Monday, August 18, 2008

Cartoon Ads could save animated entertainment - leave out the boring parts


It's hard to beat cartoons (good ones)for getting the audience to at least watch/read the ad.

I don't mean just "animated" or stylized animation like some commercials today; I mean pure professional entertainment character based cartoons, like what top entertainers do: Al Capp/ Hanna Barbera/ Disney and others used to do.

Al Capp in Life

Boy, cartoon characters sure love their cream of wheat!

And you can't beat using a hillbilly to sell laundry detergent to keep your filthy rags smelling sweet!Al Capp Li'l Abner

In an era where it's getting harder than ever for a sponsor to get someone to read or watch his ad, it's a good time to bring back the concept of using cartoons to sell your products.
I stress cartoon again versus "animation".



Cartoons have a natural appeal to almost everyone (except those in charge). Here's my theory why: Cartoons are the people's art. It is art that distills the most fun things about life and cuts out all the boring parts. It focuses on the parts first that are fun to look at and humans are an extremely visual species.

For example: The shapes of girls are very fun to look at, but untended bikini lines are not as much fun, so cartoonists generally leave that part out when they draw pretty girls.

CHARISMA - Unique fun personality traits
We are also very social and are attracted to people (or characters) with charisma- strong unique entertaining personalities.

The most successful old cartoons combined these two traits and distilled them into their purest essences. They left out the bland, ugly and boring parts: they didn't need to show us every pore, mole and hair follicle, or every blade of grass, or every leaf on every tree.

They also observed life and gave us their unique comments on it, but didn't take it too literally. They just presented us with the fun parts and added a liberal amount of creative fantasy to it. They had imagination, which seems sorely lacking in cartoons today.

The extraneous details that aren't the fun parts of life are what many animation producers today dwell on, while getting positively outraged when you try to inject the essential parts of cartoons- distilled fun, appealing characters (appealing to the eyes, ears and emotions) and imagination.

The boring parts are what feature animation producers in particular think are what constitute "quality". They call it "believability". The audience will believe in a lumpy pile of millions of hairy pores with a bland movie star voice, rather than a simple well designed instantly recognizable personality with a clearly defined fun expert cartoon voice.

Or they go the opposite direction and make things so graphic, flat and stylized that they leave out the humanity and unique humor of cartoons and funny personalities. Cartoons for art directors instead of for the dirty unwashed masses whose ignorant tastes demand funny characters that look and act alive.

I had a meeting at a major studio a couple weeks ago with a very nice and polite executive who asked me to go lecture at their animation studio about how to create enduring iconic characters. "We've had some successful movies, but our characters don't seem to outlive their movie appearances. We want to know the secret to creating characters like Looney Tunes and Hanna Barbera."

I take that as a good sign. An executive actually recognized the difference between a character who is instantly recognizable as a charismatic star and a modern shapeless blob of pores and hairs with a bland voice who just fulfills his role in a stock cartoon plot and then dies after the movie does its obscenely marketed blockbuster first weekend. But then you never see anyone with a t-shirt of the characters, it's impossible to write new stories for the characters.
Real cartoon characters are easy and fun to caricature. They have clearly defined designs and traits.

Real cartoon characters are so powerful, that in the hands or real professional creators the stories write themselves and it's easy to keep the characters alive for decades past their initial debut.

I'm getting a sense that everyone in the business is starting to be shaken into some kind of reality lately, and they are understanding that real cartoon characters are needed again, but they struggling to figure out what they are, where they come from and why there have been so few icons in the last couple decades.

I do know the secret(s) to creating real cartoon characters and it's not hard to understand conceptually but it's also not something that can be taught to anybody. Maybe I'll do a post about it later.

I'm personally lucky to be able to finally participate in the concept of "direct sponsorship" or what they have now renamed "Branded entertainment". I've only been pushing it for 20 years!

Anyway I got off on a tangent about other stuff, but the main point of this post was to show how powerful classic cartoon ads were when they used iconic well-loved cartoon characters and their creators to pitch products. It's an idea that is so obviously simple and sensible that I'm astounded how long it has taken for me to try and bring it back.

Another great way for advertisers to go is to get cartoon creators to create new characters as mascots for their products:

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It's not as good as having characters that are real characters who can exist in stories, but it's still much better than having commercials that everyone fast forwards through and swears at.


Rudy Tenebre said...

Very true, the visual effects school of 'plausable illusionism' as it has infected animation is quite thoughtless and ludicrous in the realm of the cartoon.

jim said...

My dad sang me the Bucky Beaver jingle the whole time I was growing up; it wasn't until YouTube that I found the old spots and realized he wasn't making it up. Point is, Bucky Beaver left an enduring impression on my dad that he remembers even now, 50 years later.

Emmett said...

You found an executive on your side? Congratulations Mr. K! Needing characters to exist beyond movie appearances is difficult. One thing Disney used to do is put them in TV shows right after the movie, or do those god awful direct-to-video sequels. Sorry, but those just don't work. Yet in commercials, if done the way you instruct us, these characters can be salvaged.

Blammo said...

What's great about this post more than the points you make is your Passion about characters!

Great post .


Captain Napalm said...

Mmm yes, "Ren and Stimpy" sure was short on the pores and hair folicles, wasn't it? Especially in the close-ups! Ahem.

Nat said...

I once saw this cool Nike commercial with red riding hood and the wolf. just saying...

JohnK said...

"Mmm yes, "Ren and Stimpy" sure was short on the pores and hair folicles, wasn't it? Especially in the close-ups! Ahem."

You're right, and I thought of that point, but the difference is, I made fun of it.I didn't do it in every scene for reasons of
'believability" or to get respect.

Bitter Animator said...

I still have nightmares about the nerve endings when Ren lost his teeth.

On the ad thing, well, I think this is always the one area where I'm just not with you, Mr.K. Yes, I think there are some great animated ads. And it's a good way of generating income of course.

But, well, they're ads.

The equivalent of those guys who used to go door to door selling encyclopedias. Their purpose is just to sell stuff to suckers. Huge logos will always take priority over decent animation and even if the decent animation can be seen, well, it's just an ad.

Ads bug me. I can't move on this planet without being assaulted by people trying to sell me stuff - billboards, tv ads, just about every available space now has an ad on it, or is being sold to advertisers.

And I made ads for close to ten years and, where I am, the people in the ad business (with some exceptions of course) were just not the type of people I could admire. And that's being polite about it. I'm out of ads now and am thankful for each day I don't have to make one.

Shows, yeah, they're great. They exist to entertain. Shorts, fantastic - they live to entertain and provide expression for filmmakers and animators. Movies, well, they're bigger versions of shows but aren't all that far away from ads in some cases.

But ads exist to bug people into buying stuff.

I'm actually hoping that the new systems, iTunes and pay for download, tv on demand and so on will usher in a new age where television shows are actually paid for by the people they entertain, not advertisers. An impossible dream? Maybe, but it seems closer now than it did five years ago.

You know, now that I've written this, it all sounds very familiar so I apologise if I've just been all 'broken record' about ads.

oppo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JohnK said...

Hi Bitter
well ads aren't going away, and there would be no entertainment industry without them, so knowing that wouldn't you rather have entertaining ads than no entertainment or torture ads?

Jim Rockford said...

You're so right!
people are completely jaded toward modern adverstising.
Its all just white noise in the background of life.
I dont even pay attention to any of the damn commercials they run nowadays,they're all mostly stupid and annoying and I can honestly state I've never bought anything because of them.
I guess thats probably because they are selling junk.

They try boosting the audio with loud obnoxious music in hopes of jarring people into paying attention,but I just change the channel or hit the mute button.

I actually watch very little commercial tv anymore.
I'd rather just watch dvds of my favorite shows and not put up with some unshaved moron with tatooes and an agenda trying to sell me on a Carls Jr's pig burger.

The only animated commericals that I can think of are those Esurance ones with the flat Kim Possible type look about them.
I dont find them entertaining,or funny,its just more of the same.

I would love to see commercials of the type you're talking about,with fun cartoon characters and memorable jingles like they used to have...back then advertising was an art form,thats why people actually buy dvds of the old ones from the 50's and 60's to watch,yeah partly its nostalgia,but its also because they were entertaining and clever.

Todays its just about trying to be more obnoxious than everyone else in the hopes you'll be heard.

But look at the folks they're aiming the ads at too.
Society has changed.

Kris said...

One thing you're leaving out is that cereal companies have known for decades how to make ads fun to watch without having to license a popular cartoon character. Even in the '80s, when cartoons were most definitely NOT at their peak, I really looked forward to cereal commercials. Not just because the animation was better than the cartoons they sponsored, either. :)

One thing the cereal companies used to do (not sure if they do this anymore) was have a simple story told through the ads. I was always excited about these ads, especially the serials where it took 3 or 4 ads to tell the story. That type of ad made me really want to keep an eye out for more commercials so I could find out what happened to Cap'n Crunch or whomever.

PCUnfunny said...

That Bugs and Daffy pic is so my new desktop background. As for Bucky Beaver, my first exosure to him was the movie GREASE.

Kris said...

Also, something I'd like to see: in movie theaters the ads should be REQUIRED to be entertaining. Fun cartoon ads would be great. Have you been to a movie theater lately? They don't even have the dopey movie trivia anymore, they just have a bunch of car ads and television ads. Talk about boring!

PCUnfunny said...

That single picture of Fred Flintstone and George Jetson was funnier then any part of that god awful "The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones" special in the 80's.

Alan Underwood said...

Even as a kid, I watched JohnK cartoons for the built-in ads.

Now that I'm all grown up and I'm -in- advertising, I can say that you're definitely 100% spot-on right. Right now on Madison (et al), there is a growing push to go back to "retro" forms of advertising and the jingle is making a comeback like no other. (see the Chris Brown Wrigley ad)

These "retro" forms of advertising are extremely effective at cutting through media saturation. When combined with heavy repetition, characters and jingles stick in people's minds, creating one of the most powerful advertising vehicles available.

Keep fighting the good fight!

JohnK said...

Well Alan, thanks!

Why don't you do one of these shows with us?

Gabriele_Gabba said...

My animation lecturer last week:

"Why do you think Ratatouille is so 'rewatchable'? Cause the backgrounds are so rich! Look at all that detail! Its "Believeable". " -Wow.

So anyway, I want to congratulate you on a hard battle well worth fighting for!

Also, i can't wait to see your take on creating appealing characters that can be used over.

I'm pregnant with anticipation! :D

Ger Apeldoorn said...

I'd say the main reason for ads like the Dennis the Menace and Li'll Abner ones are disaopearing, is because the venuew where they could appear are disappearing as well. Although I believe that new ad camaigns can learn from these older ones, there ar no more 'general' themed magazines anymore and newspapers seem to be a thing of the past as well. Nowadays, it's all target audiences and special interest channels, where anything that isn't within the framework of the channel of the magazine would stand out in a bad way. While a good retro ad would stand out in a bland newspaper or in between a couple of boring television ads, all of these outlets are a thing of the past. Say you were to devise a new General Electric character... where would you use it? And do you really wan to see more Spongebob endorsements? I tried to sell a comic strip with a semi-popular character her in Holland to the dutch branch of the Wild Life Fund and the higher-ups nixed the deal we had because 'if we were going to do something like that, we would want Spongebob and he's too expensive'. Although I agree with your wish that thing should be like they used to be, the only real positive step te be taken seems to me to create more and more succesful cartoon characters.

PCUnfunny said...

Movie Theatres suck today. First they repeat the dumb celerbrity quotes and local ads, the ads for the movie theatre, commericals you've seen on TV millions of times already, then trailers, then about a half hour later the feature film. I also never buy any food from the concession stand. I rather not have stale popcorn and pay $4.00 for four reeses pieces. I usually just sneak in WENDY's in my back pack.

Alan Underwood said...

@JohnK, As an Illustrator, I'm a total hack, but I do have some fairly useful web skills I could throw in. I'm not sure if that invitation was rhetorical or not, but if I can help, I definitely want to. -Alan

Bitter Animator said...

>>so knowing that wouldn't you rather have entertaining ads than no entertainment or torture ads?

Yep. Yes I would. Entertaining and fun ads are preferable to dull or migraine-inducing ads. Most definitely. Point well and truly taken.

Chris said...

My only problem with cartoon ads is that they're often directed at children and I think that's morally questionable at best, in fact I'm happy to live in a country where it's outlawed.

HemlockMan said...

It's hard to explain to younger people the level of popularity of daily newspaper comic strips. They don't seem to quite grasp it. Especially since there's no one around like Al Capp or Alex Raymond or Hal Foster or Chester Gould, etc.

People looked forward to this material--folk used to cut out the Prince Valiant Sundays to save them. Now newspaper strips have almost no influence at all on modern culture.


patrick said...

Wow, almost the entire summation of cartooning in one brief post. Creating an ad might be a great project for 3rd year students at Cartoon College. These ideas are definitely something to focus on!

btw, I worked on some more inks here
if ya wanna see, or leave a suggetion. Thanks!

Nico said...

I hate that!! Shrek and Horton and all those CGI movies emphasize pores and hair to be respected and "wow" everyone, but it's just not what people want to see in order to be impressed.

This post is so true, and really says it all. I hope we start to see a renaissance of cartoon advertising soon. And some real cartoon characters too!! Awesome post John

Caleb Bowen said...

Bucky the beaver has to be one of the best examples- he seemed to outlive his product. I think advertisers need to understand that not everyone will buy the product, so why not entertain while you sell? The ad is more effective if people actually want to remember it. I remember Hostess used to do 1 page comic ads that kids would actually read. Now, the photos of models in ads are so airbrushed they might as well be cartoons.

I think we have all lived through a very short-sighted time in business where they're not even smart enough to go for long term ad campaigns. In the music business, they stare at the singles chart and never look at the long term album sales which make way more money.

Captain Napalm said...

"You're right, and I thought of that point, but the difference is, I made fun of it.I didn't do it in every scene for reasons of 'believability" or to get respect."

You were making fun of it? I just thought it was cool!
I know what you mean, though - actually, I think it works both ways: The simple shots from a certain distance give you the freedom to make the close-up details look however you want, but also, the close-ups themselves sort of justify the lack of those sorts of details in the other shots. Like you're saying, "Yes, those are living things you're looking at, but nobody ever looks at a face from five feet away and notices the faint blemishes first. Now, check THIS out!!!" (pull in)....

Roo said...

having recognizable cartoon characters in your ad to sell your product is a great idea cause it instantly makes you go hey im being entertained and snap out of their commercial coma and actually see the ad.
is pontiac going to be the george liquor sponsor?

pappy d said...

"Keep fighting the good fight!"


What alan means by "retro" is precisely what you mean by "torture ads"; annoying jingles repeated over & over & over 'til you can't get them out of your head (still the best value for your advertising dollar, by the way).

I think the point john made about pores & follicles is that it doesn't help make the CG character real. It can actually disrupt your suspension of disbelief by distracting you from the performance & exaggerating the unreal behavior of the skin . Anything in design that doesn't add will detract. In the closeup R&S paintings the pores, pustules, etc. are the point of the scene & should command your attention.

Captain Napalm said...

Maybe I'm the only person alive who would find this funny, but I think Kris is referring to "Cereal Serials". Just thought I'd point that out. Right then....

thiago said...

How many people still remember the "Log" jingle and Ad on Ren & Stimpy show? i do!

"...Rolls over your neighbour's dog..." one of best parts!

trevor said...

They left out the bland, ugly and boring parts: they didn't need to show us every pore, mole and hair follicle, or every blade of grass, or every leaf on every tree.

"Animation fans" are always giving me crap because I'm not jumping on board the CG train just yet.

My best friend Janine LOVES "The Incredibles" and one of her biggest arguments about why it should be enjoyed, is the daughter's hair. It's purple, and it looks like real hair.

Which makes perfect sense, because the rest of her also looks like a real human, right?

I'm sorry, gang, I know this is off-topic, but John made a good point that I had something to contribute to.

And, I love that Dennis the Menace ad! Hank was truly one of the greats. Too bad the animated version of DTM was ungodly.

How many people still remember the "Log" jingle and Ad on Ren & Stimpy show?

I think a better question might be, who's old enough to know what product that jingle was parodying?

- trevor.

PS: If you said "Slinky", you'd be right.

Deemo said...

Hey John

I was looking through my blog and I noticed you wrote a comment on monday

Yeah im up to the challenge heres my email address


Rudy Tenebre said...

However, it is an unhappy thing that the 'art of the people' is so synonymous with 'successfully seduce the consumer'.

"and now for what television is really all about"
-Don't Touch That Dial.

Shawn said...

So, did you (or are you going) to lecture at the animation studio? I hope so!

Tony said...

I totally disagree with popular cartoon characters advertising products. I didn't like seeing Bugs or Daffy do it and I wouldn't want to see future cartoons do it. I think it cheapens the characters.

Bill Watterson didn't create Hobbes plushie toys even though the masses would love them. I agree with his view that marketing your characters like that defaces them. Selling out comes to mind.

Advertisers making up their own characters to sell products is what I would want to see.

JohnK said...

In a more wonderful world, the community would all chip in for us to make great cartoons.

In the meantime advertising is our only option.

I figure the least we can do for the sponsors in return for funding cartoons you would want to see is to make the commercials as entertaining as the stories themselves.

Otherwise we are cheating the sponsors (and the public).
And then you would be stuck with Nickelodeon (and all their millions of commercials too) - and the extra commercials that crawl all over the picture that you are trying to watch.

I never heard of anyone making quality stuff for free.

Kali Fontecchio said...

Hello Kitty would be a great logo for the vocally impaired.

I wonder when Al Qaeda will discover the advertising possibilities in using Dennis the Menace as a spokesperson for their awareness efforts?

American Association of Suicidology could easily use Mario.

More cartoon characters can help just about anything.

Mattieshoe said...

"I actually watch very little commercial tv anymore.
I'd rather just watch dvds of my favorite shows and not put up with some unshaved moron with tatooes and an agenda trying to sell me on a Carls Jr's pig burger."

I know. TV is all but dead.

and it's just not the same watching something on DVD.

It's not part of your schedule anymore. it's not delivered to you.

you have to pay forty bucks for the DVD and go out of your way to watch it.

I liked watching "cow and chicken" when it was on TV, but I'm not about to pay money to watch it on DVD.

Even when I buy shows that I absolutely love on DVD, I find it's a much less exciting and personal thing when you can watch something whenever you want.

don't get me wrong, DVDs are great, it's just that nobody's gonna buy the DVDs of something if they can't first enjoy it on TV, and TV really is the more invigorating medium (Or it was, until we were bludgeoned with horrible commercials like those 'Esurance' ads."

Captain Napalm said...

I just thought of something - you know how we're talking about stuff like hair follicles on cartoons and how they don't work? Here's part of the reason why: THEY'RE TOO BIG ANYWAY!! Seriously, do any real person's pores jump out at you the way they do in the "Horton Hears A Who" movie? No! Nobody's individual pores are that large in proportion to their whole face, and if they are then they must have some exrtemely rare deformity. One which must also involve shooting out squirt-gun-sized jets of sweat. Realistic? Gimme a break!

mongo said...

I also hate the massive amount of advertisements plastered on every bit of media available. But I love the log ads on Red n Stimpy more. The log concept could definitely be used to advertise real products. The little song, cute little characters....classic. Animation and cartoon characters will always be better that live action in my twisted cartoon night;)

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Well, said, well said! I always feel sorry for the poor sponsor, who's stuck with funding a portfolio piece for the art director, and who can't find anyone who will simply try to sell his product.

What creative people need to know is that what sells the product is frequently what's the most fun to execute.

lastangelman said...

Ads should be darn well entertaining and funny and sell the product. The reason you don't see the funny cute cartoons selling products so much is that concerned hausfraus in eighties and nineties got their panties in a twist and went before Congress complaining about cartoon shows being nothing but ads for lousy kids toys (nevermind that these were lousy cartoons in the first place) and fretting that cute cartoons used to sell adult products like tobacco and beer and financial and insurance instruments (curse you, MetLife!) will appeal to young children and steer them towards life threatening habits.

(Does anyone remember the animated Joe Btfsplk TV commercials from 1970's, I think he was pushing an aftershave or hair treatment, the product made his jinx cloud go away and he attracted very fetching fulsome women?)

PCUnfunny said...

Gabriele Gabba: I remember someone said I should be impressed by Wall-E because it had realistic camera focusing. Wow, that puts the old Warner shorts to same.

Christopher said...

Lately when they create cartoon mascots to sell products they end up with something like the hideous characters designed for mcDonalds Pasta Zoo meals!

J Hobart B said...

Great post.

Although, am I the only one a little disturbed by the fact that "Cream of Wheat" is always in quotes? It's like they're calling it cream of wheat, but they're really talking about something else!

Rudy Tenebre said...

I'm all broken-up for the public and the sponsers.

Mr. Semaj said...

This is only my umpteenth rant about cereal commercials, but have you seen the recent Cinnamon Toast Crunch commercials? It's all too serious. They still have their mascot, Wendell, but he's now just a decoration on the cereal box. No longer does he attempt to get the consumer involved with the product.

Sven Hoek said...

Hey Kids, get ready to jump up and down like idiots.
What rolls down stairs,
Alone or in pairs.
Rolls over your neighbors dog.
What's great for a snack
and fits on your back,
It's Log Log Log.

It's Log, It's Log,
It's thick It's heavy, It's wood. It's Log, It's Log, It's better than bad, It's good.
Come on and get your log.
You're gonna love it Log. Everyone needs a Log.

John K. what have you done to my brain, my hot...stinging brain.


Jim Rockford said...

"Bill Watterson didn't create Hobbes plushie toys even though the masses would love them. I agree with his view that marketing your characters like that defaces them. Selling out comes to mind.

Advertisers making up their own characters to sell products is what I would want to see"

I agree with you 100 Per cent!
I dont want to see popular cartoon characters become mouthpieces for some big companys products.
It does cheapen the integrity of both the characters and the artist.
I think they should be original characters created specifically for advertising the products..Like the Hamms bear,Markie MaypoCap'n Crunch or the Bardalh guy.

People still remember and love that Hamms bear to this day!

Bill Wattersons "Calvin and Hobbes" was one of the last great strips.
I admire his integrity in refusing to sell out.
He supposedly detested the shameless cash grab Jim Davis turned Garfield into.
In a world where everyones quick to sell out its nice to see someone who sticks to their guns.
Watterson even stopped signing books after he saw people selling them for big bucks.

Jim Rockford said...

"it's just not the same watching something on DVD".

Thats right,its not the same,its better!
Why would I want to watch butchered up versions of classics like Sanford & Son,Rockford Files,twilight zone or All in the Family on run out of sequence on Tv land when I can see the entire show,complete and unedited with better sound a picture quality,without compressed or talked over credits or a station logo and pop up ads during the show in the corners?

*and* NO annoying commercials for sloppy burgers,ugly cars or prescription medications!!

Today they wedge so many commercials into shows that they cut more parts out to make room...In addition many have been edited by some P.C. minded idiot for fear of offending someone without a sense of humor from seeing something funny.

Watch the Sanford and Son Dvds and you'll see what I mean.
on TV land they cut out Redd Foxx using the "n" word,some of his jokes and references about queers in "the piano movers" episode,
They even cut out some of Foxxs comments to Julio about Puerto Ricans.

I love the Sanford and Son dvds,they present the show the way it was originally seen.

The only exception to this rule is DVD's that have been altered.
Especially cartoons that have been "remastered",had the colors tampered with,contrast boosted or hacked up.
I recently bought the DVD set of Hal Seegers "Batfink" and was really burned to find they had jettisoned the original theme song and replaced with with an instrumental.
They're only going to release the show on DVD once,and they go and butcher it!
Whats worse is that its never on TV anymore.
Even Batfinks wings of steel couldnt protect him from stupidity.

Rudy Tenebre said...

I misspelt 'sponsor',- my credibility is on the wane, no doubt!

Can't fault a man for working within the confines of his field.

But enuff of that, I just dug-up at me mums, (keeper of memory) not only the Wendy's Bat-Bat figurine, but a slightly altered Petey-Pate, (the sucker mounted to the feet has been severed for easier play, no doubt)- both in good shape. And a copy of the old Harlem Shuffle single with your cover, also in good shape, better than the one the reproduced in Unfiltered.) Imagine my then excitement to see Bakshi re-emerge, but puzzled when confronted with your imagery, ("this don't look like Wizards?"). Of course I came around eventually. Very happy with these.

Alan Underwood said...

While I think we've probably had enough discussion on this one, I wanted to clarify something I said: when I said jingle, I meant "log" and "double your pleasure." I don't advocate torture in advertising. It's against the Geneva convention.

pappy d said...


I know that from a marketing perspective it's nitpicking, but "log" is a parody & "double your pleasure" is serious as a heart attack.

Still, I'm sure some shit-genius has already brought up the idea of selling Log for real. It sort of castrates the humor, but then, cash money is nothing to joke about & the most fullsome laughter is laughing all the way to the bank.

kurtwil said...

Cartoon ads like cartoon animation are in many cases using labor saving devices to get 'em made (FLASH, 3D, etc).

What an ad agency is focused on is HOW TO SELL THE PRODUCT. If that means using a cartoony character with John K. type soul, it will happen. But these days, given the huge warchest of ad looks available (the 3D look, the CHROME look, the VFX look, the Kroft look, the enhanced Live Action retimed look, etc), the agency has many ways and styles to produce an ad within that does as well as the older 2D toon approach.

Also keep in mind thanks to internet and other shortcutted 2D animation, many people's expectations of 2D have gone way down. Many Gen Y and Z'ers consider crudely animated TRANSFORMERS shows of '83 to '91 as high art, for petes sake !!

IMHO, What John K. defines as Cartoon comes from only one thing on this earth: a human, armed with manual drawing instrument (pencil/pen/wacom tablet), taking time to draw the character with soul. As for why that's so difficult today, John K and others have already said that.