Saturday, February 9, 2008

'63 Chevrolet SS Newspaper Campaign

FOUR WITH....FOUR WITHOUT...ALL TO GO! Ads like this and some of the others started with a picture idea and then the copy played to it. It doesn't matter which comes first but what does matter is that it solves the problem at hand. In this case we were able to show all four Chevy car lines at a drive-in as both regular models and convertibles. Back then drive-ins were a big part of the American scene. I think making all the convertibles white was very effective. The artist who did this had his hands full. In order to do an illustration like this he needed good photography on each car at the proper angle to draw from. No artist simply sat down and started drawing. Every illustration done for Chevrolet ads had to go through Chevrolet Engineering to make sure we had all the right stuff on the cars. One of the things that most often got left off [ and always made me chuckle ] was the little lock button the cars used to have on the top of the doors. When the ads ran stuff like that really didn't matter but the engineers were very thorough.

2 comments:

Dave Pool said...

Jim, who contributed the idea of the dropped/spilled drink on the ground next to the Impala coupe? That's a very nice touch...as you say, part of the "warmth" you guys tried to add. Not sure a client would let that go today, though.

Jim said...

I don't remember who put that little touch in the ad. I worked real close with Gerry Edmison, who could render like crazy but was pretty young and doing a lot of learning at the time. He had gone to Art Center in LA and was very talented. I couldn't put stuff down on paper nearly as well as he could. My boss, Jim Hastings, had assigned him to me as an assistant when we were in the Experimental Group. I did most of the thinking and Gerry did most of the drawing. I don't mean he didn't contribute to the ideas--he did. When we moved to the regular Chevrolet group I had Gerry be the guy mostly in charge of newspaper ads but still worked with him much as we always had worked until he could fly on his own. A long explanation, but it's the way it was. As for the clients, that was no problem. When you do "slice of life" stuff kids are supposed to be like kids and they spill things all the time. Nothing wrong with that. Your comment sounds like maybe you make ads. If so have you tried something like this lately? Storytelling ad illustrations have all but gone from car ads. We tried with some success to keep it alive in our magazine ads. Don't see much of it today. Too bad.