Monday, December 11, 2006

Direct Sponsorship 2

So after Ren and Stimpy was done, I turned to the Internet and developed a new medium-the Flash cartoon. I made the first Flash cartoons, put them online and experimented with my dream of direct sponsorship. I did some free commercials for Tower Records.

George Liquor pitches Tower







1998 was a little too early for anyone in business to understand how effective this advertising model could be with the internet. Everyone was convinced that only TV could sell products-even as the TV ratings were steadily going down every year as everyone was spending more time online.


Now thanks to Tivo and satellite TV, no one watches commercials at all anymore. They just fast forward through them.


Let's face it here's advertising's biggest problem- PEOPLE HATE COMMERCIALS.


I have the solution- LET ENTERTAINERS MAKE COMMERCIALS THAT PEOPLE LIKE.







No one fast forwards through my commercials.








I made these Old Navy Spots a few years ago and Old Navy's sales shot up 500% right after they aired and for quite a time following.

Kids wrote me asking "Where is the rest of the cartoon?" They thought these ads were part of a whole show and were sad that there wasn't a show attached.
So I came up with one:



This show is itching to be sponsored online or as direct to DVD. I own these characters and can have them sell any kind of kid products and no one will be mad. I will make the commercials as fun as the show and completely make your product look spectacular! This is an idea that I have been promoting for over a decade now, and I think the world is finally catching up to me.

Raketu is the first company to try it and you can see the animated banner I did to the right of of the blog.




I'm in New York this week with FM, and meeting with Raketu to talk about what else we can do for their product and the fans using my cartoons. I'm also seeing some ad agencies, so I want all of you fans out there to comment and tell these smart business folks that you are dying to see some cartoons from me and you will watch all the commercials and click the links and decide whether you want to buy their products.



This advertising/entertainment worked for 30s radio and early TV. Let's go back to it, only on the web where people spend so much time.

TV is dying, let's finish them off and give the audience and the sponsors what they want at the same time-at a fraction of the cost of doing television.

53 comments:

Mad Taylor said...

Nice solution to the dying medium of the commercial. If I was fast forwarding through a commercial and saw a cool cartoon I'd stop. And if it felt like the company was really into what the artist could do for them I'd buy their crap. Commercials are struggling and they aren't solving the problem with high concepts. I keep getting stumped by commercials lately. Like this "Human Element" commercial. It did a great job selling me on the idea of humans being on the periodic table. We even have a goddamn atomic number of 8. But what do I know about "DOW" from this...nothing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3byt7xMSCA

Rodrigo said...

If watching a John K cartoon leaves a good taste in my mouth, these happy feelings would permeate to my idea of the product.

Seriously, Civil War Log. I want one.

queefy said...

I need some Big Pocket jeans now.

Ryan G. said...

Hey sponsors!.. We would all love to see more John K. commercials! Even if you sold turds, we'd buy them if John did a commercial for them!

Jordan said...

Hey John! You're in NYC this week?

I sometimes interview people on a radio show called "Everything Goes"...It's on 91.5 FM (citywide radio) and I'd be thrilled to have you as a guest. It's pretaped and aired later on. It's kind of last minute and I'd have to call the producer to double check the station is free...(it may not be! tentative!)

Anyway - I was never sure you did those Old Navy commercials but I had a feeling! They're great and so much fun. I love the way the girl plays guitar and like grits her teeth, INTENSE.



Jordan
(HALLOFEYES@AOL.COM)

Benjamin De Schrijver said...

Heh... after she said "click me please", it was almost impossible NOT to click it.

Anonymous said...

Hey salesmen of the world! I make ALL of my purchasing decissions based on the mere whims of my favorite cartoon characters! Meaning I'd be more pron to buy underwear if Jimmy the Idiot was selling them to me over lets say, Micheal Jordan!

Anonymous said...

I usually visit John's blog several times throughout the day. I really enjoy reading it.

Occasionally I'll see an ad on the side bar advertising something like "find out your soulmate's name". Honestly, I don't click on it because it dosen't really catch my attention. I don't even know what company it's from. On the other hand I clicked on the Raketu ad the first time I saw it. I was sort of disappointed that the web site wasn't as fun as the ad. I began to read what the service was about but I soon lost interest.

Currently I personally do not have a need for the service but if I or anyone I know ever did, thanks to George Liquor's explanation, I'd certainly know where to go.

If it wasn't for the that side bar advertisement (with Raketeena) on John's blog, I would have no idea what Raketu is. Now, I definitely know the brand name. It's etched in my mind.

Rogelio E.T.

Dan said...

Theres more to that Raketu ad than what plays!
Right-click the ad, untick 'Loop', right-click again and click 'Play' - voila... more animation (and a wiggle !)

There you have it - do a commercial that people like and they'll adopt it!

Nico said...

Agencies:

LET JOHN K. AND SPUMCO MAKE COMMERICALS AND CARTOONS FOR YOU!!!

People will be ENTERTAINED towards your product! This technique has been working for 70 years!! Maybe longer?!!

You will make $$$!!!

lyris said...

Listen to this man! Completely objectively speaking, even if I wasn't a Ren and Stimpy fan, commercials like the Old Navy ones would make me stop and take notice.

Anonymous said...

If you did get your way with Ren and Stimpy, and were allowed product placement, how would that have benefited you over making up fake products? I can understand on the internet because it's the way to get funding, but the TV networks sort you out with that, so from an entertainers perspective, wouldn't having to plug someone else's product just be a bit of a chore and make them feel like they're selling out a little?

The Log ads were funny and the theme tune is very catchy and memorable, but if it were Corn Flakes it was plugging suddenly in the show, I don't think I'd be as amused and it'd seem a little dated and odd watching commercials for real products on TV. With your fake ones, you could have the best of both worlds. You had the fun nostalgic part with the same spirit of old cartoons with commercials, but you didn't have to be selling a product at the same time that you might not necessarily want to sell, like cigarettes or McDonalds or something.

Eric said...

I remember loving those Old Navy ads. Much better than the crap they put on the air these days. Lame song parodies make me want to kill myself...

Anonymous said...

I am just of the many, many, many, MANY fans of John K.

Dammit if I don't agree & support John's thinking here.

I've seen those old TV ads he did.

We the armada of fans of John, are also an armada with wallets.

Consumers!

Think about it.

I support John K and his works, ads, anything, everything.

Jennifer said...

Fascinating post.

You hit it exactly right - thanks to technology, TV is becoming an obsolete market, and the focus now is on Internet broadcasts. Proof? Google purchased YouTube for an ungodly amount of money, and television networks are using YouTube for broadcasts now.

John, I'll be talking to you in late January regarding a project for my site.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'd watch'em. Shoot, I'd even buy stuff too. If television is dying, let's pull the plug on it's life support and end it's misery.

Franky said...

I love your commercials, John. I've already clicked through to check out the Raketu site. I hope to see more from you in the future. Even if I don't buy the product, I now have brand awareness and am able to discuss it if someone brings up the topic of internet communication, information, and entertainment services.

Anonymous said...

Those Old Navy cartoons are smooth John! What great animation! That is great work! You could easily do a kid's TV show with cartoons like that. Ever thought of having making a wholesome cartoon show? You would return cartooning back to what it should be: fun for kids! Just an idea! Hey! sign me up to watch those commercials!

Jonathan C. Hohensee said...

The FCC wouldn't let you do direct sponsorhip? They regulate broadcast television, what buisness do they have telling cable networks what to do?

Gabriel said...

That's the best way to be sure people will remember their products forever, the company that trusts in your philosophy will be a long way ahead of the others.

And what about Wally Whimsy? Won't you talk about him? I was sold on the idea of longer commercials than it's possible on tv. To this day I still go to quisp.com watch that ad you did every now and then! Can you believe that, watching an ad hundreds of times just because it's so fun?

Anonymous said...

Hey Raketu, John K. knows how to sell your product. His cartoons are the best. His toons are memorable, funny and people pay attention and want to see 'em again and again. I never heard of or bought Old Navy clothes until I saw his fun commercials, he made the NBC peacock so much fun to watch, I watched the network shows in hopes of seeing the bumper, and his online Quisp commercial made me connect with my inner kid so I'm eating Quisp again, though I have to order it online, cos it's not sold in Texas! Hire this man to sell your product, now, don't wait, before it's too late. Yes, hire John K now and people will know and buy and love your product, because he knows how to sell, sell, SELL!

Anonymous said...

also...i'm currently working on a flash web show sponsored by sprint and "produced" by nbc [even though 5 of us do everything, and don't deal with producer types] for the web. nbc dropped a lot of it's daytime tv and started looking into web and the like. i think people are starting to realize tv is a little unstable now, and it might be a good time for you to look into web again. even if that means just finding a sponsor to re air WPH and GDGL to see how they do. true you were way ahead of your time before, but now i think everyone else is starting to understand, and if you go back to the idea, people will jump on it!

tackman57 said...

Hi, John!

Excellent idea you have, going back to "direct sponsorship"! To bad TV moved away from it. Commercials used to be as much of the entertainment in the TV landscape as the shows were, & just a memorible. Why else can you buy DVD's full of classic commercials?! And the wonderful jingles, too! I'm praying that you are right & that direct sponsorship makes a huge comeback on-line! I do have a question for you, if (& when!) direct sponsorship makes it's comeback on-line & proves to be the best formula for selling things once again, do you think that someone in TV might revive direct sponsorship for TV? Or are the mega-corporate "suits & bean counters" so in control that there is no hope for creativity? Thanks for this blog, & thanks for the wonderful animation over the years! I've been a fan of yours since Ren & Stimpy first came out. I'm so glad I stumbled upon your blog, too! I LOVE your "lessons" on animation. I'm using what I learn from you in my directing & designing shows for our Community Theatre, especially when I work with kids during the summer!

Aggie said...

The Heartaches is a great idea! I really want my soon-to-be-born niece to grow up with well-made girl cartoons. Do this, and we'll watch it all the time! :)

the clownninja said...

can't argue with that.

Anonymous said...

Proctor & Gamble has been clamoring for ages to get more out of television. They’ve been asking for 60 second or full break spots. They’ve been asking for feature sponsorships. They’ve been asking to go back to the sort of advertising power they had in the 1930s – and they’ve been resoundingly refused by the broadcasting companies.

P&G is the single largest advertising spender in the world; they own the majority of brands that people use on a daily basis. They’re so big that their brands can safely compete with each other without conflict.

This sounds like everything they’ve been asking for with the caveat that it goes beyond the short sighted marketing rule that it needs to be on television… which means that it’s going to be a tough sell.

Unfortunately the advertising world is largely still convinced that only television sells consumer products, only radio sells cars and that tier 2 advertising is largely dead. This leaves a great deal of room for the older advertising agencies to become irrelevant in a very short period of time without even realizing that they’ve been left well behind the curve.

This is suddenly much longer than I had originally intended; shutting up now.

Anonymous said...

Good luck, John. America needs entertaining commercials!

David DeGrand said...

Man, I remember going to Old Navy after those commercials came out, they made going there seem cool. Now when you go into the store they have that same style incorporated into all of their signs and crap everywhere, it's pretty cool. I totally wish you the best with your cartoons John, I can't think of a better cartoonist to try and market something like this in todays market, I really hope it works out for you. After all, you deserve more success after the free art school you've been providing!

Shawn said...

Good luck, John!
I hope you get to make lots of commercials and LOTS of new SHOWS!

Max Ward said...

Let entertainers like John make commmercials and advertisements for you.

Max Ward said...

Any reason why you use the 50s "UPA style" in almost all of your commercials? Do you think it works the best?

Frankie said...

Commercials that go through committees and focus groups always turn out horribly. John K and his crew are the solution to that! Everyone I know, including adults, love John K's commercials, they are some of the only good ones left.

Dan Century said...

When I try to go to the Raketu site I get caught in an endless loop - someone needs to fix their web code. :p

Jennifer said...

By the way, John, you joined a winning team with Raketu...they're getting MAJOR buzz in the IT community as a viable competitor to VoIP and the IM technologies...

Anonymous said...

It blows my mind that these cartoons aren't being made already John!

The world needs more John K cartoons!

Josh "Just What the Doctor Ordered" Heisie said...

I'd certainly like commercials a hell of a lot better if they were pitched by my favorite cartoon heroes!

That sucks about the 'demise of tv'...hopefully shows get better before it dies. I'd much rather watch stuff on tv than my computer.

CartoonSteve said...

So John, was a particular law passed by the FCC to ban show endorsed advertising on TV? ... and as far as the internet, what, in your opinion burst the bubble of the late 90's?

I, for one, blame Janet Reno for helping to end the internet boom. (hey its fun to blame someone, right) Instead of hunting terrorists, she was busy sueing Bill Gates to prop up Netscape (or some such reason) and as a result (scaring corporations in general), the things that looked so promising about online entertainment seemed suddenly less profitable. (thawing sites like Icebox, etc) But thats just my theory. I'm working on a new one about net neutrality... but guess I shouldn't get off track.

Support direct cartoon sponsorship! Capitolism! If there is an anti-direct ad law now for tv, I'm sure some evil-doer wants it extended to the web. I say we start a petition to keep politicians out of our business.

ps: bring back Wally Whimsey

PCUnfunny said...

Sponsors it only makes sense.John K. makes anything entertaining in just one secound of animation. His toons grab you and once they do, they don't let go.

stiff said...

I do watch ads--but only if the ad gives me a reason to watch, which usually has nothing to do with the product. I collected Absolut Vodka ads from magazines because they used to be entertaining; and I don't even drink vodka. I also think some of the more abstract Hummer commercials are cool to watch. Coke even has a few neat little animated spots. And how often does a Bud Light commercial have much to do with beer? Yet I usually pay attention, because they'll usually make me laugh, even though light beers usually suck. In other words, John's absolutely right, and I've thought the same thing myself for some time: don't just assume that I'm trapped into watching your ad, but give me a reason to watch--entertain me--and I might even go out of my way to see it.

Ghost Robber said...

i have been thinking about this advertising model for the last year or so. especially after hearing so many podcasters talk about trying to work out how to make money out of podcasting. making advertising entertaining is the only answer with the internet at the moment. i'm so glad you're revisiting this idea john!

Fábio Oliveira said...

You are completely right! Here i Brazil this is an reality too...but we have a lot 3D crap!

Anyway...thanks for gives us all this information...i work with illustration, and this blog it is very important reference to me!

and sorry the incredible poor english!

Abraços.

Serge said...

Hey John, theres a new guitar solo album by frank zappa out and one of the tracks is called ask dr. stupid.

Did you already know? Well if you didnt, now you do.

Dave_the_Turnip said...

I think you do have a good point here. People are interested in commercials if they're fun and entertaining. If people gain a sense of amusement or wonder from the commercial, they'll be more inclined to buy the product.

Hope you get more of this kind of work. It'd be nice to see decent ads that do their job again (the only ones that half interest me are clever beer commercials, but they don't make me want to buy their product).

Jorge Garrido said...

BUY THIS PLEASE!!!!

When I'm fast forwarding with Tivo, if I see a cool animated commercial I always go back and see it. I did it with that new Genndy commerical for Nicorette, I did it for that Mary Blair style Mastercard commercial, and if John did commericals for yuor product, I would definately watch them! Everyone else would, too! The facts don't lie!

I noticed his Raketu animation before he even mentioned it, John's ads grab your attention and I want to use their service to call my relatives in latin america!

Dagan Moriarty said...

Hey John,

Yeah, these spots were some of my favorites! Really fun design, warm and APPEALING... the fact you had kids writing-in asking for more doesn't surprise me in the least...

I also always found the animation in these spots to be nice and loose, and creative... the business in there is uniquely handled and pleasing to watch... :)

My question; How was 'Old Navy' as a client?...Were you going thru an Advertising firm on these?... I ask because it reads like they let you guys have some fun, and didn't interfere too much... am i right?!

The results are fantastic!

-Thanks,
Dagan M.

Anonymous said...

(newbie Fangirl now grr...)

Awso! Do you know why I worship you? Because I can actually undestand you when you type! I laughed through that whole freaking cartoon! You should definetly make cartoon commercials these days, but these days, I'm sure you wouldn't want to do cell phone commercials, would you? That's all I see on TV. I wish life lately wasn't all about TV, yeah, we all NEED to be watching TV in our beds, bathroom, on the bus, at school, at work. If I was in charge of the TV commercials that are put on TV, I would put all of your cartoon commercials on every single channel!

pat said...

boy, i hope you figure out a way to get advertisements back into entertainment. i just love when joe friday tells me it's "wise to smoke extra mild" fatima cigarettes. geez. it makes me want to smoke so bad.

and i started buying lipton tea when mary from the inner sanctum told me about it's "brisk" flavor. that ad is, like, 60 years old- but it still works. i wish i could still get that good luck medallion she was pitching.

anyway... i really hope your characters start selling stuff to me. i'll eat it up. just like when i baught all those cds from tower records because of george. i just wanted him to keep coming back to me every week.

Anonymous said...

Shame about Tower Records. If only they adopted George Liquor as its mascot, and used in all its print, TV, billboard, radio (everyone LOVES the voice) as well as online advertising for ten or more years, they might NOT be shutting its doors.

KenM said...

Man, I've never seen those Old Navy spots before. Then again, I typically avoid commercials with a fervor and intensity that borders on the insane, or religious.

HOWEVER - (listen up, advertisers) - I'd gladly sit through, and even ENJOY, spots like the ones John has posted here. That's right, it may be go against everything you've learned, but if you stop insulting my intelligence and provide a reason for me to watch your commercials, they might actually have the desired effect.

Great stuff, John. I especially love the spot with "The Flares." Dig that crazy pickin' on the guitar.

Mikko said...

Where's your NIKE commercial. It's best TV commercial ever..
Here is my rip off/ tribute (you decide) of it I made few years ago.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A868rCE7YOw

tackman57 said...

One reason that cartoons (even bad ones) are rarely used now for commercials are "parents groups" & "TV watch-dogs/psychologists". These groups have been on the backs of the networks & sponsors because they have used cartoons to sell (in their opinion) "all sorts of unhealthy (i.e. sugar & fat filled), non-educational, mind-numbing consumer garbage to children." Even today, these groups are now going after Nickelodeon & The Cartoon Network in the courts for using cartoons (& other "kids" ads) to sell high sugar cereals, Pop-Tarts, etc. And, as usual, the courts are siding with these groups, like they have for years, & the FTC & other governmental regulatory agencies are joining right in (because, as you know, we need our government to protect us!). Part of the watered-down, homogenized, bland crap commercials & shows on TV are & have been the direct result from these kind of "civic groups" & other "do-gooders" who want to "improve" things. Unfortunately, just like when an ad or TV show has to go through a committee before it is finished, this makes the ad or TV show just plain crap! Add to the mix these "consumer/parents groups" & I'm surprised any ad or TV show is worth the effort at all. One reason we now have to suffer the "entertainment/ad crap by committee" we now have to suffer is because of these groups. Come to think of it, this same problem is wide-spread in our culture today which is why both GM & Ford are in serious trouble &, for the most part, have the most uninteresting vehicles ever made (more "do-gooder groups", court cases, & governmental regulations). And have you looked at home decor design magazines (or HGTV) lately? The "one-size-fits-all" banal, colorless, "sophisticated" concept of design today that has filtered out all the flair, style, exuberance, creativity, imagination & just plain fun is yet another example of how far our collective national creativity & imagniation has suffered (as a nation, we're even now "afraid of color" & don't have a clue as to how to use it!) John K's approach to ads is just the first step to taking back what made our country's design, creativity & imagination the envy of the world. I agree with you John that we need exellent ads to sell what we produce. BUT we also need to take this concept further to influence the very product I WANT YOU, JOHN, to advertise!!! If we first have a quality product (& yes, all you concerned parents, a healthy product as well), then John's fantastic ads might have a fighting chance to sell them.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see commercials done by john K. I might by more stuff that way definitely.

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