Friday, May 23, 2008
The 1956 Corvette is proving--in open competition--that it is America's only genuine production sports car. The first sentence in this said it all but then went on to tell about all the good stuff you could get to own a car that could race or one that could compete with the Ford Thunderbird as a personal luxury car. The photo is one that was actually taken at the race and the art director was probably Doug MacIntosh. Doug had been a proponent of photography for the regular Chevy and most likely argued that photography was the only way to go for an ad like this. And he was right. The copy was getting very close to the theme that would last for years--America's only true sports car. Barney Clark was probably the copy writer. This ad appeared in the August issues of Hot Rod, Motor Life, and Motor Trend.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
CORVETTE SIZZLES WITH A NEW HOT V-8 ! (that any Chevy dealer can service)
Sports cars of the day were a little expensive to service. Still true today. But, then as now you could get your sports car serviced at any Chevrolet dealer. And there were a bunch of them. Corvette was well on the way to becoming Americas only true sports car but the ads had yet to make the claim. This ad ran in Car Life, Hot Rod, Motor Life, Motor Trend, Road and Track, and Motor Sport all in May of 1956.
LOVE SEAT YOU'LL NEVER WANT TO LEAVE !
It is kind of hard for me to understand how this ad came about. It doesn't seem like the kind of thing Barney Clark would have written and I know David E. Davis couldn't have had anything to do with it. Corvette had a bigger engine with more performance stuff and was even doing a little racing. The only thing I can think of is somebody thought there was a need to be more competitive with the Ford Thunderbird. They were both two-seaters but the T-Bird was more luxurious and had an appeal different from the Corvette.It was more of a personal car than a sports car and Corvette was going the way of the pure sports car. It is hard to imagine the T-Bird going racing. Anyhow, the ad was done and ran in the May 19, issue of New Yorker and the May 14, issue of Sports Illustrated. Nothing wrong with having an animal in the passenger seat. I did an ad a few years later with a very big dog along as the passenger but the car was really moving and David E. Davis Jr. wrote a great headline that said "More kicks than a sack full of jack rabbits."
Friday, May 9, 2008
SEEN ONLY ON HIGHER PRICED CARS AND CHEVROLET
The meaningful emblem of Body by Fisher
A nifty way to relate to all the other GM higher priced cars and still stay true to Chevrolet's value position. Body by Fisher was very important to Chevy and all of GM back then. Fisher Body even ran some advertising. There was also an annual contest for young people to build a coach in the image of the logo. All the entries were displayed and judged in the lobby of the GM building on West Grand Boulevard in Detroit. The coaches all looked pretty much alike to me but the judges always came up with a winner. There was some some scholarship money for first, second, and third place as I recall. Later the contest was changed. Rather than build a model coach the young people were to design and build a model car. This was an even better contest and more related to GM products. Mac Namara Studio produced the art for this ad. They were located in the Penobscot Building in Detroit. Two brothers owned and operated the studio-Emit and Jack Mac Namara.
THE "PASSWORD" IS CHEVROLET!
This is an interesting illustration in two parts. It was a concept used often in Chevy ads and almost always to show performance. There were a lot of two lane highways back then and the Chevy 225-V8 engine made for safer passing. Notice all the little things that make the illustration successful--the car has moved past the truck in very short order and the oncoming car in the distance has hardly moved down the hill. The cow nearest the viewer has raised its head but not moved. Fun stuff. This illustration was by Bill Fleming of the La Drier Studio in Detroit. Local artists and studios were beginning to understand what Jim Hastings was trying to do.
HOLDS THE ROAD LIKE IT LOVES IT (and Chevy does!)
Drivability and performance were always near the top of Chevrolet ad priorities. Chevy had a record-breaking performance on Pikes Peak and was doing just fine at Daytona. The view on the car taken here nearly hides the face that it is a 4-door sedan. Back then they sold pretty well but the hard-tops and convertibles were the glamor cars. This illustration is by Haines Hall. Haines was part owner of a San Francisco studio named Patterson and Hall where Jim Hastings once worked before joining Campbell-Ewald. The studio still exists today but is more like an ad agency than an art studio. They do very good work that can be seen on their web site. They call themselves P&H Creative Group and you can see what they do at www.phcreative.com--a very nice fellow named Bruce Hettema runs the place now.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
CHEVROLET PUTS HILLS BEHIND YOU AND PLEASURE AHEAD !
This is a newspaper version of the magazine ad directly below. The magazine ad was done first and ran in May while the newspaper ad ran in July. The magazine ad was by Fred Ludekins and this newspaper version was produced by Bruce Bomberger. The reason for two artists was that Ludekins was not particularly good at the line illustration needed for newspaper reproduction. This was true for other great illustrators like Austin Briggs and takes nothing away from them. Jim Hastings knew exactly what he wanted and how best to get it. The two illustrations are very similar and Bomberger most likely used the same drawing for the car and people. There are some interesting differences. The license plate is gone on this version and the background has been condensed to fit a vertical format. The ladies dress takes on a vertical pattern and the guy now has black hair with his hand gone from the roof. Lots of other small things too. Not much research was done on ads back then but when a client liked an ad the agency was ready to run it in magazines and newspapers.
CHEVROLET PUTS HILLS BEHIND YOU AND PLEASURE AHEAD !
This ad was in color but I do not have a color version at this time. Still, a very nice illustration by Fred Ludekins. It ran in the May issues of Saturday Evening Post, Life, and Look magazines. I'll bet the information on the signs is correct. With the kind of exposure these ads got fake information would have generated considerable mail.