DDB NY’s new Hertz posters

They look like they might have been inspired by the work of Edward McKnight Kauffer. Illustrator Chris Gray and DDB New York executive creative director Menno Kluin tell us about the agency’s new campaign for Hertz…

They look like they might have been inspired by the work of Edward McKnight Kauffer. Illustrator Chris Gray and DDB New York executive creative director Menno Kluin tell us about the agency’s new campaign for Hertz…

“We originally briefed Studio AKA in London for a couple of animated TV spots,” explains DDB’s Menno Kluin, executive creative director on the project. “We didn’t specifically brief AKA for the style,” he continues, “we just knew we wanted something simple and distinctive. Once AKA sent over the first couple of mood drawings we fell in love with this direction. Then, when we started the posters with Chris [Gray] he pushed the idea to the next level, adding even more abstraction.”

A series of 15 second spots (including this one, above) are currently running in the US as a national campaign, each highlighting a different benefit of Hertz’ service. To see them, visit youtube.com/user/hertzcarrental.

“The job wasn’t as prescriptive as the agency naming one artist as a stylistic reference, although that does happen a lot,” Gray tells us of the campaign. “The posters were designed to be sympathetic to the new TV spots produced by Studio AKA and which I co-directed with Grant Orchard,” he continues.

“Each poster was titled and a sketched by DDB who worked on all the typography in the campaign,” explains Gray. “These sketches were taken and expanded on to make a simple graphic treatment and we were allowed to design the posters as we saw fit.

“There wasn’t a direct reference to one artist in particular,” he adds, “although any suggestion that the work is reminiscent of that of Edward McKnight Kauffer is a huge compliment. Certainly 50s travel posters were used as a reference and the Bauhaus has always inspired my work in some form or another.”

Advertising agency: DBB New York
Chief creative officer: Matt Eastwood
Executive creative director: Menno Kluin
Creative director / art director: Sonya Grewal
Creative director / copywriter: Pat Carella
Art director: John-John Skoog
Copywriter: Nicholas Partyka
Designer / Typographer: Juan Carlos Pagan
Art Buyer: Jane Piampiano

Production company: Studio AKA / Blacklist
Designer/ilustrator: Christopher Gray, Studio AKA
Graphic artists: Steve Small, Gemma Mortlock and David Prosser, Studio AKA

See more of Gray’s work at weshallsee.co.uk


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  • Very daring direction. Someone might look at this and think it was actually made in the 50s and not meant for them.

    However, with society’s obvious obsession for yester-year, this is a welcomed step. Why not take the idea of Mad Men – contemporary content in an out-dated disguise – and bring it to advertising? (no pun intended with the advertising bit)

    Beautifully done. Stunning colors.

  • Mark

    I really like the videos but actually not so keen on the posters – the videos hint at the 50’s style but still remain pretty modern, whereas the posters mimic the style entirely, without, as far as I can see, any real reason as to why.

  • morgan

    Advertising agency: DBB New York

  • indc

    Disagree with Mark. The posters are fantastic stylistically and engaging — a slightly similar campaign to Amtrak’s. The video that’s included above is mediocre (and that little character at the end of the clip is just pointless — what is it exactly??) — the other videos on their YouTube page are better, but the posters are just very well done — quite beautiful.

  • Lofu

    I’m with Mark on this – the style does not connect in any way to the actual brand orany kind of customer experience. Typical agency-driven piece of work with awards in mind rather than benefit to client. Nice and ‘designy’ tho…