Thursday, January 31, 2008

1962 Corvair Monza

CLIMBS LIKE IT'S WEARING GYM SHOES. That was the headline by copywriter Ray Clark. Ray and David E. Davis were the two copy guys I worked with on the Corvair and Corvette advertising at this time. Warren Winstanley shot the photo in Canada. We had finished covering the Trans Canada Rally and made the photography for the ads [see one of them near by] and now took advantage of being in a great location to shoot additional pictures that might become ads in the future. This is one we used and so is the ad that follows. This was done before all the more formal art buying procedures were put into place. Warren was willing to take the chance that we might sell some of the pictures in which case he would be paid the going rate for a national magazine ad. It worked out fine for both of us as we got two ads and Warren got to shoot the Corvette picture that was in the ad. To save a few bucks and have a little fun we used Ray Clark as the driver of the Corvette. Ray wasn't on the Canada shoot but David E. drove the car in this picture and the one going around the big highway curve. If you happen to have this ad in a full page format you can see that it is in fact David E. Davis Jr. himself.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Corvair Auto Show Ad

Another ad shot after we got the original rally cars from the Winter Rally in Canada. Warren Winstanley shot the picture and David E. Davis Jr. did the copy or the copy could also have been done by Ray Clark. Again, not the kind of ad any of you ad collectors have in your collection. It ran only in newspapers and only as a promotion for Corvair at the Auto Show. Pretty small too.

Corvair Canadian Winter Rally Newspaper Ad

This is a Corvair ad I'll bet hardly anybody knows about. This is the only example I have of it and I don't remember how the check mark got there. The picture was shot by Warren Winstanley after we got two of the rally cars for photography. I was there as the art director and David E. Davis Jr. as the copy writer. We were in the area of northern Canada where the rally took place. The ad didn't get much exposure and was pretty small as Chevy ads go. I am happy to show the ad and contribute a little something to all you Corvair owners and enthusiasts still out there.

Corvair Trans Canada Rally Newspaper Ad

The rally started in Toronto and ended in Vancouver. I didn't attempt to stay up with the cars to take pictures of the actual rally. In fact we would have to have stayed ahead of them and be set and ready to shoot as they went by. I just didn't feel that brave. David E. Davis Jr. and I along with our photographer Warren Winstanley flew to Vancouver where we watched the cars come in to the finish. I admit to a feeling of pride as they came in. We got two of the cars after the event and took them back into the mountains near Vancuver for photography. This is the shot I chose for the ad. The lady you see driving the car is Dennice McClugage. She is some kind of lady who has done it all in motoring. She has a column each week in"AUTO WEEK" magazine that you can read to keep up with her. David E. did the copy and posed as the driver in other pictures we made on this trip for future Corvair ads. We will show those to you soon. I know you ad collectors out there don't have a copy of newspaper ads but I thought you might like to see what was going on.

Corvair Life Magazine Ad

This ad was made after the Canadian Winter Rally. It started in Toronto and ended at some little place way up in snow bound Canada. David E. Davis Jr. and I went to watch the start which saw each car entered go from a stage like position on to the rally amid flash bulbs and cheers. There was no way we could photograph the cars on the actual rally so we made our way to the finish as best we could and took two of the cars to shoot after the rally. Warren Winstanley was our photographer and we started back toward Toronto looking for locations. As we drove along I noticed a side road with fresh snow that had yet to be driven on. I told Warren to stop the car ,we had our picture. Warrens assistant drove the car as you now see it and we had an ad. David E. wrote the copy. The ad ran only in Life Magazine.

1962 Chevrolet full page newspaper ad

This is another four car newspaper ad that followed the one below. We had gained the confidence of Pete Booth,the creative director, and competed with the regular Chevy group for some of the ads. I say competed because we were a group called Experimental and Development. We were to find new and better ways to make Chevy ads without the pressure of everyday activities. We also had as an ongoing responsibility, the advertising for Corvette and Corvair, but that didn't take up all that much of our time. David E. Davis Jr. and Ray Clark were the copy writers. Chuck Felt was the group leader but he had jumped to the Pontiac business and was not replaced. We just kind of worked together and had some fun. Gerry Edmison was my assistant. He was a graduate of Art Center in California and could render layouts that looked like an art studio had done them. The guy eating lunch in the middle of the freeway takes the sting out of an otherwise straightforward illustration. It brings a little humor and humanity too. I wish I could remember who did the illustration. We had so many talented artists who could illustrate our newspaper ads to the quality we wanted. Charley Schridde, Jim Jackson, Jack Mills and Jose Calvillo come to mind and there were others at studios in Detroit like Ferd Prucher's who had artists that used the line drawing style we required. There was also a West Coast group that did many of our ads. I think David E. wrote the copy for this ad.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

1962 Chevrolet full page newspaper ad

This is one of the ads I am most proud of. Chevrolet wanted ads with all their cars represented and quite often they didn't turn out that well. We were just getting started with color in newspapers and this was a chance to do something special. The view from high above a freeway allowed us to see down into four convertibles as they passed under an overpass. The front of the Corvette could be hidden under the overpass because only the rear had changed. I did a small layout with the fellow and his dog and the cars positioned as shown. Gerry Edmison then rendered a full page layout. David E. Davis Jr.[yes that David E. Davis Jr.=the one who started "AUTOMOBILE" magazine and is now publishing "WINDING ROAD" on the internet] wrote the copy. Jose Calvillo did the art except for the people in the cars and the guy and his dog. It has been so long ago I am not sure who did the people. It may have been Jim Jackson. The ad ran in just about every paper in the country. This was a time when Chevrolet spent most of their budget in print advertising. We produced five full page newspaper ads every month. The ad won "Best of the Year" as judged by the Newspaper Advertising Association. The chances are pretty good that you do not have a copy of this ad. That's because almost nobody saved yesterdays paper and the ad never ran in magazines. Still Chevrolet did a bunch of outstanding advertising in newspapers and I hope you enjoy seeing some of it. You can get a free subscription to "WINDING ROAD". Just Google the name and follow the instructions for downloading. It is very well done and if you like things automotive you will love this. You can even listen to David E. read his editorial.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Corvette direct mail for 1960

This was an eight page direct mail piece sent to a list of people known to be interested in sport cars. The 1960 Corvette was little changed from the '59 model in terms of styling. This mailer was shot at the Detroit Metropolitan Beach Park parking lot near Lake St Claire in Michigan. Warren Winstanley was the photographer and I was the art director. To get the shot Warren built a very high scaffold with some boards across the top to hold the camera and me. While we were there we shot a single white Corvette as though it was at a rally check point and it became a poster for Chevy dealers.I always felt that this mailer was the best we had done. The cover photo was picked up by the ad group and it ran as a full page ad winning a gold award in the Detroit show. If you have one of these you have a great piece of early Corvette promotion. I don't have a copy of the ad to show you but it looks just like the mailer without the big 1960. If you can find a copy of April 9, 1960 New Yorker or the April issue of Road and Track you will have yourself a copy.

Corvette direct mail for 1958 and 1959

The top mailer was produced in 1959 and the two others were for 1958. The'59 version was shot by Warren Winstanley and the art was produced in Detroit by Allied Artists. The cover photo was used in an ad with the headline "FROM A DIFFERENT MOLD"and ran in the June issue of "Motor Trend" and "Road and Track". This mailer and the '58 mailer with the blue background represented my growing thoughts on how Corvette should be presented. I wanted to see more emphasis on the performance and engineering aspects of the car. The first was the one with the blue background and it set the look for most of what I did for Corvette while I was in the promotion group. Herb Shiebold of Allied Artists worked with me to develop the increased emphasis on America's only true sports car. The advertising at the time was going off in a lighter direction with ads that ran in "New Yorker" as well as the buff books. Herb developed the bold type with the stencil look and I loved it. From then on I used the type as often as possible. The extension can be seen in the cover of the other '58 mailer. The promotion piece to Chevy dealers shows the boldness I was after but
Herb had not yet come up with the new type. The close up of the fender and wheel with gravel flying as the Corvette takes off also puts the emphasis where I thought it belonged--on performance. The shot was by Warren Winstanley.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Not an ad but the first issue of Corvette News magazine

I started at Campbell-Ewald in Jan. 1958 as an art director in the sales promotion group. I was hired by Jim Hastings and worked for Harry Borgman who was the sales promotion head art director at the time. One of my first assignments was to do the first issue of the "Corvette News". It is not a Chevy ad but if you happen to have one of these in pretty good condition, you have a real treasure. This is Volume 1, No, 1 of a magazine that is still being published today as "Corvette Quarterly". You can even buy it at almost any store with magazines. The first issue was produced with a very tight budget and had only two colors. All the illustrations were picked up from the GM photo archives. The stories were written by any copy writer that had time to become involved. It didn't have any ads like todays magazine and no circulation other than to those lucky owners of a new Corvette and those who might be thinking about buying one. I am not sure but each Chevy dealer may have been given an issue too. Our account guy was a very nice fellow named Wally Overhardt who married a lady who drove a Corvette. The client was Joe Pike who was very much responsible for most of the good things that happened to Corvette in the early days. He was named the editor of the magazine and did much to point the direction it would take. For a picture of Joe and a nice review of his contributions visit the NATIONAL CORVETTE MUSEUM on the internet. Anyone interested in Corvette will be delighted. When the museum opened I donated a bunch of Corvette ads and promotional material that may still be on view.

This is the third issue devoted to the introduction of the 1958 Corvette. The big news in the styling was the duel headlamps. I always thought the single lights looked better but the duel idea was being used on everything. Again, there was no budget for original photography so pictures from GM Photographic were used. Walter Farynk and Don Sudnick were two of the best photographers at GM Photo at the time. They made most of the photos that were used in press releases for all GM Divisions. Copy was by various guys in the group. The magazine was now established and I continued to put it together for about the next year or two. Any of the first year issues are very valuable and worth preserving should you have one.