Cartoon - a flat drawing of a brand character with stylised drawing,
with often flat, bold colouring, and a highly flexible formal relationship
with the world as we know it. This extends in particular, to the parts
of the body and here the artist can take great liberties. The character
can actually be a drawn version of the product. There is the
graphic fun and ingenuity.
How do you make a paper towel a delight to be with ?
Double Diamond's boozy businessman seen issuing the phrase, "A
Double Diamond Works Wonders". July 1956
Hastings Steel Vent Piston Rings' Hastings , February 1947. "Tough
But oh So Gentle."
Planter's Mr.Peanut , May 1962
Brown's Mr Nibs , representing Nibroc Paper Towels, Sept.1952
Pete Penn representing Pennsylvania Motor Oil,
March 957 detail 10 x 16cms.
One of the Classics of the Genre, Speedy of ALKA-SELZER with his
lick of hair, flat pill hat and weird, weird feet. Produced in America
by Miles Products, October 1959 16 x22cms. The character was overdubbed
for the TV in England by an actress (Mrs.Nicholas Parsons if I remember
rightly) who also had to impersonate the fizzing of the tablet.
and now the daring Chiquita Banana, stereometric version of Carmen
Miranda, January 1948, 9 x 24cms. Here the ultimate destiny of the Brand
Character is to clear out of the copy and coupons to reign suprme in
the cinema ads. (40, 60 and 80 second films). Advert for the Movie Advertising
Bureau. United Fruit produced four out of every five bananas consumed
in the States, starting with the first consignment in 1870. The creation
of Chiquita was a case study of successful branding. In the words of
Everybody's Business , my Bible in such matters (Harper & Row, edited
Moscowitz Katz and Levering, NY 1980),"No one had thought of putting
a brand name on each banana." using special pressure sensitive
labels. "I'm Chiquita Banana and I'm here to reveal...." was
her saucy little song. Madison Avenue as expected played up the phallic
possibilities in the 1950's until they had their collars felt by LIFE
magazine's readers who complained in their thousands of the smutty copy.