Wednesday, February 11, 2009

This 1967 Chevrolet ad and several that follow are part of the same campaign in newspapers and magazines. The magazine ads can be found in old publications but the newspaper ads have long ago gone the way of yesterdays newspaper. This series of newspaper ads also represents some of the last ads that were illustrated with art rather than photography. Art would continue on for a time but the days of great art campaigns for Chevy were coming to an end. Rightly or wrongly photography was becoming more important. Some of it had to do with our art directors, probably including me, that wanted to be more of a participant in the ad making process. Going on location with the car and a photographer seemed like the way to go. The clients were inclined to like photography too. Change is always wanted by most clients, sometimes when when staying the course would be better. Newspaper reproduction was improving and photography looked pretty good. The line art we used, as shown above, still gave great reproduction in most papers. Gerry Edmison was watching over newspaper ads at this time and he had been working for me from the time we were in the experimental group. I still got my hand in when I could and did ads like this while developing the format for subsequent ads regardless of who did them. Making the ads was the most fun I ever had in the ad business.

It was fun to find little things in the new Chevrolet that would allow us to demonstrate how competitive it was with higher priced cars and how much you got when you bought a Chevy. Sure we mentioned the ash tray but the car had a big car ride like the more expensive cars too. I wish I could tell you the name of the artist but I just don't remember after all these years. Could have been Jim Jackson but then maybe not. All the things in this campaign supported the overall idea that "Chevrolet gives you that sure feeling". You could be sure when you bought it that you were getting the most for your money and you could be sure when you owned it that you would enjoy the experience. And when you sold it you could be sure you would get a very good return. Newspaper ads from this time are nonexistent today. Most were used to wrap the trash or start a fire in the fireplace, so I am happy to be able to show these along with magazine ads that are still available in old publications.
This is a 1967 Chevrolet Newspaper ad.
You will see a number of Chevy ads that compares Chevrolet to higher priced makes. Especially big brother Cadillac. Value has always been a Chevy selling proposition. This car had lots to offer anybody looking for a big car with all the features of a more expensive make. The headline is especially good in that hardly anybody would guess that Chevy had the big car with the most room. And what a nice memorable way to illustrate room and at the same time give the car a little snob appeal. I don't remember who did this ad--could have been Gerry Edmison as the art director. I set up the format with a couple other ads so that we had a strong campaign feel. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

We were using the theme line--Chevrolet gives you that sure feeling-- for all the 1967 ads. It was an idea of Ken Jones who was the new creative director on the Chevy account. Ken had been in charge of the Chevy TV commercials before his promotion to creative director. It was a move on the part of management to begin to integrate TV and print. Today the idea that print and television could be two different departments seems crazy but it was back then. Crazy too. Ken began to try to integrate the two groups but not with a lot of success. There were still TV writers and print writers. Print art directors and TV producers. The print guys were not very good at TV and the TV guys were not good at print. It would take several years and a several more people to get it turned around. I think I may have done this ad. I like the big type and I think todays art directors will soon come around to see the value of it. Most current art directors seem to be hiding their headlines with tiny type. I bet most copy writers would like to see their headlines big and bold.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Our Chevrolet client loved to tweak big brother Cadillac. With the 1967 Caprice it was possible and reasonable. The Chevrolet story has always been "more car for the money" and this was a great example. Lots of Chevy buyers were moving up to the Caprice and as the copy says some luxury buyers were moving down to Chevy. Cars were big back then and luxury was in style. There is a layout shown below that tries to get at the same point but in a different way. 

This ad ran in Automotive News as I recall. It was produced by Jim Hartzell and Tony Longo. One of the most memorable leadership ads we produced. Too bad it didn't run in consumer magazines. Jim Hartzell was a copy writer with unusual talent and is better known as the creator of "Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie, and Chevrolet". He and Tony worked well together and produced some of the finest advertising for Chevy. Jim is retired now and spends his time at his home near Detroit. Tony died many years ago before we retired. It was a real pleasure to be associated with people like them.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

This is an idea and layout for a magazine ad intended to run for the '68 Chevy. I don't remember the package of advertising it was shown with but it never ran. The big Chevy was quite the car in those days and could compete with more expensive cars in many ways. I say big Chevy because the industry had yet to begin the down-sizing trend and our Chevrolet client liked to compare their top of the line with Cadillac in anyway they could. I made this ad with a primitive type setting machine we had that was used to help us make comp ads. It could have had body copy and probably should have had it. The car picture was one we had in our file. I felt pleased with the effort and still think it would have made a memorable ad for Chevy. 

Most of the ads that follow are a collection of old layouts I made at various times. Some ran as magazine ads but many did not. I have had them for lots of years and thought they might be of interest to those of you interested in old Chevy ads.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

This ad layout for the new Caprice, Chevrolets most luxurious car was never approved. It was an idea I had that was presented to our Chevy client along with other ads. It says all the right things about the car but doesn't show the car itself. I had one of our art directors shoot the gentleman holding his cigar while he was shooting another ad of the whole car. It is easy to see that the fellow is in the back seat and imagine he is probably being driven by his chauffeur. Just like our big brother Cadillac. It is fun to finally get to show this ad and others below that were not chosen for publication. I am happy that I saved them and can show them now. Making advertising is not for the thin-skinned. Many of the ads you create are discarded for one reason or another. Some never make it to the client because your boss doesn't like it or someone in the agency objects to it. If it makes it to the client or clients it is often passed over for something else or rejected outright. That is the way it was back then and I know it is the way it is today. I always felt the most fun was in making the ad in the first place and if it sold that was icing on the cake.  

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

1969 Chevrolet Impala Photo

This was shot at the GM Proving Ground in Phoenix on a short trip there with David E. Davis Jr. -- that is him cooling his feet in the water. We had Warren Winstanley there too and he shot the picture for me. There was another view we did at the same time but neither made it into an ad. David E. and I had been working together for a long time--off and on that is. When we first met we were in a think- tank kind of thing at Campbell-Ewald. I used to pick him up in the morning on the way to work. He lived in Birmingham, MI on North Frank Street. I mention that because if you have some very old buff books you may see a few stories by a guy named N. Frank Street. Yep, that's David E. when he was doing a little work on the side. We called "sore leg work."  David has done it all and most people interested in cars will remember him as the editor of Car and Driver, Automobile, and Winding Road magazines. Not all at once of course. David E. started Automobile magazine from scratch and built it into perhaps the best of the lot. He also started Winding Road on the Internet--the first of it's kind. You can still get a free subscription and it is very worth while. David E. and I made a bunch of very good Corvette ads together and a lot of other stuff too. He knew more about cars and what they could do than anybody I ever worked with and I missed him a lot when he left the agency to start his magazine. I think it was good for him because he liked the editorial business where he could express himself as he saw fit without the constant editing of the ad business. One of the great characters of our time.

The new Monte Carlo for 1970 was a real departure for Chevrolet. It was a personal- luxury kind of car with a longer hood than anything around at a Chevy price or any price for that matter. The styling was exceptional with not a lot of chrome. John DeLorean had just come to Chevrolet as general manager and took an active part in the advertising. His influence would be felt to a much greater extent in the next years advertising. We went from a sales department dominated approval process to a one man approval situation--John DeLorean. When we reviewed ads with him for the first time we were very close to the magazine closing dates. He liked the way the cars looked but wanted to know where we got all the hard looking female models in some of the pictures. He said they all looked like ladies if the night and had to be changed. The only one he thought was OK was this one in the Monte Carlo ad layout. At the time John was dating Kelly Harmon who was a very beautiful blond young lady. She was even better looking than the model in the ad and John would have her come in after hours to review the ads because he thought she represented the youth market.  We just did not have time to shoot new models and strip them into the ads in question so I went through all the out- takes from this shoot and had the pretty lady above stripped into the other ads. Nobody noticed that we had the same model in several ads. The headline for this ad became the line for the outdoor announcement ad too. I take a little pride in the authorship and it fell right in with Chuck Felt's highly competitive stance for Chevrolet. Chuck was creative director on Chevy at the time. This ad did run in all the major magazines of the time. I am a little surprised that you can still buy nice examples of this car at reasonable prices. It wasn't a muscle car but it was something unique from Chevrolet and I think the best looking of all the Monte Carlos.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Magazine Ad Layout

Monte Carlo was something very new for Chevrolet and new for the industry at the time. It was a luxury car with one of the longest hoods around that gave it a special look. It would stay that way through several body changes. It had wonderful styling that said, without a doubt, if you owned one you were somebody special. We had several other good pictures that would run as announcement ads and follow up ads so this idea was supposed to take us a step farther. It is a better idea than the execution shown here. Warren Winstanley and I were in LA and had been shooting on the Screen Gems movie lot. Some of the pictures below were taken there. For this one we had to find a good looking boat large enough to park a car on if you were rich enough to do that. The boat should have been larger so we didn't have to have the poles cutting through the car and the view or the car needed to be better to show off the styling. The car was shot back on the Screen Gems lot and stripped into the boat picture. Something that would be no problem today but a serious undertaking back then. The boat owner is too much of a character in his short pants and black socks--too much of a cartoon. He should have been a good looking rich guy. He was in reality one of the GM truck drivers. The lady beside him is the only paid model in the picture. The crew is from left to right--Bob Ovies, Warren's assistant, Bill Graefen, and me. Bob and Bill were writers on the account. If I could have sold this as an idea we would have done it over again and fixed it so that Chevrolet would have liked the car view and the people would have been better. Oh well it was an experimental shoot and most of the pictures turned out better than this. I show it anyhow along with other ideas for pictures. It could have made a great ad for Chevrolet. 

For 1970 Chevrolet had some really great things to advertise. Their walk-in-wagon was especially interesting. The idea that you could actually step up into the rear seat and just sit down was very special and we made several ads later on the subject. This one didn't sell. I'll give you three guesses why and the first two don't count. I never could understand why all the people in ads had to be slim and beautiful rather than looking like real people. These delightful ladies would have been a real memorable attention getter back then and probably today too. But it was not to be. Warren Winstanley shot the picture on the Screen Gems Movie lot. The ladies came from a local church group. The reason for the rain gear you will find explained in some detail on an ad below. I am happy to have saved the layout and to show it now along with several others that didn't run. 

1969 Chevrolet Impala Magazine Photo

This is a very nice picture of the 1969 Chevrolet Impala that was never made into a layout for an ad and was never used in any promotional material. Still, I show it here because it represents an attitude we were using at the time. Chuck Felt was the creative director and my boss at the time. I was in charge of all the Chevy print advertising and Richard George Petachini was in charge of the broadcast. Felt had sold Chevrolet on a very aggressive ad stance that was bold and kind of in your face or at least in the face of our competition. I thought it was very good and lots of fun to work with. The copy headlines did most of the work---One of the best was a line Chuck wrote for a picture I made of a Corvette and a Camaro in a barn. Front views with a rope across the open barn doors. A nice picture but the power of the ad came from his headline--We'll take on any other two cars in the magazine. Chevrolet was the sales leader back then and this was leadership advertising without the boastful number one claim. We went straight at the competition in a very aggressive way. The picture above was made at the same time as other pictures to be used in the announcement newspaper and magazine advertising. Warren Winstanley shot it after we had finished the mandatory shooting. I always wanted extra pictures and Warren was always happy to shoot anything I wanted. We were on location and the only extra cost was a little more film. Quite often I was able to use the extra pictures in ads and Warren would be paid the going rate for the new ad. It was good for both of us and for Chevrolet. If you enlarge the picture you will see that the pretty young lady is sticking out her tongue. With the right headline maybe....well probably not. Anyhow it made a fun picture and I get to show it now after all these years.