June 19, 2008

I recently discovered that a pair of posters I created for AIDES, a European HIV/AIDS NGO, won a Bronze Lion at Cannes. The posters were conceived by the prurient and brilliant minds at TBWA\Paris. I had received a very extensive brief for assignment, including a entire ecosystem of creatures and environments comprised of genitalia and porn clippings. The agency had also created detailed layouts and character designs. This was an impressive package, thoroughly researched and tested across the board.

I usually never work from an art director's sketch ( there have only been a couple of occasions where I've been given a preconceived sketch to work from, to my great chagrin ), so I offered to interpret the assignment and give it my own spin. Above is my first interpretation of the assignment, the phallic telescope alluding to the idea of exploration.

After the first sketch was rejected for veering too far away from the brief, I offered a sketch closer to what TBWA expected, but with my own "perspective", as it were. In this case, I still focused on the figure, keeping the lovely girl in the foreground, enticing the viewer into the briny depths.

The finish was very well received, but it still differed too much from the original comp they had sent over. After some negotiation, I was convinced to finish the images according the original brief. It was all for a good cause . . .

The composition, perspective, relative size of the objects were all very close to the sketches done by their in-house illustrators. The specifics were still mine, such as the pose and look of the girl and the way everything was drawn. The 'viral starfish' are my own as well.

I quite like the design of the copy -- the ribbon lettering goes well with the line work and is perhaps reminiscent of the ribbon in the very first sketch I did for the project. The 'splooge' border also merges well with the image.

Again, the pose of the young man was mine, but the composition was an combination of the various sketches I was given and had to act as a reciprocal image to the other poster. The planets, in particular the blow-up doll, were very close to the agency's initial concepts.

I'd like to credit everyone involved in the project, and congratulate them all for winning the Lion:

Advertiser/Client: AIDS
Product/Service: AIDS AWARENESS
Entrant Company: TBWA\PARIS
Country: FRANCE
Advertising Agency: TBWA\PARIS
Country: FRANCE
Executive Creative Director: Erik Vervroegen
Creative Director: Erik Vervroegen/Michel De Lauw
Copywriter: Xander Smith
Art Director: Jonathan Santana
Illustrator: James Jean
Account Supervisor: Anne Vincent/Veronique Fourniotakis