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Design Photography

Nairobi’s Motor Taxi Drivers Sport Extravagant Costumes in ‘Boda Boda Madness’

January 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Machete Rider.” All images © Jan Hoek, shared with permission

Captivated by the motor taxis occupying the streets of Nairobi, Dutch artist Jan Hoek collaborated with Ugandan-Kenyan fashion designer Bobbin Case to document how the drivers elaborately design their bikes to attract customers. The resulting series, titled Boda Boda Madness—the motorists are referred to as boda boda in the Kenyan city—captures this advertising strategy with a little bit of added flair: each driver dons an extravagant ensemble developed by the designer that matches their rides. The lavishly outfitted bike operators are photographed by Hoek against the Nairobi landscape in stances of their own choosing, resembling real-life action figures.

“Because of their new outfits their income went up, so they really kept on using their costumes. Maybe if you by chance visit Nairobi one of them will be your taxi guy,” Hoek says of the series. You can see the eccentric project throughout 2020 at the Circulation(s) festival in Paris and as part of a group exhibition at Now Look Here in Amsterdam. Keep up with both Hoek‘s and Case‘s latest work on Instagram. You might also want to check out these Japanese work trucks. (via designboom)

“Vybes Rider”

“Ghost Rider”

“Lion Rider”

“Mad Max Rider”

“Rasta Rider”

“Red Devil Rider”

Hoek and Case stand with the riders

 

 



Design

Teeth-Baring Dracula Reveals Himself on Sinister Billboard Only When the Sun Sets

January 8, 2020

Grace Ebert

In a newly released advertisement for BBC One’s remaking of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the iconic vampire stays true to his vile nature and appears only at nightfall. During the day, the sinister promotion depicts blood dripping from stakes driven into the billboard, an allusion to theories about killing vampires. When the sun sets, a haunting shadow appears resembling Dracula with his mouth open and teeth bared, seemingly ready to prey on his next victim. To add to the darkly themed advertisement, creators have included a glass case complete with daggers below the billboard that reads, “in case of vampires, break glass.”

Dracula was created by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, who also worked on the classics Sherlock and Doctor Who. Chris Hooper, who is in charge of marketing at BBC One, noted in an interview with The Drum, that the advertising campaign wanted to revitalize the portrayal of the classic character. “Each element has been designed to surprise⁠—from the cheeky campaign line, ‘Bloody Legend’, to the use of Lust For Life on the trailers, and this special build, which takes a playful, tongue-in-cheek approach to the legend,” he said. If you’re in either Birmingham and London where the billboards are located, you might even encounter the creepy vampire in person. This play on shadows is also in a similar vein as artists Kumi Yamashita and Tim Noble and Sue Webster. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Animation

Dozens of Expressive Puppets Encourage Kindness and Acceptance in a Series of Sing-A-Long Short Films

February 19, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Irish director and animator Johnny Kelly (previously) is known for his puppet-based films, most notably his 2011 piece for Chipotle titled Back to the Start. His most recent project, Right on Tracks, is a series of short sing-a-long videos for Cheerios. Kelly worked with the art collective Nous Vous and Andy Gent, who was also the lead of the puppets department for Isle of Dogs.

The catchy anthems have an inclusive message that focuses on building confidence in yourself while practicing kindness to all. Walter Martin of The Walkmen created songs such as Just Be You which teaches acceptance of your own quirks and unique traits, and It’s All Family which showcases a look at familial structures in a much broader light than we typically see on TV.

“We wanted to show diversity,” Kelly told It’s Nice That. “Nous Vous’ characters are so otherworldly and abstract that they could be anyone and everyone. It was important that people empathize with them too. With such simple designs, you can read a little more into their expressions, project your own loneliness onto a lonely character, or warmth onto a happy character.”

The cast of puppets are large, small, and every size in-between, with characteristics that range from colorful tufts of hair to necks that extend out like tree branches. You can take a behind-the-scenes peek at how Kelly created the four-part series in the video below, and view more of his short films on his website and Vimeo. (via The Kid Should See This, It’s Nice That)

 

 



Craft Design

Cut Paper Illustrations Create Shadow and Depth in Imaginative Environments by John Ed De Vera

December 21, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Multidisciplinary designer John Ed De Vera builds cut paper illustrations that jump off the page, inviting his audience into the minds of deep sea divers, astronauts, and long distance runners. To more deeply immerse viewers in these imagined worlds, he creates depth and shadow by layering cut pieces of paper. The Philippines-based designer first traces each element out on bond paper. These shapes and designs and then transferred to thick paper that is cut and stacked into colorful arrangements. You can find more of his sculptural illustrations, on Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Illustration

Creative Lego Constructions Bring Fantastical Moments to Life

July 25, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Imagine

Imagine

Creative constructions of Lego bricks spring to life in these advertising campaigns developed by Asawin Tejasakulsin, a senior art director at Ogilvy & Mather in Bangkok, Thailand. The two series, Imagine and Build the Future, amplify the childhood wonder central to the Lego brand, devising playful scenarios that successfully interact with reality. In Imagine, storybook animals come to life, while in Build the Future, children assemble the uniforms of their dream jobs, all using Lego bricks. You can see more work by Tejasakulsin on Behance.

Imagine

Imagine

Imagine

Imagine

Build the Future

Build the Future

Build the Future

Build the Future

Build the Future

Build the Future

 

 



Art Photography

Swirls of Electrifying Ink and Found Crystal Formations Transformed into Hair by Lorna Simpson

May 23, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Brooklyn-based artist Lorna Simpson combines images of black men and women pulled from vintage advertising photos with bright ink washes to give her subjects kaleidoscopic hairstyles erupting with color. The photographs are snipped from old issues of Ebony and Jet magazines and are either layered with ink or found textbook imagery like crystalized growths to explore the deep and varied language of hair. In one piece the subject is adorned with a thick slab of rock, while in another a cross-section of a human brain acts as the subject’s coiffed hairstyle.

Over 150 of these collages have been compiled in her recent book Lorna Simpson Collages, out early next month through Chronicle Books. The volume contains an artist’s statement and an introduction by poet, author, and scholar Elizabeth Alexander who explains, “Black women’s heads of hair are galaxies unto themselves, solar systems, moonscapes, volcanic interiors.”

You can currently preorder the book on Amazon, and view more collages by Simpson on her website.

 

 



Amazing Dance Music

Spike Jonze Directs Mind-Melting New Dance Video for Apple

March 7, 2018

Christopher Jobson

There is perhaps no other director who can blur the lines between art and advertising like director Spike Jonze. From his 2016 hit dance video for KENZO perfumes all the back to his early ads for Levi’s, the Oscar-winning director has an extraordinary ability to present contemporary dance against stunning visual backdrops. Enter his latest short for Apple HomePods: Welcome Home featuring English musician and dancer FKA twigs rocking out in her apartment to a new Anderson .Paak track called ‘Til It’s Over.

It appears the 4-minute short was filmed largely using practical special effects to create colorful sets that stretch out like a skewed digital glitch. Mum’s the word on exactly how Jonze filmed the piece, but we’re sure to hear more in the coming days about how exactly it all came together. (via Adweek)