Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Each month or so we prepared outdoor boards for a variety of subjects Chevy Dealers were interested in supporting. This was a good deal for Chevrolet and for the dealers. Chevy paid for the production of the posters and the dealers paid for the posting. The dealer always had space at the bottom of the poster to put his name. These were lots of fun to do and often represented some of our best work. 

This is a very nice change of pace for product illustration. No need to picture the trucks as they actually appear because the idea simply illustrated is more important. Back then trucks had yet to gain the appeal they enjoy today and there was a need to suggest uses other than work. Converting your truck to a mobile home was becoming very popular. This outdoor was prepared for Chevy Dealers to use. 

A large number of Chevy outdoor posters were painted on Chevrolet owned or leased locations. They were in very good locations usually in the city where traffic was known to be heavy. It took many years to acquire these spots as they became available. The creative possibilities for these boards were greater than those posed by the paper locations. They were larger and could accommodate cut-out sections that went beyond the edges of the board. The message painted on the boards usually lasted a little longer than the paper outdoor posters.

Monday, March 30, 2009

This Caprice board and the two that follow were used to announce the 1966 Chevrolet products. Outdoor was always an important part of the Chevrolet effort to introduce their cars. There were Chevy posters at nearly every important location in America. At the time print advertising--Newspapers, Magazines, and Outdoor made up the bulk of Chevrolet's effort to introduce new products. TV and Radio were important and becoming more important as the months and years passed but for now it was print that carried the load. These boards had one objective--Show the new cars and establish their names. Caprice had been introduce the year before and done very well but there continued to be a need to identify individual Chevys because Chevrolet was becoming a little General Motors within GM. Impala was still very important and Bel Air had been reduced a bit.
These boards, while not particularly memorable, did what they were asked to do. The product illustrations are outstanding examples of the contribution artists made at the time.  I still like the simplicity and directness of the executions and am pleased to show them now.

There was probably a Chevy logo on this ad when it ran. Probably in Chevy blue. The car isn't as shinny as some of todays illustrations in magazines but it works beautifully for outdoor. The body lines and shapes show just the way the designers at Chevy meant then to be. Poster art needs to take into account the fleeting look most people get of it. If you are driving by at 55 0r 65 MPH you get no chance to see the the little details that make magazine illustrations more interesting. You do get what the new car looks like in this case the name of it.

I wish I had better color on on this Announcement board. It is old and faded now but was a very powerful illustration at the time. The Jet-Smoother thought is there but in a very minor way. The next poster shown below gives it lots more play. I like the simplicity of these boards. Big type and strong product illustration for getting the new Chevrolets launched.

Jet-Smooth had been a theme for the big Chevy for some time. I think it originated with Ted Little, our Board Chairman at Campbell-Ewald. We called him "Big Daddy" but never to his face. He had been a copy writer earlier in his ad career and sometimes felt free to contribute to the creative product. While the theme wouldn't mean much today it was just fine back then when flight had only recently changed from prop planes to jets. The jet flight was very much smoother than the old prop planes. Faster too. Because the theme had been in use for sometime I thought I could simply add ER to it and have a nice outdoor board that was in support of the theme and also showed the new Impala to advantage. I wish I could remember the name of the artist. If you recognize your work please let me know so I can give you credit for a very nice illustration.
I thought having the copy as part of the pavement was a nice touch too.