Target Ad Campaign in the New Yorker
Target ad (art by Bill Brown)
The August 22, 2005 issue of the New Yorker is remarkable. Not for the articles, fiction, poetry, essays or even cartoons. What is incredible is that there are two advertisers in the whole issue, the magazine itself and Target. The first ten pages contain nine separate advertisements with virtually no words each illustrated by a different artist in black, white and Target Red. The Target logo is prominent in each ad and why not? It is a terrific logo and put to work in incredible ways by the chosen artists.
As an illustrator, this is a HUGE deal. The fact that a single advertiser would fill an entire issue of the New Yorker and do it with ILLUSTRATIONS is again, remarkable. Illustrators have been talking about our industry dying out for years now. I can personally attest that my best years as an illustrator (in terms of $) are in the fairly distant past. The rise of cheap and easily acquired stock images, the cutting of advertising and magazine budgets and other factors have all contributed to the problem.
But, I firmly believe that all things are cyclical, and illustration is no exception. There may be times when you see more or less of it used, but there will always be Art Directors and Ad Execs with a passion for it who will fight to use it and are often vindicated by the success of their campaigns.
A few years ago United airlines began exclusively using illustration for its advertising in both print and broadcast media. It was groundbreaking at the time especially to Chicken Little illustrators who's unfriendly skies had been falling for some time. Now this New Yorker issue is the latest example of hopefully a phoenix rising for the profession of illustration.
A daveB New Yorker cover concept (rejected)