Where portfolio students talk.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Illustration Boom?

As a blogger on the student stuff, I want to bring to the forefront a trend (perhaps for lack of a better term)I have been seeing at my own school in Minneapolis, as well as across the country appearing in lots of student work.


It seems like we're seeing more and more of it, particularly in the student galaxies. Its eye-catching, gives work a chance to really stand out and really reflects the kind of integration we're starting to see in creative content across the board (not just in advertising).

I'm curious to see if we can agree on this. The trend during the early to mid 00's reflected the kind of "Brasillian" execution (very minimal, photographic and visually driven) that we've all become a custom to--but is illustration the new hot executional style? I would point towards society's craving for authenticity in content (whether it be our music, our movies, our athletes or even our politicians) perhaps driving this perceived boom.

What are your thoughts? Am I completely off, or is there something here to take home and write to mom about?

This keen looking illustrative campaign was done by Cerra Buckholz (AD) and Andrew McMurchie (CW) of Miami Ad School in San Francisco. An interesting strategy, and an even more interesting way to execute it.


graphicmind said...

I dig the ads overall. It defines the setting, the tone and style, so for me, it tells the story really well. Not completely surface level advertising.

mplsminx said...

These are so, so gorgeous. There's something about the handwritten copy that I'm really digging right now--I think the Canadian tourism campaign started that for me.

The illustrations are fantastic. Who is the illustrator on this campaign? They deserve credit, too!

The one tiny thing I'd change about this campaign is the placement of the copy: I'd tweak it just a little so that it's not so close to the shadow-selves.

Casey Brewer said...

I think in a lot of respects anything you can do by hand is cooler than anything you can do on a computer.

These ads are great. I love the depth of the illustration and the distressed look.

Anonymous said...

First off, I dig the writing in reference to the concept. The illustrations are really well thought out and executed.

But am I correct in thinking the strategy is to give your lustful/materialistic side an outlet? Or spoil yourself at any cost? If so, I'm not a fan of the direction. I don't think the idea of scheming benefits the brand. It might be a human truth but not one that benefits BMW.

Casey Brewer said...

I disagree. Some folks aspire to be the purveyors of quality material at all costs, even if that means marrying rich, getting a boob job etc.

Christ, all you need to do is take a drive around Edina and see what all the trophy wives are driving. They love that shit out there, and I would bet there are more BMW owners in Edina than anywhere else in the state. They would love these ads, and could likely relate to them on some level, albeit not as drastic of circumstances.

Arthur said...

This brings up a bigger question on the nature of what you should be doing/demonstrating in a student book.

Of course, this campaign would never exist in the "real world", but does that mean it shouldn't go in a student book?

I've heard the 2 arguments:

1.) Spec work should absolutely be something the client would actually buy. That's the point of doing it.

2.) You should take risks even if the idea would never get sold in reality and demonstrate your ability to perform original thinking.

Which school of thought is best for impressing great creative directors at great agencies?

Anonymous said...

Casey, I agree with the fact that this element exists within our society. Specifically, many people that would buy a BMW. My point is that I really don't think they would want to shine that kind of spotlight on themselves. Nor would BMW. Those Milf's/Cougars in Edina might relate to these ads but wouldn't want people to know that. They want others to think they're well-off on their own merit and feel this brand gives off that kind of impression.

Brock Johnson said...

They look cool and I like the writing, but that doesn't mean these ads are working for BMW. It's cool to take a chance and get beyond the surface level, but the direction is going in the wrong way to me. The concept seems a bit cold, callous and materialistic as mentioned above, to be BMW. This doesn't say high class, sophisticated, performance, or anything that BMW would want reflected, in my opinion.

Student books should display risks and work agencies would love to do without the restrictions of clients. That said, its gotta make sense and speak to the brand.

A different product might make this concept work.

Casey Brewer said...

I think there is definitely a target market of Edina cougar/MILF's that want everyone to know that they're spoiled brats. Most of them are proud of the class they have achieved despite the fact they may not have earned it on their own merit necessarily. The whole Desperate Housewives phenomena is a perfect example of this.

There was a great post on Overheard In Minneapolis, it was from a woman standing in front of restaurant talking on a phone, I believe the direct quote was "I'm 5 foot 1, blonde and from EDINA, I get everything I want". Think of a bunch of well cared for 35-45 year old Paris Hilton's sans drunk driving and cocaine withdrawals (for the most part). They buy Beemers, or somebody buys them for them.


Brock Johnson said...

I see your point. maybe i'm just thrown a bit by the art direction. I do think they're cool, for sure.

Anonymous said...

OK, so I hope this post doesn't come too late and hope you all can read it.

On the subject of the design trend in advertising I agree with the previous posts. I want to bring up the subject of design taking over all forms of media. The reason I bring this up is because I am currently watching 300. The movie. I'm sure everyone has seen it. Visually this movie is like nothing I've ever seen before. (although I have not seen Grindhouse, so I might be reaching.) But what I take from this movie is an elobarate, well thought, brilliant, and revolutionary approach at watching a movie, not because the story is so new an d fresh but because the conveyance of this film is so unreal.

To bring it back to the subject of the importance of design, I see this as a parralell (mispelled I'm sure.) In this day and age pushing the limit of expectancy is the same as Jimi Hendrix showing up at the festival, which name escapes me at the moment, and blowing everyones minds.

We, as creatives are constantly striving for something that will set us a part, get us a job, and make a mark. But we are not alone. Everyone who deals with creativity, as well as non creativity, I.E. the suit and tie business world are looking for the one IDEA that will set the standard and revolutionize the industry. (to get an idea go to the superbeast blog and find the Banksy quote.)

I might be drunk but I feel that the fuel to society now more than ever is creativity.

Everything has been done and done well. But there is such a push to push what has been done. We have all learned that advertising is about the innovators and to make a name for yourself is to be original.

The point is that all of these factors mean that we have ultimate creaive freedom. Fuck it. If you think it's c0ol then roll with it. A simple jingle and pretty little ad campaign no longer cuts it. Think outside the box so much that going inside the box seems so foreign and scary that it is never an option.

My opinion is that as CW's and AD's, we are trying to beat the people before us. The lexicon that we are dealing with at the moment leaves us so much freedom to do whatever the fuck we want. SO DO IT!!!!

We are in a state that dictates creativity. Nothing will be taken seriously these days if it does not have creative thought to it. So as creatives... Let's party!!!!!!!

As long as it relates to mankind it works.