When ad campaigns feature illustration

Anna Goodson

Illustration / Pablo/Agency Almap BBDO, Brazil

It’s so refreshing to see a brand defined or supported by an illustration.  When I think of ad campaigns that employ illustration, I’m blown away by how illustration makes a brand stand out.  An illustration, in an ad, or on a label, can put a brand on the map and draw in their demographic in a way almost nothing else can.

Brands that come to mind that have featured illustration in their campaigns for years include: Mercedes, with their current left brain-right brain ad, the Levis’ slim jeans ad; a simple line drawing of a figure with a Levis’ label in red tagged to a line representing a model’s leg, or vintage, illustrated Coca Cola ads: the Santa Series, showing a jolly, round Santa, with rosy cheeks, young child in one arm, and holding an ice cold Coke in the other.

Add to the list: Proctor & Gamble, Nike, Lexus, Duracell, Panasonic, Pfizer, Faber-Castell, Heineken, Neiman Marcus: all major brands using art to get lead and niche campaigns noticed.

Google went live in 1998. The search engine is famous for changing its logo with illustration to match major holidays, a change of season, or an event.  Google uses illustration on its Google calendar too.  Email service provider, Mailchimp, has jumped on the bandwagon using original illustration for its mascot and logo, Freddie, a friendly, winking chimp wearing a conductor’s cap.

Why do so many big names call on illustration to target their audiences?  Because it works.

Advertising is one of the most creative fields around. Here at Anna Goodson Illustration Agency, we believe that showcasing artwork that’s cutting edge in advertising is a valued way to present a concept or a complex message that might be difficult to get across using other means.

An illustrator can create a character to represent your brand, or simply draw an image that conveys a feeling, or an attitude, to entice an audience to try your product.

As I see it, few things communicate subtle information about a brand the way an illustration can. Illustration expands the range of conceptual solutions a design team can explore when advertising a brand or product.

We’re seeing more illustration in advertising in the past few years. It’s catching on as big names feature illustration in their ad campaigns.

Illustration/Jessie Ford/Godiva

Our illustrators have created original illustration for Godiva, McDonalds, Nike, Absolut, IBM, Google Canada, Pfizer, JetBlue, Producteurs Laitiers du Canada, Kronenbourg, President’s Choice, Cirque du Soleil, CIBC Run for the Cure, Telus, Keurig, TD Ameritrade, Natrel, MAC Cosmetics, Ritzenhoff, Union Gas, and Havaianas, among others.

With top brands using illustration since before the 50s, I’d say the secret is out. Illustration can be exactly the right style and medium for your brand, and your message.