Tuesday, February 26, 2008

'66 Chevelle SS396--The Chevrolet Way--Newspaper Campaign

FOR THE GUY WHO'D RATHER DRIVE THAN FLY : CHEVELLE SS 396.  And at the bottom--POTENT THE CHEVROLET WAY. We had a new creative director for the agency when we did this campaign in newspapers. His name was Kensinger Jones but everybody called him Ken. He had been running the Campbell-Ewald broadcast group where they did all the TV commercials for all our clients. TV had become very important to Chevrolet and our other clients so Ken was a logical choice for the job. The idea for THE CHEVROLET WAY  campaign was his and we put it together for for him. It was strange back then. None of us doing print ever got a shot at doing a TV spot and for the most part the stuff that ran on television had nothing to do with what we were doing in newspapers and magazines. That's not to say the TV was no good. It was very good and the production values were outstanding. It just didn't have much to do with the rest of the advertising. A couple years earlier, I remember going to the big annual meeting at the Whittier Hotel in Detroit where we showed the new advertising for the new cars to be introduced in the fall. We print guys had art studio comps on full page newspaper ads made half again as large as a real paper. Probably 20 or so ads and maybe the same number for magazines. Outdoor too. The meetings lasted for two days and nearly all the time was spent discussing the print stuff. We even had an art director and art studio standing by to make new ads or change existing ones. I know that for sure because I was the art director standing by one year. The thing that amazed me was our TV guys would come in with some commercials rendered by a blind guy, play some music, and leave with a bunch of sold stuff. At the end we would leave with nothing sold. Our chairman, Ted Little, would thank the assembled group for their council and tell them we would be back soon. Nothing like it is today. A little depressing then but I was pleased to have been at the meeting. Ken Jones didn't solve the problem we had between print and broadcast and it wasn't solved for a long time. It seems so simple and logical now that everyone should be involved in everything to the extent of their ability. The best TV commercial ever done for Chevrolet ( in my opinion ) was done by a print guy named Jim Hartzell. We called the spot--Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie, and Chevrolet.

1 comment:

Brent Fullard said...

I love this style of artwork, the pencil rendered automotive art. Nice work Jim! Detroit must have been a hot bed of employment for commercial artists in the post war period up to (I guess) the end of the 70's, as almost half (I would guess) of the visual representations of cars and people enjoying their cars were drawings as opposed to photographs.