an American phone company help to sell the tagline “Best coverage worldwide.” It is simple yet impact full. I don’t use AT&T as my phone carrier, but their ad did get my attention – well done.

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