Impossible.

wolkswagen

A classic ad campaign that is professional creative work still to this day is the Volkswagen Bug ads created by Doyle Dane Bernbach agency with Bill Bernbach leading the creative department. I have focused on the ad titled “Impossible” from the campaign. I found the ad through a BuzzFeed article. I knew that I wanted to discuss the VW campaign so I went straight to Google to find it… that brought me to BuzzFeed. Don’t judge the source… the information is relevant.

Most cars in the 1960s were advertised as bigger, bigger & bigger. Bigger was better. It was revolutionary for the VW Bug to be advertised as “small” in the 1960s. This strategy of advertising was startling and risky. The advertising methods used are functional planned adolescence and Ernest Calkin’s “The Look of the Ad”. The use of functional planned adolescence in the ad advertises that the Volkswagen Bug is using new technology that replaces what was used in previous models making consumers want the new convenience promised. Ernest Calkin’s “The Look of the Ad” strategy states “impossible” followed by a photo of a car broken down, gaining a reader’s attention due to their curiosity.

The intended audience for this ad is adults who are in need of an automobile that won’t have engine problems in the middle of winter nor the hottest day of the year. The ad shows a picture of a man who looks to be in the upper class, employed, and possibly between the ages of 20-50, suggesting that the average consumer will hold the same standards.

The target message is that the VW Bug is a new automobile that won’t have engine problems. The need of the target audience is to have a car that can be reliable. The newly traveling culture was in need of reliable automobiles. Suburbs began to develop outside of cities resulting in citizens having to travel to work. Families are also beginning to be more spread out. The Volkswagen ad is letting the public know that they can trust the 1961 model of their Volkswagen to get them to their desired destination.

The single most important thing being communicated in the ad: The VW Bug is reliable and new.

The photo of a VW Bug broken down with a man standing in front of the car with a body language that looks as if he is saying “really?” gains a reader’s attention due to curiosity. The ad communicates the fact that a middle-aged man between the ages of 20-50 who has an upper or middle class job does not have the time for their car to have engine troubles. The visual supports the idea that VW understands the situation and will not let their cars do this to you… you will not be like the man featured in the ad.

The copy is very important to the ad. The bolded and centered word “impossible” is used to gain a reader’s attention due to curiosity. A reader reads on to the body copy to understand what is “impossible.” The copy explains why it is impossible for the Bug to break down. Instead of complex car words the ad speaks in a tone that is relatable to readers. The sentences are simple and sometimes amusing. The copy communicates that the VW Bug is impossible to breakdown. This statement is supported by simple, easy to understand, facts about the engine.

I would assume that the context of the print advertisement was magazines. Bernbach realized that print ads did not always work so he reinvented the embellished illustrations used by competing agencies. His reinvention consisted of black and white, untouched photographs of VW Bugs. The ads were witty, unique and innovated compared to other magazine ads. I believe that readers who flipped through magazines filled with color and bold copy were taken aback when they came across a VW Bug ad. The bluntness of the ad is sure to draw attention from readers who will then read the most important message: that the VW Bug is reliable.

Impossible.

Kostis Pavlou.

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This is a “whatever you want post.” As a high school student I had much teenage angst. Teenage angst defined by Urban Dictionary states, “When teenagers, for any number of reasons combined with their hormones and stress from school, get depressed. Contrary to popular beleif, some teenagers actually do have it rough and have to deal with shit most adults don’t have to. Other teens don’t and just like to pretend they do. Either way, everyone has a right to be pissed off.” I was one of those kids who did have it hard and did go through some rough times… I had glasses and braces… dammit. I found tumblr to be an exciting creative outlet for me. I posted about art and culture and places I wanted to visit someday. I became obsessed with models who dropped out of school and artists who lived in flats in New York. It’s safe to say that I didn’t hang with the best crowd of students in high school.

Tumblr was good to me and still is honestly. Today I look to Tumblr to find inspiration and motivation… not just an outlet to let my rage take grasp. Recently I found an artist who caught my attention. He goes by Kostis Pavlou. He is a Greek illustrator and lover of all things vintage. He has a kind-of-Andy-Warhol feels to his art (step back to my love of Andy Warhol in my teenage angst days). Pavlou originally caught my attention by taking extremely weird scenarios and putting a vintage person in the scenario, doing something weirder than the scenario.

After more research I found that Pavlou uses his dreams for inspiration. Pavlou started as a graphic artist in the town of Katerini and grew to be an explorer of digital collage and a seeker of the implausible. His surrealistic perception and dislike of realistic elements pushes his visions of a woman swinging from a plane, men diving into a tuba and a lemon as the head of a man.

It is fun to come across good digital work. Pavlou is able to take crisp, clear, futuristic images and combine them with vintage photos of people. There is texture to each element and layers that are well merged. Pavlou is a modern day artist executing his personal vision of the world through graphic art. Artists today are greatly pushed to work with digital art in order to be hired as web designers, graphic artists and art directors. Pavlou proves that artists are able to express themselves through graphic art rather than a more traditional medium.

Kostis Pavlou.

PHD Bikes/Harley Davidson

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From Adweek I found an article that featured the world’s best print campaigns from 2013-2014. Although it is a little dated I found some great work. The client in this ad is PHD Bikes/Harley Davidson. The agency that did this work is Y&R, Prague, Czech Republic. The print ad campaign was awarded 2 Gold Lions Campaign in the Press Lions category.

The campaign uses a piece of historical trivia to have a stylish effect. The purpose of the advertisement is to show the brand selling point that Harley Davidson is a piece of freedom. The use of historical trivial brings out the truth of the selling point that bikes signify freedom, in this case–­­­­­­­the open road.

Although I am not in the market to buy a Harley Davidson motorcycle I have researched to find the intended target audience for the campaign to be Caucasian men, ages 35-plus. However, there is a growing market of “outreach” customers consisting of young adults 18-34, women, African-Americans and Hispanics.

The connection between the product’s message and the target’s need is freedom. The campaign communicates to consumers that Harley Davidson bikes symbolize hope that freedom prevails. This message satisfies the need of the target audience to find freedom even in the midst of a life that is consumed by work and responsibilities.

The single most important thing being communicated in the ad: Harley Davidson bikes are a piece of freedom.

The visuals are black and white images form the Second World War. The viewer of the ad would see what a Czech hiding from Nazis would see while peeping through a crack or hole in the house. The images that are seen through… let’s say a keyhole… show Nazis rummaging through household items and possessions. The visual shows the historical trivia that supports the truth of the unique selling point that Harley Davidson bikes signify freedom. The visual communicates the idea that although everything can be taken from someone there is still hope that freedom will prevail.

The copy is very significant for the campaign. Each ad in the campaign tells the story of the Second World War and how it connects to Harley Davidson. The bikes were “parted out” so they wouldn’t be confiscated from the Nazis; however, the bike parts could be put back together to reclaim their freedom. The copy communicates to the readers that Harley Davidson is a piece of freedom in their lives today. The slogan “Piece of Freedom” is a play on the “parted out” bike pieces that were once used to symbolize hope that one day freedom would prevail. In addition to the story and slogan, each ad has a funny line to act as a hook to the story. A few examples include: “They tore Europe to shreds, they couldn’t even assemble a pork,” “They didn’t know right from wrong. Luckily, they also didn’t know an exhaust pipe from a heater,” and “Our ultimate freedom was hiding right under his nose. No, not in that horrible mustache.” These hooks to the historical trivia lighten the mood of the ad and add a humorous twist to a true story with a serious message. The clever lines are much needed.

The media placement as a print ad in relevant magazines communicates the prevailing hope for freedom to consumers who are looking for freedom. Most likely the ad was featured in magazines that have a target audience of Caucasian Men ages 35-plus. The visual execution of the ad (black and white, serious and associated with war) is likely to gain attention by male readers. The intended audience will associate freedom with the Second World War and then associate freedom with their current life. This association influences the audience to buy a motorcycle to reclaim their rightful freedom.

PHD Bikes/Harley Davidson

Creativity is an Unexpected Gift

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Here is my first “whatever you want” entry. This entry centers on creativity, design and culture. I found little 5-year-old Iris Grace on tumblr and was amazed by her story. Iris Grace has an incredible concentration span while she paints focusing on colors and how they interact with each other. Iris Grace’s work is likened to Monet’s works. But what makes Iris Grace so amazing is not her great success alone but rather her struggle with autism.

Iris Grace was diagnosed with autism after struggling with social interactions, obsessive behaviors, distress and inability to speak. With the help of therapists Iris Grace is slowly learning to speak. Painting helps Iris with speech therapy, joint attention and turn taking.

Iris Grace is an example of the unexpected gift of creativity. Many people have found an outlet through creativity. Whether a person is struggling with a mental illness, physical illness or is looking for an outlet from their busy life, creativity is often likened. Autism is a neurological disorder that can impair an individual’s ability to engage in social interactions. Iris Grace has found excitement and joy through the use of colors and style of painting. Now Iris Grace is able to express herself in a way that is so beautiful and meaningful. Creativity is an unexpected gift to many people.

Creativity is an Unexpected Gift

Zwilling J. A. Henckels, Gyutoh/Chef’s Knife

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From Adweek I found an article that featured the world’s best print campaigns from 2013-2014. Although it is a little dated I found some great work. The client in this ad is Zwilling J. A. Henckels and the product being advertised is the Gyutoh/Chef’s Knife. The agency that did this work is Herezie, Paris. The print ad campaign was awarded the Gold Lion Campaign in the Press Lions category.

The campaign focuses on three specific knifes by the brand Zwilling J. A. Henckels, for example: the Gyutoh/Chef’s Knife. The purpose of the advertisement is to focus on what makes the Zwilling J. A. Henckels knifes more special than knifes by a different brand. The use of vocabulary like “hand-finished, “3-step method,” and “precious knife materials” makes a distinction from other knifes that lacked the extra care when made.

Although I am not in the market to buy knifes I have researched the Zwilling J. A. Henckels brand to find the intended target for the campaign. Zwilling J. A. Henckels is one of the finest cutlery brands available on the market today. It is a premium quality brand and known for producing high-quality cooking-related products. The intended target for the campaign is for consumers who are willing to pay more for products that add beauty and sophistication to their environment. The target audience is most likely upper class and has a belief in brand quality over brand affordability.

The connection between the product’s message and the target’s need is that the product is premium quality. The campaign communicates to consumers that Zwilling J. A. Henckels knifes are a way to incorporate class, elegance and sophistication into their everyday environment.

The single most important thing being communicated in the ad: Zwilling J. A. Henckels knifes add sophistication to everyday routine.

The visuals used are sliced fruit that makes the shape of the high-end knifes. The plain white background helps create a crisp and clean visual of the fruit. The handle of the knife is copy that tells a story of how the knife is made and who uses it and for what. The visual is clean, detailed and artistic. The visual supports the idea that the knife is used like any other knife… for cutting fruit. But the use of not actually showing the knife proves that Zwilling J. A. Henckels knifes are artistic and more of an art form rather than a necessity to cut fruit. Routine does not have to be normal; it can be exciting and sophisticated.

The copy tells a story of how the knife is made and who uses it and for what. The small print and elegant font prove that Zwilling J. A. Henckels knifes are not trying to be a sophisticated high quality household item… they already are. The use of vocabulary like “hand-finished, “3-step method,” and “precious knife materials” makes a distinction from other knifes that lacked the extra care when made.

The media placement as a print ad in relevant magazines communicates the idea of a sophisticated lifestyle to consumers who are striving for that. Most likely the ad was featured in home goods magazines as well as cooking magazines. A target audience that looks to add beauty and sophistication to their environment is most likely to turn to home goods magazines as well as cooking magazines for reference. There the intended audience will see the ad and be influenced to buy a knife that is not clearly seen but understood.

Zwilling J. A. Henckels, Gyutoh/Chef’s Knife