Saturday, March 29, 2008
" UND SO HELP ME MIR, HERMANN, I WAS HOLDING 5900 R.P.M. AND HE CAME PAST ME LIKE A STUKA....AND PLAYING THE RADIO, TOO !"
What a nice ad this is. Kind of gets us into racing without really doing it. Corvette did get to go racing but not in the ads at this time. This car really did make Corvette, Americas only true sports car. The copy was by Barney Clark and the art direction probably by Bob Hungerford. Todd Wright was probably the photographer and it was most likely shot in California. The fuel injection option made ads like this possible. If you can find a March 23, 1957 copy of New Yorker or a March 11, 1957 copy of Sports Illustrated you can get a copy of this ad or the next time you are at a car show visit the guy selling old car ads.
"FANTASTICO ! EVEN IN TURIN NO ONE HAS FUEL INJECTION !"
And that was right. Fuel injection turned Corvette onto a real sports car. The '57 Corvette today is one of the most expensive older cars out there. Especially if it has the fuel injection option. I had my first ride in our chairman Ted Little's all black one. I got the car for the weekend and what a thrill it was. No 4-speed and no injection but a Corvette. I have always thought the '57 was one of the best looking of all Corvettes. It even stands up well to todays car. I was a little disappointed in '58 when the duel headlights were added. But that was what everybody was doing then. This ad was written by Barney Clark and the art director may have been Bob Hungerford. This ad ran in Sports Illustrated on May 6, 1957 and probably the May issue of New Yorker.
'57 CHEVROLET ! SWEET, SMOOTH AND SASSY !
This was the announcement magazine ad for one of the greatest cars Chevy ever produced. You can think about it that way if you consider what one of these is worth today. What happened along the way to make this particular Chevy so desirable over 50 years later ? It was very popular back then but if I am not mistaken it lost the sales race to Ford for the first time in years. Not by much but a loss none the less. Who knows about that for sure ? Anyone out there that can confirm that or maybe correct it ? I wish I still had my '57 Bel Air Hardtop and if you had one I'll bet you do too. Even the ads torn from old magazines are worth quite a bit. How about that ? Dave Lindsey may have done the art and Pete Booth may have done the copy.
This is a page from a self promotion piece Harry did for himself some time ago. The interest for us is his illustrations for the '62 Chevy. The convertible on the left is for a newspaper ad and the coupe illustration next to it is for a magazine ad. The others are for various other assignments he received around this time. Harry is one of the most versatile artists ever to pass through Campbell-Ewald, Chevrolets ad agency. He continues to work today and is doing commercial art as well as fine art. He has written many books on art and how to do it, among others. Harry's latest art adventure is with his computer. He sent me his latest book Digital Dreams--Exploring the computer as an art medium. It is beautifully done and I recommend it for anyone that may want to do more with a computer. Even if you don't want to do more you will enjoy seeing what an artist that did Chevy ads back in the '50s and '60s can do with something that didn't exist then. And, if you have a friend that fancies himself or herself an artist you will put them in your debt forever by giving them Harry's book Art Therapy--the funny world of art. It is a treasure of many of the things Harry must have experienced as an artist. We are lucky to have Harry and a few others still with us. Art the way it was done back in the '50s and '60s is pretty much gone forever. But, if called upon for something like that I'll bet Harry would be pleased to supply it. For his books and a look at all he is doing go to harryborgman.com
Friday, March 28, 2008
Harry Borgman was my first boss at Campbell-Ewald. He was the head art director in the sales promotion group in 1957 and he and his assistant Paul Sameulson did all the Chevrolet sales promotion material. That included the catalogs for Chevrolet and Corvette that you see here in a visual history Harry put together as a self promotion piece. He also did the promotion for Dinah along with all the direct mail and zillions of other things Chevrolet required in 1957. There was so much stuff that a fellow named Tom Clark and I joined him at the beginning of 1958. Harry is a remarkable guy that has had a remarkable carrier in the art business. He is still active and is working for both fun and profit. When he left the sales promotion group he became the head art director for all Chevrolet magazine ads. After that, and all you Corvair enthusiasts will enjoy this, Harry left the agency to devote his efforts to illustration but was secretly re-hired to develop the announcement ad program for the introduction of the Corvair. He was hidden away in special office away from the agency and there did the first Corvair ads. It was all so secret that when he ordered type he ordered it from two or three type setters each getting only a portion of a headline. Then he assembled it so the headline made sense. If you have some of the first Corvair ads you have some of Harry's work. But Harry was just getting started in the art world. He did newspaper illustrations for Chevrolet and others as well as magazine and catalog illustrations. Then it was off to Paris, France where he did illustrations for all the major ad agencies and devoted the time not needed for commercial work to painting. He was there for six years and exhibited his work in the major galleries of Paris. Back in New York he was doing illustrations for the big ad agencies and exhibiting his paintings and sculpture in some of the best galleries. During this time and a little later he managed to publish more than a dozen books. Most are out of print now but he has two new ones in print. One is Digital Dreams-Exploring the computer as an art medium. If you have an interest in art and own a computer, you will want this book. If you have an interest in art, or even if you don't, you'll enjoy Harry's other book now for sale---Art Therapy-the funny world art. You can order both of these books at Harry's site harryborgman.com
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
This catalog was designed by my first boss at Campbell-Ewald, Chevrolet's ad agency, Harry Borgman. Harry is still very much alive and working. When this catalog was produced the car industry wasn't spending much on this kind of thing. By todays standard this is a pretty small book. The paper is not nearly as good as that being used today and I am sure the printing wasn't as good. Still if you have one of these I'll bet it is worth a bunch. I haven't seen one for sale in a very long time. Catalogs were always started long before any advertising had been decided upon and were close to going to the printer when ads were finalized. There was considerable lead time involved because of the tremendous number of books involved. It took a train load of paper to print one of these. Remember there were about 6000 or so dealers and each one needed a good supply to give away. Sometimes the art from the catalog would be used in an ad but for the most part the catalog art was to simply show what the car looked like and what colors it came in.
If you came to this post first be sure to check the information about Harry Borgman. It should be right above this.
MORE TO BE PROUD OF ! CHEVROLET
What a great illustration by California artist Charles Allen. And look--the people are in front of the car. I wonder how that got through. The car looks wonderful and the message is right on. Anybody that has one of these now feels very proud indeed. This is the kind of advertising that helped Chevy become America's car.
AMERICA'S STUCK ON CHEVY...CHEVY...CHEVY...CH
Chevrolet always liked to remind America of the leadership position it enjoyed and ads like this did it in a very charming and memorable way. The original color was much better than this old slide shows.
MOUNTAINS AND MILES ARE A BREEZ IN A CHEVY !
Another fine example of Chevy moving right along with some other craft--in this case a very fast speed boat. I wish I had a count on the number of times this was done. The checkered flags with the logo tells us that Chevy has been racing and doing very well. A nice reminder. In many of the ads you will see a reference to Chevrolet being No 1 USA.
VELVET SMOOTH AND FULL OF SPUNK !
I don't know who did this illustration but it has all the warmth and feeling for America and the good life that are in most Chevy ads. Notice the type face. It is not a standard face but one designed just for Chevrolet ads. As you look at the ads from this time and a little later you will see the type is nearly always the same. Another feather in a cap covered with feathers for Jim Hastings. It is very hard to keep a bunch of very creative people on the same track and using the same type but Jim did it.
SWEET (Just look) SMOOTH (Ah, that Turboglide) SASSY (Just drive it !)
This was a later version of the announcement ad with a similar headline. Also, the Corvette gets major attention and as a Sports Car in a real race. The Corvette was dramatically improved with new fuel-injection. I think the fuel-injection may have been offered in the Bel Air too. The art was probably done by one of the west coast artists that were doing much of the work at this time. Boy, a convertible like this one would be worth all the money in the world today. I am so pleased that old cars of all makes are being restored and enjoyed all over again. Every model of the '57 Chevy is a collectable car. Nobody back then would have guessed that this Chevy would become so heroic. The '58 Chevy was just around the corner and it was an all new car.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
SPUNK TO SPARE !
A newspaper ad with the car not out on the American open road but on a bridge. The emphasis in some way is usually on the great performance you got from the new Chevy Small Block V8. If you look closely you will see a Corvette just to the left of the Chevy. This was a time when Chevrolet offered only the regular Chevies and the Corvette so the Corvette often got into the illustrations. I have no idea who did the art but it does not look like any of the west coast guys.
CHEVIES SWEEP GRAND NATIONAL 100 MILER
1- 2- 3 AGAIN !
Chevrolet has always been interested in racing but sometimes other considerations prevented them from doing what they wanted to do. Not the case in 1957. One thing you may notice is that even though this is a newspaper ad photography is used rather than the very successful art. In this case art could not have delivered the same reality as a photo. This was more of a news event being reported and it was not important that the car look it's best. It was what it had lust done that was most important. Doug MacIntosh was the art director. I especially like the crossed flags with the Chevy logo--a real nice touch.
CHEVY TOPS ALL CARS AT DAYTONA -- OFFICIALLY !
Yes, Chevy has been at Daytona for a very long time and was winning back then too. The cars at Daytona in 1957 were nothing like the ones that go there now but it was fun and exciting. Another dimension of Chevrolet that helped make it The Heartbeat of America. I am pretty sure the art director for this ad was Doug MacIntosh. Doug and I worked together at Kenyon and Eckhardt on the Lincoln- Mercury account a few years prior to this and he put in a good word for me with Jim Hastings who was the top art guy at Campbell-Ewald.
CHEVROLET PUTS THE NICEST THINGS TOGETHER... and in the nicest way !
Whoever had this idea for a Chevy ad may have put their finger on some of the elements that have made the 1957 Chevrolet one of the most collectable cars in America. The '55 and '56 cars are very popular too but not like the '57. Why has this car become so important to Americans ? At auction a first rate convertible can bring way over $100,000. I saw an ad that offered a complete '57 convertible body new and ready to be assembled from available parts into a car. No need to restore one anymore.
CHEVROLET'S GOT A CORNER ON THESE FINE THINGS !
Another fine illustration for Chevy by a west coast artist. I am not sure which one but it is hard to imagine a Detroit artist doing a road like this. The Detroit guys didn't have the understanding of what the really big mountains looked like. Jim Hastings had developed several artists on the west coast that could do this kind of illustration. Among those were Charles Allen, Bruce Bomburger, Stan Galli, and Gordon Brustar. Fred Ludekins did some Chevrolet illustrations too but not for newspapers as far as I know.
NO DEAD WEIGHT TO MAKE IT DRAG ITS FEET !
The art for this Chevy ad was produced by Charles Allen. He and several other west coast artists were doing much of the newspaper ad art for Jim Hastings. Jim was the one that developed this art style for use in Chevy newspaper ads. He was a very good artist and could do illustrations like this himself. The reason he didn't do any art was that there was way too much to be done for him to be tied up doing one illustration.
CLINGS TO THE ROAD LIKE A STRIPE OF PAINT !
This has to be one of the steepest roads you have ever seen. Neat turns too. The art was done by Charles Allen. He was doing a considerable amount of work for Chevy at the time and illustrations like this show why. Not only is the art done in line as all newspaper art was then but the composition is great. He lived on the west coast and I have often wondered how Jim Hastings got such fine work from artists so far away.
Monday, March 24, 2008
YOU GET BETTER LOOKING IN A '57 CHEVROLET !
When is the last time you saw an instrument panel as the main illustration in a car ad ? I remember this view from behind the wheel of my '57 Bel Air. When I got mine the '58s had just come out but I had been wanting a Chevy like this since I had started work at C-E. I had been driving a '54 Studebaker coupe that I bought when I worked at Benton and Bowles, the Studebaker agency. It was a car I should have kept too. The Raymond Loewy coupe is still a great looking car today and hard to find if you want one. The Chevy I got came through Chevrolet and had been driven by an executive. The price was right and the color was perfect. I bet everybody that ever owned one of these wishes they still had it . They are worth a ton now in any kind of condition.
IT GIVES YOU MORE TO BE PROUD OF !
What a great looking car. And what a nice ad. It has that little bit of Chevy warmth that had become so important to the image being built. Chevrolet was well on the way to becoming America's car, and this kind of thing along with the open road illustrations was paving the way. Dinah Shore singing about Chevy was working too. Lots to be proud of.
Jim Hastings did many things to make the Chevy advertising consistent. One that goes pretty much unnoticed is the typography. The headlines were made from a type face developed just for Chevrolet and you can see it used in nearly all the ads from this time.
SMOOTH AS QUICKSILVER... and quick as they come... the '57 Chevrolet
This was the time of art illustration for nearly everything being advertised. Photography was just beginning to be a factor. Film at the time was nothing like it is today and I don't mean it was about to disappear as it is now. It was very slow and you needed strong light to get acceptable results. Young art directors wanted to use it because it was new and offered realism and variety. Still, when I look back at this stuff I think we have lost something. Not that todays ads are not doing the job but these ads have a lasting value that much of todays ads may not have. I like to think of things like this as being kind of like what Norman Rockwell did for magazine covers. They should be saved for what they represented to everyday viewers back then.
FULL OF SPUNK....
A really delightful piece of Chevy art. When you think about what these cars are worth today it kind of it makes you wish you had saved yours. I had one this color but the hardtop version. It got totaled on Telegraph Road one evening when I was turning to drop off a fellow worker. I had stopped in the left turn lane with the blinker on when another car didn't see me, pulled out to pass and hit the rear with great impact. A fellow in the back seat had his shoulder broken and I bent the steering wheel nearly in half. It was a great Chevy and I loved it.
Gordon Brustar was the artist for this ad. He was on the West Coast as were several other artists that Jim Hastings liked to use. It is rare to see such a string of outstanding illustrations for an advertiser and much of the credit goes to Jim Hastings. It wasn't long until he developed artists in Detroit that could do similar things.
IT LIKES TO FLEX THOSE BIG NEW MUSCLES !
There is an ad below that is like this but prepared for newspaper reproduction. Jim Hastings may have been the art director but if not he had a lot to do with the way it turned out. Notice the moving train that is similar to moving things in most Chevy ads done at this time. Sometimes the moving thing was a plane or boat near the Chevy. This concept for Chevy art was most likely the direction of Hastings. He was the head art guy at the time. I heard Jim tell about this ad on several occasions. The original idea and art had a steam locomotive in the picture with smoke streaming back to give the feeling of motion. When the art was going through the approval process someone decided that since General Motors made locomotives there should be a GM Diesel in the picture rather than the steam engine. This was changed as directed but those that decide such things thought the engine as presented was not a GM engine. So this ad had to go to the General Motors Diesel Locomotive Division for final approval. Sometimes one wonders how so many good ads made it through all the sieves.
IT LIKES TO FLEX THOES BIG NEW MUSCLES !
This is the black and white version of the color magazine ad shown above. They are two distinct pieces of art. Back then newspapers could not reproduce photography or halftone art as well as they do today so this art was prepared in the same style as other Chevy art meant for newspapers. The original pencil drawing was used for both. I have no idea which came first but it was probably the magazine color ad.
Friday, March 21, 2008
WHAT'S THE NEWEST WORD IN WAGONS ? IN '58
At the time of this direct mail program there was a young fellow at Chevrolet in charge of the Sales Promotion Group. His name was Bob Lund. I got to know him pretty well during meetings on things like this. He was so full of energy and enthusiasm that he just seemed to bubble over. It was good to get to know him because many years later he became Sales Manager for Chevrolet and I had advanced too. It was comfortable for both of us in meetings and while we didn't always agree on what should be done for Chevrolet we had very warm working relationship. Even later Bob became General Manager of Cadillac Division and then Chevrolet Division. When he retired he owned a Chevy dealership in Michigan and I helped him with his promotional material.
NOW'S THE TIME !
We were doing quite a lot of direct mail for Chrvrolet and I had become the art director for Wagons and Corvette, both very interesting types to work with. Todd Walker did the photography on the West Coast and I don't remember the copy writer--perhaps Henry Hager.
SHIFT INTO HIGH GEAR FOR MORE CORVETTE PROSPECTS
This went to each Chevrolet dealer and was encouragement to sell Corvettes. At the time Corvette was not at the top of the list in sales objectives for many dealers. Some dealers may not even have been interested in making a serious attempt to sell one or two. This was a time when the new Impala was front and center at every dealers place of business. The poster shown below was part of the same effort to keep Corvette as an important part of the Chevy family. The picture was shot at the GM proving grounds in Milford, MI. The photographer was Don Sudnick or Walter Farynk both with GM Photographic. The model in the car was one of the drivers assigned to us at the proving ground. This was more the way I was thinking about Corvette. It wasn't until I began working with David E. Davis Jr. that we were able to make ads that I thought represented Corvette best.
This cover photograph came from the GM file of things that were available to the various ad agencies. It's the same as the art on the dealer poster shown below but without the figure behind the wheel. On the center spread I made room for Detroit artists to get their samples printed so long as they were cars of a sporty nature and not in competition with Chevy. No Fords. This was good for the magazine and good for any artist that wanted to do a sample and get it printed. Back in Michigan I'll show you other issues and some of the inside content. Can 1958 really be 50 years ago ?
FOR '58 THIS TWO- SEATER GOT SWEETER
This was my first Corvette direct mail piece. I think the copy may have been by Vic Olsen or maybe Henry Hager. Vic may not have been with us yet. Todd Walker did the photography in California. He had been doing a lot of work for Chevy before I got to Campbell-Ewald. Especially for my boss Harry Borgman. Harry has been in touch with me as a result of my blog and is still an active artist for fun and profit. He didn't spend the years at the agency that I did but rather opted for the life of an artist. He worked all over the world as a commercial artist and still found time to produce art for himself. He has published more than a dozen books along the way. The most recent is a wonderful book about doing art on the computer. It's called Digital Dreams--Exploring the computer as an art medium. He sent me a copy and I recommend it for anyone with a computer and an interest in art. I had no idea a computer could be made to bring forth such wonderful things.
Have a look at what this one time Chevy ad maker has been doing. Go to his website harryborgman.com and be sure to go through the whole site to see all he has been doing.
Monday, March 17, 2008
NEW...AND INSPIRED ! CORVETTE BY CHEVROLET --- AMERICAS ONLY TRUE SPORTS CAR
This poster went to every Chevy dealer but they each got only one. So it is a very rare piece of collectable Corvette stuff. I'm sure most dealers threw it away after having it up for a while. The poster to dealer program continued for three more years and I did them all. The photograph came from the GM files that were managed by a man named Myron Scott. The budget to produce the poster was so small that I couldn't take a new photo. There were not a lot of pictures available and I used this one for the poster and also for the cover of the third issue of the Corvette News. Not the greatest but OK. The lettering for the word Corvette is the same as on the direct mail piece shown nearby. I tried to make the poster look a little like a sports car racing poster. If you have one of these you have a very expensive and very collectable piece of Corvette memorabilia. I loaned mine to the Corvette Museum for several years where they were displayed near the cars. They were returned last year at my request.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
No headline here because all I have is a picture of this wonderful illustration by Austin Briggs. I'll try to get the ad to go with it when I get back home but I thought you might enjoy seeing it even without the ad. What a wonderful artist he was. Art like this may not belong in a museum but it belongs somewhere where people can see it in the future. This is the art that people saw every day fifty years ago. Sure it was in an ad but they saw it and they were moved by it. To me it is very much like what Norman Rockwell gave to America with his Saturday Evening Post magazine covers. And, it wasn't only Austin Briggs but a whole generation of artists that helped build brands and sell Chevrolets, Fords, Coca Cola, and any other American product that was heavily advertised. What a time it was. What people they were. What artists they were. How sad they could be forgotten.
CHEVROLET...NEW TURBO--THRUST V8 !
How about this beautiful rendering of the new '58 Impala. I bet none of the wonderful Detroit car artists of the time did this one. You have seen Tigers used to represent lots of products by now but when this was done it was pretty darn fresh. We used outdoor to show new products most of the time and to support various promotions. Announcement time almost always included a strong outdoor showing of the new cars and trucks. It was great to get one like this approved. It certainly says the right thing about the new engine in a very memorable way.
A BEAUTIFULLY MOVING THING ! '58 CHEVROLET
Finding examples of old Chevy outdoor posters is very very difficult but finding the rough layout for one is----well I don't know quite what the odds might be. I don't know if this idea sold and became a published board or not. It doesn't matter because with this you get an idea of the kind of thing that was shown to our clients. Some art directors could render layouts better than others but strong ideas always were the most important consideration. Quite often the quality of a layout depended upon the amount of time the art director had to put it together. This example along with most of the 1958 ads shown here came from a box of old slides Jim Hastings gave me a very long time ago.
CONVERTING MORE PEOPLE TO CHEVY !
The 35MM old glass slide this was taken from does not do the art justice. The artists that specialized in car art were something very special and much in demand. It was very hard for photography to compete back then--maybe even now if the object is product illustration.
IT'S GOT GIT ! CHEVROLET
Examples of old Chevy outdoor hardly exist. The artist that painted the car for this one added considerable stretch to the rear. When photography was used and stretch was desired you can tell it has been added by looking to see if the rear wheel has taken on a slight horizontal oval as opposed to a vertical oval like you se here. Artists didn't have that problem. I wonder why nobody uses art for outdoor anymore?
Saturday, March 15, 2008
This was one of the first assignments I had when I started at Campbell-Ewald in early January of 1958. I worked for Harry Borgman and he had an assistant named Paul Samuleson who had started the magazine and had gotten the mast head approved by someone. Other than that nothing had been done. It was a nice use of a second color but I always wished we had had a stronger mast head, something closer to the Corvette direct mail shown below. Nevertheless, it was fun to do and as I look back 50 years later I am very pleased to have made some small contribution to Corvette history. The magazine continues today and can even be found on the news stand. Now it is called Corvette Quarterly and even has ads in it. The photos in the first issue were nearly all picked up from the GM photo depository run by a fellow named Myron Scott. He had every photo ever taken for GM and we could have them for the cost of the prints. If you happen to have a copy of volume 1 no. 1 you have something worth a bunch of money. I have a couple in mint condition that I saved as a sample of my work. I wish I had a few more. I was the art director for the first couple of years or so. The copy came from any writer in the group that had the time to do a story. A fellow named Wally Overhardt was the account guy. I put this in the blog when I first started but I thought it belonged here with all the other things from 1958.
This is a piece I was very proud of. I had the sports car feeling I had been looking for and we had been calling Corvette "Americas only true sports car" for some time. The red white and blue played to that nicely. And I loved the rugged type. It became an element in all my Corvette pieces. This is where the chassis art used in the ad below came from. I'll try to show you the whole piece soon. I got a lot of help on this from a guy named Herb Shiebold at Allied Artists in Detroit. Herb was a terrific designer and layout guy. The more I got to know him the more I liked and respected him. We did a lot of things together. All good. We had a lot of fun especially with a young salesman named Bob Hill. On another much larger job Herb had done nearly all the layout work with not much input from me. The layout was great but something had happened that required a major revision. I called Bob Hill to come and see me for the corrections. Bob said Herb was going to be very disappointed because he thought it was one of his best efforts. After Bob left to go back to the studio I called Herb to explain what had happened and to tell him how much I liked his work. We were fine and I suggested to Herb that we have a little fun with Bob Hill. The idea was that Herb would blow his stack when Bob told him what I wanted done and then call me on the phone to cuss me out. We were Bobs big account at the time so it would be a matter of some importance to him. It all went as planned and when Herb called me and started swearing, yelling, and telling me how dumb I was I was convulsed with laughter. I could just imagine the look on poor Bobs face and I could hear him trying to calm Herb and telling him he didn't mean what he was saying. Herb told me later that Bob turned white as a sheet. A kind of mean thing to pull on Bob but funny for Herb and me. Bob and I are still friends and Herb is no longer with us.
CORVETTE FOR '58----BRAND NEW AND BRED FOR ACTION !
I felt real good about this ad because the art director picked up the art of the chassis from one of my direct mail pieces and then had a car shot to match it. I began to feel like I could make ads too if given a chance. The art director was probably Sy Lachuisa and the copy by Barney Clark. This ad ran in Popular Mechanics and Popular Science in March of 1958. I guess somebody thought only people interested in mechanics and science would respond to an ad like this but this is just the kind of flavor I had been getting into the direct mail for Corvette.
WHAT'S AS EFFORTLESS AS A CORVETTE ?
A very nice Corvette ad with the kind of presentation that made you think it was a real sports car. This was probably shot on the West Coast by Todd Walker. Barney Clark was still doing the copy and I think maybe Bob Hungerford was the art director. I don't know if the art directors got to go on location for ads like this or not. I didn't get to go for the direct mail on Corvette. If you would like this ad for your collection you need to find a copy of New Yorker for Aug. 2, or Road and Track for June, and Sports Illustrated for July all in 1958.
WHAT'S AS SUREFOOTED AS A CORVETTE ?
I'll bet hardly anybody has seen this Corvette ad. It is not likely to be in any collection since it ran in newspapers and only on the East Coast so far as I know. Nobody saved old newspapers like they did magazines. One of the reasons I have included so many newspaper ads here. This is very well done just like all Chevy ads but I thought then that Corvette needed to be presented more as a performance machine with more emphasis on the good stuff it had to offer. This ad was much the same as other Chevy ads with the warm and interesting people. If you put a Bel Air convertible in the picture it would have been right at home. But at the time I had nothing to say about things like that. I was doing the Corvette News and it was going the way I wanted it to go. Some of the direct mail on Corvette began to go my way too--some but not all.
This was a different kind of Chevrolet ad in that it was tied completely to a ladies fashion promotion. I don't remember all the details but it was a big program. There is some sales promotion material that I will add to this when I am back in Michigan. The agency had a lady account executive named Hap Hazard. Her real name was Genevieve Hazard and she went to all the top designers in Europe to get them to design a dress for specific Chevrolets. I think the next year she used all American designers. An interesting job that you wouldn't expect in an agency with a car account.
YOU LOOK YOUR SUNDAY BEST---AND YOU KNOW IT !
I am so pleased to be able to show you this Chevy ad to be. Very few layouts survive beyond being turned over to the artist for finished art. And when the ad is proofed and run the art director always wanted several proofs for his portfolio. I hardly ever saved a layout and when I try to remember what we did with them I come up with a blank. Most of the layouts I did save were of ads that didn't sell. The finished art is remarkably like this layout even to the little dog. The reason I know this is that I have the original art. When I get back to Michigan I'll put the ad next to this layout. For those of you that may have this ad torn from an old magazine this should be a real treat. And if any of you interested in collecting this ad in its printed form I'll tell you where to look when I can get the information. I am pretty sure the church in the background is the Kirk In The Hills on Long Lake Road in Bloomfield Hills. The layout was made by someone familiar with the church and may have lived out that way. Maybe even have been a member of the church. Sometimes that's where ad ideas come from. The art director could have been Clark Maddox ( Sure wish I knew how to spell his name)
V8 WITH VITAMINS !
Sorry about the quality of the reproduction. Many of the ads in this blog came from a couple of old boxes of glass slides given to me by my boss Jim Hastings many years ago. Some I have not been able to transfer at all. This is worth looking at for the quality of the illustration. Another great piece of work for Chevrolet. I can't say enough about what this kind of art meant to Chevy advertising. On occasion J. Walter Thompson, the Ford ad agency, would hire one of our artists to do a newspaper ad illustration and it always turned out to look like and be mistaken for a Chevy ad. The illustrations all used a "line art"technique that worked beautifully in newspapers of the day. The main part of the illustration was done with pen and ink and there was no place for a single mistake. Every detail was as accurate as each piece of type in the body copy. When the line drawing was finished it was made into a clear cell and a blue print on a sheet of illustration board. The halftone part of the illustration was then painted on to the board using the blue print as a guide. The cell with the line drawing was fastened to the board so that the illustration could now be viewed the way it would be seen in the newspaper with both the line drawing and the halftone. Newspapers back then were nothing like they are today. When the press was running it tended to wobble all over the place. Our line art would keep the picture of our Chevy looking good no mater what. This was even more important when we began to use a second color in the ads.
Friday, March 14, 2008
ACTION NEVER CAME SO BEAUTIFULLY PACKAGED.
What a spectacular piece of art this one is. As you move farther down in the blog you will see other illustrations that show Chevrolets in motion next to other fast moving things like boats or crop dusting airplanes. This was done to give the impression that our car was really moving and was the concept of Jim Hastings. In most of the other illustrations that do this the car is shown from the rear and is about to pass the plane or boat. It must have been fun to see who could please our boss, Jim Hastings, with the next motion idea. Whoever came up with this one had maybe the best of all time and it didn't even show the other moving object--only it's shadow. And, it allowed us to show the front of the new Impala. I wish I knew who the art director was on this one. Maybe George Guido.
MOST ZESTFUL, RESTFUL DRIVING YOUR DOLLARS EVER BOUGHT ! This Chevrolet has got the kind of arid V8 action that'll make you marvel, and you'll find it's as easy riding as it is on your budget!
That's a '58 Corvette sitting a little farther down the beach. A pretty good combination of new Chevrolets. The Corvette had yet to establish itself as the kind of American icon it is today. But the Impala was well on the way to becoming Americas favorite car. I never owned this Chevy as I had just purchased a '57 Bel Air Hardtop the year before. Wish I still had it. It would be worth a ton, maybe even more than one of these. Go figure. I can't quite make out the artists name but he signed the illustration. Maybe Gordon Brustar or Bruce Bomburger. Pretty sure it was one of the West Coast group.
NEW WAGONS WITH WONDERFUL WAYS--THESE NEW '58 CHEVROLETS
Another example of a Chevy moving along with some other thing moving in the same direction at good speed. I think this was a concept thought of by Jim Hastings. I don't mean he designed every ad with this kind of illustration but he put forth the idea and other art directors had thoughts about how to make it happen with a plane,boat, or whatever. The outline wagons came from my catalog.
IT'S GOT A NEW KIND OF "GIT" !
THE '58 CHEVROLET !
What a nice relationship between the illustration and the headline. This is a really fine example of a story telling illustration. This kind of picture content for automotive advertising just doesn't exist anymore. I wonder why? Could it be because of the way art directors make layouts today with computers rather than with a layout pad and pencils? It may be because there is a difference between looking at a blank sheet of paper and having to think of something to put on it and being able to search the internet for something to copy. Then again maybe this kind of thing just doesn't work with people anymore. I kind of doubt that. People will always be people with more or less the same wants and desires. This art was signed but I can't make out the signature from the old slide this came from. Too bad.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
THE MOST WISHED FOR WAGONS ARE CHEVROLETS!
This ad is not much like some of the others in the series. That's because the art was picked up from my wagon catalog and made into an ad. Still there is a nice little bit of warmth in the figures. I have no idea why a full blown illustration wasn't used. All the art in the catalog was like this --that is without backgrounds. I was pleased to see some of my work make it into an ad.
BIG, BEAUTIFUL, AND BUDGET-MINDED----CHEVROLET.
The '58 Chevy wagons got quite a few ads during the year. This kind of transportation was what families were using long before vans became popular. Plenty of room for whatever you wanted to do. Chevy even had a special catalog for wagons and that was my contribution to the '58 program along with several direct mail pieces. Story telling ad illustrations have all but disappeared from car advertising. I wonder why. I'll bet computers have something to do with it. Lots easier to put some flashing lights behind the car than take the time to think up an illustration like this and then get a rough down on paper. Can that be done with a computer?
YOUR PRIDE WILL PERK UP---'58 CHEVROLET
This illustration is another by Austin Briggs. Things like this make you wonder why we ever gave up on art for photography. I have several original illustrations from this period and I love looking at them. I have saved a few real nice ad photos too but somehow they don't bring forth the same feelings as the art. I know all the reasons photography has replaced art and they are good ones but still the old art is something special. And just think there was not one computer in the whole company. This is one more example of how we used something in motion to give the feeling of motion and speed to the Chevy.