Monday, July 27, 2009

To Heinz and back

In a post on May 19 of last year, I traced the apparent inspiration for this 1970 At&T ad back to the look of The Beatle's 1968 "Yellow Submarine," movie.

The art director behind that movie's graphics, Heinz Edelmann, passed away recently. Interestingly, as the NY Times reports,
Despite the huge influence of “Yellow Submarine” on the culture of the time, Mr. Edelmann admitted that he could never quite connect with the 1960s aesthetic. Once the film was complete, he altered his approach to avoid being pigeonholed as a psychedelic artist, becoming considerably less ethereal and decorative...
Some examples of Edelmann's (non-psychedelic) poster work can be seen here.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

What you really need to know about branding is right here:

In its obit for John S. Barry, the exec who's credited with making WD-40 the lubricant found in 80% of American homes, the NY Times says
Mr. Barry acknowledged in interviews with Forbes magazine in 1980 and 1988 that other companies, including giants like 3M and DuPont, made products that closely resembled WD-40.

“What they don’t have,” he said, “is the name.”

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's not over till the fat lady eats cereal

If you're forced to watch a lot of the Cartoon Network as I am, you've probably seen this opera-inspired spot for Cocoa Puffs:

Kinda funny, and you have to give the ad agency credit for still being able to dream up new scenarios after 40 years of the same basic premise. However, even given that, it's still a bit of a curious choice. Since opera is far out of mainstream culture right now (at least since "Fraiser" left the air waves), I'd have to assume that the agency was trying their spin on this classic late-1960s commercial for rival Kellogg:

Being a full 30 seconds longer than the Cocoa Puffs spot (as the standard commercial was back then), the spot was able to build a more interesting story beyond just the usual product pitch. Nothing like friction with the mother-in-law to generate comedy (at least back in the '60s).

Still, I can't help wondering if both these kids' cereal spots owe their existence to high-brow/low-brow mash-up of this 1957 classic, "What's Opera, Doc?":

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