Archive for the ‘advertising’ Category

Donald Duck, Autograph Hound

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

BOOM! Studios just released The Walt Disney Treasury: Donald Duck vol. 1, a 160-page collection of classic Donald Duck stories by Don Rosa, who wrote comics about Donald and Scrooge McDuck in the ’80s and ’90s, such as The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck (which has also been reprinted by BOOM). In addition to many classic Donald Duck stories, the treasury also includes a work-in-progress version of “The Starstruck Duck,” an uncompleted story commissioned to celebrate and promote the opening of Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney’s Hollywood Studios) at Walt Disney World in Florida.

In this madcap adventure (as if Donald has any other kind) a lot of the main attractions are name-checked as Donald runs through them, all in search for an autograph from the most famous film star in the world…Mickey Mouse! As strange as it is to have a world where Mickey is famous but Donald is not, what really got me were the moments of recognition from my visits in 1993 and 2010. Of course, there are things that have changed since the park opened in 1989—I wonder how Donald would feel about the giant Sorcerer’s Hat, complete with Mickey ears?

You can read the entirety of “Starstruck Duck” over at Comics Alliance.

Sweating More in ’44

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

During World War II lots of women were tasked with supporting the war effort and taking on work normally performed by men, who themselves were being shipped overseas to fight in said war. Which is why this 1944 ad for Lifebuoy Health Soap just raises so many questions.

(Click image for full size)

Why aren’t these women’s husbands serving in the military? Were they rated 4-F? Why would the excuse “I’m too tired” fly with a woman who builds bombers all day? Why is it okay to gossip about someone, but not okay to eavesdrop? Why isn’t Ruthie sitting next to her friends anyway? And if everyone’s “working and perspiring more than ever,” maybe someone should drop a note to Ruthie’s husband, because I doubt he smells like a “sweetheart.”

(via Boing Boing and Vintage Ads)

Accidents Don’t Just Happen

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

This series of safe sex ads from MTV Switzerland reminds me a lot of the ridiculous stories that patients will often tell doctors (many in the emergency room) about why they need medical treatment for some really messed up thing, like “I fell on the floor and landed on the TV remote which went into my rectum,” or the perennial favorite, “I was sitting on my porch at 2am reading a Bible minding my own business when some guy just came up and shot me.” All these scenarios are incredibly unlikely but the storyteller somehow thought it was less embarrassing or incriminating than the truth. Which is part of the point of this ad: you don’t have sex by accident unless you were already doing something that could be considered a precursor to sex. So play it safe and use a condom.

There are three of these ads over at AdFreak, but this is the only one where the woman is wearing underwear. That’s a good point too: always wear underwear, because you never know when you’re going to go flying crotch-first onto some random sunbather.

(via The Ephemerist)

Leave Home

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Being a motorcyclist is often pictured as an exciting, sexy proposition—living on the road, experiencing one adventure after another. Well, this comic-style ad for Royal Enfield motorcycles does nothing to dissuade that notion, showing in fact, a rider on a Royal Enfield bike meeting a monk, going camping, dancing in a club, and getting thrown in jail, among other things.

I love the look of this comic by Daniel Berkowitz and Nirmal Pulickal (working for Wieden + Kennedy), as well as its ability to tell an entire story (and sell a product) without saying a word.

(via The Ephemerist)

A Little More Conversation

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

A good comic should have the right balance of words and images, working with each other to tell a story. One should not be more important than the other, because otherwise you’ve just written a novel or a picture book, not a comic.

The words have overpowered the images in these ads for Colgate toothpaste, but that doesn’t make them failed comics. The preponderance of text is actually the point of the narrative. Colgate cleans your mouth, which gets rid of your bad breath, which allows you to talk more. And talk and talk and talk. You can talk so much that it overwhelms the comic you’re appearing in! The content of the words in these ads are irrelevant, as they’re being used as a visual element instead. Which is good, because the scans aren’t large enough to read the text anyway.

(via The Ephemerist)

Smoke ‘em if You Got ‘em

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Smokers are used to seeing the warnings on packs of cigarettes that tell them why they shouldn’t be smoking—smoking causes cancer, smoking causes heart disease, secondhand smoke can be harmful to others, pregnant women shouldn’t smoke—in fact, they’re so used to seeing the messages that there’s no point to the warnings at all. Smokers keep smoking and new members join their ranks every day.

So the US Food and Drug Administration has proposed to up the ante by making the warnings more than just a line of plain text that is easily ignored, adding pictorial warnings to the packs that take up half the visual real estate on the front, even placing them above the brand logo.

Some of the images are pretty graphic, ranging from a set of rotting teeth to pictures of corpses. Many take a softer sell, like a handful of comic-inspired images.

Will these images have any effect on the number or smokers in the United States? Considering that other draconian measures (like no smoking in bars) haven’t had much of an effect, and no one really looks at their cigarette pack anyway, it seems unlikely.

A Not-So-Wee Ad for the Wii

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

When the Nintendo Wii came out, it was marketed as a system for everyone—old people liked it, little kids loved it, and even your mom didn’t mind inviting it to Thanksgiving for a few rounds of bowling and tennis with Wii Sports. But even with this newfound crossover appeal, the execs at Nintendo recognized they still needed to grab that “core audience” of adolescent and young adult males, so what better way than to make their appeal with another medium with a “core audience” of adolescent and young adult males?

Running in various superhero titles throughout late 2006 and early 2007, this comic-style ad features a plucky, blond boy (and his black cat) extolling the immersive nature of the Nintendo Wii. The first page is a little exciting, but the second page becomes more explanatory, talking about storing Miis and downloading games with the Virtual Console and all those other things that seemed pretty exciting at the time and got most of us to buy Wii consoles. They certainly sold a lot.

Because it is two pages of advertising content in a comic format appearing inside an actual comic, the spread had to be labelled as a “special advertising section” in order to avoid consumer confusion. Which makes perfect sense, you know, considering how often writers keep inserting the Wii into stories of their own accord.

(via Kotaku)

Iron Bryant and the BasketBrawlers

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Tonight the NBA begins its brand new season as the Miami Heat, now with Lebron James in their corner, take on last year’s Eastern Conference Champions, the Boston Celtics. To commemorate the league’s return, ESPN Magazine has teamed with Marvel Comics to produce images of their best players in superhero guises. The talent inside the issue includes Marvel artists Salvador Larocca (Iron Man), Greg Horn (Ms. Marvel), Kyle Baker (Deadpool MAX) and even Marvel Editor-in-Chief, Joe Quesada.

They cover each team in the NBA, calling on different inspiration for each. The most obvious—my favorite of the bunch—is Lebron James inserted into the classic page from Amazing Spider-Man #50, where Peter Parker throws his Spider-Man costume in garbage. This time, Lebron does the same with his Cleveland Cavaliers jersey, much to the chagrin of every Cavaliers fan on the planet.

There’s also Michael Jordan, part owner of the Bobcats, as Nick Fury (looking way too much like Samuel L. Jackson), Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban as Hank Pym, an adamantium-clad Yao Ming of the Rockets, along with many others living out their superhero fantasies. The issue is on sale now, so you can find it pretty much anywhere magazines are sold. For more images from inside the issue, as well as how Marvel will (or won’t) capitalize on this cross-promotion between branches of Disney, head over to Comics Should Be Good; I am also curious how Marvel will benefit from this exposure, as even though there have been numerous news articles on the subject, there has been a surprising lack of internal ads promoting the issue.

Hi Five, Leads Man!

Monday, October 25th, 2010

When making a nonfiction comic, creators have a whole toolbox of genres to choose from—romance, action, science fiction—but there’s something about the business world that makes the creators of comics for that market gravitate toward the iconography of superheroes. Maybe it’s because businessmen feel like superheroes when they find a solution that helps their clients, or maybe it’s just that they wish their life was far more exciting than being stuck in an office all day, answering e-mails and attending countless meetings. I can’t say for sure, but do you get some interesting examples of one-off nonfiction comics from them:

Aside from the “contact us” link and the offer of “4 hours free business analysis,” this comic is presented without context and I have not seen similar offerings on any of their other pages. Perhaps this really is the entire gist of their marketing. This might be the first and only outing of “The Super Dynamic Partners,” which is a bit of a shame, because I do dig The Scrambler’s crazy hair.

Cow and Chicken

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Hailing from New York, I have mostly gone without the joy of Chick-fil-A. The only location in the tri-state area is in the food court of NYU, so it doesn’t really count. Luckily, there is a Chick-fil-A in the Orlando International Airport, so I’ve eaten there three or four times. Each time I was there, I was struck by images of two animals, both on opposite sides of the meat spectrum. Of course, there were chickens, as that is pretty much all Chick-fil-A serves. Then, on the counter, and on a sign or two, were cows. Yup, the chicken joint has cow mascots, a major part of their ad campaign for more than a decade. And best of all…these cows are also superheroes!

The superhero cow phenomenon began in 2004 with a series of advertisements, followed by a Supercow Calendar. Now, Chick-fil-A is releasing comic books to fully flesh out the backstory on these magnificent cows. The Grissle Missile, Cold Cuts, Smattter, deciBell, and Cowborg round out the list of titles available so far. Each comic will have a unique story, written and drawn by a different set of creators. From the previews, none of the creators appear to be names the average comic book fan would be familiar with; after the country-wide exposure these comics could bring, that may change.

Out of all the concepts, I snicker the hardest at Cold Cuts on name alone (do you think Cold Cuts makes its own ice cream when prompted?). Still looks like it should be barrels of silly fun, though. If you’re looking to support these cows in their war against being turned into burgers, head on down to the Eat Mor Chikin site. Hint: chiken is the right answer when asked. Finally, if you’re considering getting these comics during your weekend off, don’t head down to Chick-fil-A on a Sunday. Each and every location is closed on Sundays, and have been since the chain opened back in 1986. Sorry!

(via Comics Alliance)