If you read comic books as a kid, you might remember salivating over some of these bizarre advertisements offering anything from fake mustaches to x-ray glasses. While some of these vintage ads had some pretty cool artwork, most were as terribly designed as the cheap products they offered. Here’s a look back at some of the more enticing ones.
A bowlful of happiness!
You’ll shoot your eye out!
Look right through the flesh and see the bones underneath!
For $2.50 you can have your very own rock from outer space.
Fool your friends with fake sideburns and mustaches—simulated natural hair!
When we’re not working on award-winning work, Melamed Riley likes to recharge its creative batteries by taking a look at inspiring projects from the industry. So here’s an eclectic/inspiring assortment of 2012′s niftiest motion graphics. Included are music videos, broadcast design, and snazzy info graphics.
Cleveland advertising agencies were recently challenged to collect as many non-perishable food items as possible and then build the most creative can castle they could dream up. Melamed Riley spent a few days perfecting our American Advertising Federation Cleveland Can Castle entry, dubbed the “Canned Sand Castle”. It comprised 525 wrapped canned goods and nine bags (450 lbs) of real sand! While the actual construction took hours, you can watch the entire construction in just one minute by clicking on the link below.
Walking through Grand Central Terminal on Friday, I was blasted with Tropicana’s latest round of bright and cheery subway advertising. The campaign takes a quick, clear, and humorous approach to showing how Tropicana’s new mini bottles are really “The good part of New York mornings.” The crux of the joke, of course, is that most of the 8 million passers-by can relate to horrendous NYC morning commutes.
Snickers has also taken a liking to this strategy of positioning itself against a negative. The current “You’re not you when you’re hungry” ads explore the cranky and irritable behavior one can display between meals.
The key to the success of both of these campaigns is that they are based on a truism — something the majority of the audience will nod in agreement to whether or not it is a negative. Does the morning commute in NYC stink? Yes. Do people get grumpy when they get hungry? Yes! Both great truisms ready to be harnessed for the power of great advertising.
We recently cultivated an award-winning campaign using this approach. It was based on the fact that Clevelanders seem to always be fighting their way back from something. Is that negative? Maybe, maybe not. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that it is a truism — something Clevelanders feel to their core — and therefore worthy of exploration when it comes to designing an ad campaignthat will connect with them emotionally.
So don’t listen when folks sitting around a focus group table say, “I prefer ads that are more positive. The world is full of enough negativity.” In actuality, what the world has too much of is milk-toast advertising that doesn’t connect with its audience. So when you find that relevant truism, explore it. Cultivate it. See if you can grow it into something big.
A friend shared with me this amazing new video just released for the Kill Kill Kill EP by Kill The Noise. The video, which is directed by Mike “Diva” Dahlquist, shows just how much payoff can come from having a five-month production schedule. Diva employs a variety of different techniques to achieve his vision of a zombie-ridden apocalyptic future.
Kill Kill Kill EP – Kill the Noise on OWSLA
Zombies are blown apart and run over using green screens while fires and other forms of digital carnage are likely introduced using effects packages like Riot Gear or Action Essentials 2 from visual effect companies like Video Copilot. Shaky cam effects, visual debris, deliberate quick cuts, and filters help create a jumpy-retro film quality. The epic final zombie boss fight was created with the help of some top-notch 3D animation.
These simply-pimp graphics aren’t just a throw back to retro films like Dawn of the Dead and Zombie. Diva draws inspiration from his love for video games as well. Each shotgun blast and explosion is expertly timed to the deep bass of the music.
Effects like these in video titles were added in post. Here you can see a sure-fire influence from George Romero.
This zombie is road kill. Note how his legs are completely green so they can be removed in post.
Burn filter. Bam. You’re dead.
This zombie has a splitting headache.
This chick was superimposed over some swanky 3D animation.
Fantastically rendered backgrounds are used throughout this piece.
Our poster/belt seen here in the hands of the enemy.
Table tennis players the world over will be talking about last Thursday night’s game between Melamed Riley and Recess Creative for years to come — or at least the next 45 seconds.
With what started off looking like a clean sweep, Melamed Riley quickly nabbed the first three games of the tournament. Celebrations were short-lived though, as it quickly became clear that Recess Creative was just starting to get comfy on the MR table.
Game four was tense from the opening serve. Recess star players Chris Jungjohann and Chad Milburn knew they had to go to work — and work they did! MR’s Darin “Sniper” Hintz and Brian “The Rash” Kowalczyk had a slight lead when the momentum began to shift. In fact, the Recess crew began singing the Game of Thrones intro in unison just before capturing their first win of the tournament, which seemed to spur something inside of them.
Chris Jungjohann fuels up.
After the victory, Recess Creative managed to pull off a huge upset by shutting out longtime Melamed Riley ping-pong veteran Rick Riley and his young protégé, Patrick “The Frenzy” Bensi, 11-0.
Still, MR thought they had the tournament in the bag when they brought back “The Dream Team,” Joseph “The Reach” Hughes and Nicole “Quiet Storm” Melville. Unfortunately, an incredibly close match went to Recess, forcing a decisive game seven.
The Reach in action.
The MR team tries to minimize casualties.
Just before the game, Melamed Riley met to decide which pair would face Recess Creative’s best — Chris Jungjohann and Chad Milburn. MR decided on poised veterans Darin Hintz and Joseph Hughes. From the beginning of the final bout, it was apparent that Jungjohann and Milburn were determined to capture the tournament championship. At the end of the night the chemistry between the two MR elites just didn’t jive. Recess wound up taking a commanding lead midway through that ultimately led to their victory in The Ultimate Pong Challenge of 2012.
All was not lost, however. The night was full of laughter, fun, and excitement, and we were glad that the tournament lasted a full seven games. We’d like to thank Recess Creative for coming by and participating in this awesome event. And of course, much love to Mr. Jim Bird, who catered the entire evening using his amazing Vitamix® machine to create some tasty hors d’oeuvres.
At the time of this article’s writing, Recess had their championship belt and poster displayed on their website. Little do they know, Melamed Riley is planning on taking it from them in an inevitable rematch.
In the wee hours of a dark night in the not-so-distant past, two gentlemen, who will remain anonymous, made their way to Recess Creative dressed from head-to-toe in black Shinobi shozoku. There they delivered a challenge of epic proportions on behalf of the Melamed Riley Ping-Pong Squad.
We hired these two ninjas to deliver our challenge.
The message was read loud and clear.
During the month of June, the Melamed Riley team requests Recess Creative’s participation in a tournament of Ping-Pong. It will be a civilized competition at Melamed Riley world headquarters in the Idea Center at Playhouse Square, commencing at approximately half past five on a mutually agreed upon evening. The victors of the two-on-two competition shall be determined by the best of seven 21-point games. Wagers optional. Swaggers mandatory.
We seek Recess Creative acceptance and look forward to meeting them on the field (or table) of battle. Respond at email@example.com.
Here at Melamed Riley, catchphrases, nicknames and elaborate finishing moves aren’t enough for us. Recently, we decided to take our Ping-Pong game to the next level by creating some killer paddle designs to represent the personas each of us bring to the table.
Joseph “The Reach” Hughes has amazing offensive ability, launching shots at his opponents with authority. He consistently saves the day by effortlessly defending against long-range returns.
Eat your heart out Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Darin “Sniper” Hintz can place a ball anywhere on a Ping-Pong table with pinpoint accuracy. His smashing attack is capable of piercing the armor of even the toughest defensive players.
Patrick “The Frenzy” Bensi is like a mixed martial artist around the net. His unusual and aggressive stance allows him to quickly snuff out incoming slams, smashes and dribblers.*
Brian “The Rash” Kowalczyk burns opposing players with his unpredictable style, frustrating challengers with his questionable tactics on the playing surface.
Nicole “Quiet Storm” Melville’s defense is unrivaled, seemingly forming an impenetrable wall that defends against even the sharpest returns. What’s more, her serve is so severe, several players have compared it to lightning.
All five swanky designs.
Alternate ’80s Cleveland design for Bensi.
*A dribbler is defined as a ball that skims the surface of the net assembly, causing it to lose all forward momentum, which results in a particularly tricky return for defenders.
Last Thursday, Darin and I took a trip to Lake Erie Graphics to get a firsthand look at the latest project for our client, California Paints, which involved two brand-new Ford F-150 SVT Raptors. Now these aren’t just pickup trucks – they’re monsters. Sporting 6.2 Liter V8 engines that produce 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque each, these suckers feature enough towing capacity to rip the skin off an elephant’s ass.
Check out the video for a closer look at these behemoths in action.
But the real jaw-dropper was Darin’s treatment of the artwork. The boys at Lake Erie Graphics did a top-notch job with the vehicle wrap and decal application. Darin used a vivid combination of colors for the façade of the California Paints truck and trailer – cool cyan, sultry orange, robust red and vivacious green paints dance across its surface. It’s truly a sight to be seen.
The alternate design was that of The Storm truck. It has a bold presence, with dark boiling storm clouds swirling on the surface and gradually dissipating across the backside of the truck’s cab. The Storm Logo commands attention on the front of the hood, and I can only imagine just how great both of these vehicles will look at the tradeshow.
We managed to procure a few snapshots for your viewing pleasure:
With several new branding projects in the works, members of the Melamed Riley creative team are on an inspiration binge. As a motion graphic designer, one way I like to kick-start the creative process is to take a look at the exciting work that is being produced for music videos. Here are just a select few of my favorites I’ve stumbled across from last year:
Eskimo – We Got More
The Maccabees – Pelican
Steve Aoki featuring Rivers Cuomo – Earthquakey People