Thursday, May 26, 2011

Boulevard of Killed Ad Campaigns

As with any field, there are often disappointments in the world of commercial illustration. Advertising projects are notorious for shifting directions and fast changes in the scope of an assignment. A perfect example is this amazing project I worked on for months- that died on the operating table. I first got the call to work on an AT&T mobile campaign back in November 2010. The art director wanted it to feel something like my sketchbook, fast, loose and whimsical.

The assignment was based on the concept that when you call another country, "You're not calling London, you're calling Dad." An interesting construction of identity and nationality, which would eventually be expanded into many different countries and personalities. (Read: $$$$$!)  This was imagined to be an OOH campaign (out-of-home) which would be in airports or bus stations.

The first round of ideas focused on whole countries, seen here with pencils and color comps. All the regions/names of the country were focused on memories of the person you were calling.

But this approach seemed too removed, so the decision was made to try it from a landscape view, where the border shape of the country was not visible. 

This was a much better solution, and the scope of the drawing seemed a better fit for the projected scale of the ads. So I did color copy with a test image before going to final art on the first drawing. 

This was approved by the client and then I made the final drawing at full scale. A few of the details below.

Alas, once we got this far, the campaign was killed, so it will never see the light of day. Hard to see a few months worth of revisions ( I didn't post even half of the sketches I did for this) go down the tubes, but you can't take it personally when it comes to advertising and live to draw another day. 


Alex Nabaum said...

Ahhhh that would have been so cool.
I could look at it for hours!

Fern said...

Why on earth did they kill it? That would have been an amazing ad campaign that would've definitely shot my AT&T impression up a few notches!

Kate said...

Their loss.

josh said...

Oh man! Epic

Jenny said...

John, while it is sad that the campaign was killed, this is a really good/helpful post! --and the drawing is great!

Jenny Goldstick