19 January 2006

Perry Tomine

NY Times ad columnist Julie Bosman writes about a new Perry Ellis campaign keyed to "cartoons" drawn by an unnamed artist--it's obviously the lovely lines of "Optic Nerve"'s Adrian Tomine--but the name and distinctive style of drawing remain unmentioned. "In today's advertising climate, most marketers are condensing their messages to match the shortening attention spans of readers," she writes.

The article states that "The campaign features a male character in a series of settings that emulate real life... Perry Ellis is asking readers to... linger over a comic strip to absorb the message and even follow the continuing series in several monthly installments."We're challenging several conventions about fashion advertising and communications in general," said Michael Kantrow, the president and chief executive at Margeotes Fertitta Powell. "It's hard to get people to pay the same attention to advertising that they do to content, but we're hoping that this will blur the line there." But Bosman does seek out another artist and passes along the sage counsel of a pessimistic seer: "Later this spring, the comic strip "Dilbert" is to appear in a direct-mail advertising campaign for the Postal Service. Scott Adams, the creator of "Dilbert," said in an e-mail message that comics can be effective for advertising a service that has no obvious physical form."The comic makes visual some aspect of each service so people can get their brains around it," Mr. Adams said. "And if they laugh, that's a good association too." (Ha-ha. Ha-ha. Ha-ha.)