Mitya Yakovlev
Creative director Leo Burnett

Olga Semenova
Art-director TBWA

Miguel Ivanov
Freelance art-director, ex-BBDO

Daniil Sergeev
Art-director Firma

Andrey Bold
Art-director F5 magazine

Edik Katyhin
Illustrator, artist

Masha Krasnova-Shabaeva

Protey Temen
Illustrator, designer

Anton Gerasimenko
Art-director SILA Project Group


Advertising illustration

June 10, 2009

Being faced the question of how to use efficiently illustration and cartoon animation in advertising we decided to ask about it four leading agencies art-directors (Leo Burnett, TBWA, ex-BBDO and Firma) and a one trendy magazine. Also we forwarded this question to three popular illustrators and one designer. Finally, we've got some response:

Mitya Yakovlev, creative director Leo Burnett
Illustration in advertising is not a stand-alone piece of work. In advertising everything obeys to the idea and works for the idea. Each idea needs a proper realization. Illustration contributes to the image a required amount of abstraction. Sometimes illustration depicts an idea more accurately than a photograph. Illustration can explain something in a schematic way. There are certain ideas that a photography will not be able to convey in such a visually accurate way. Illustration is the same meta language as photography. The examples I selected are the ideas that were properly realized.

And my list is:


Olga Semenova, art-director TBWA
The best our example was when we were making a horoscope for Nivea: we've added some new pictures above the available images. We succeeded, and we come up with a very convincing and feminine work, absolutely on the brief. Illustration was a great way to realize our idea, without expensive shootings and without any operation with photobanks. That's regarding my own experience.

Miguel Ivanov, freelance art-director (ex-BBDO)
My shortlist:

  • Buddhist poster Bayer Man — ALMAPBBDO Brasil
  • Black and white graphics for WWF — JWT Singapore
  • Melted slippers Havaianas — BBDO New York


Daniil Sergeev, art-director Firma
Here is the sample of one Chinese agency. I like it because this is a case when an application to graphic makes this project definitely a work of art.

Andrey Bold, art-director F5 magazine
The first thing that comes to my mind is Evian We will rock you and Honda Hate. Both spots wittily demonstrate all the advantages of the product, making it easily, and fully utilize the possibility of the animation. In the print – Havaians: cвой, уникальный визуальный язык, который по сей день повсеместно копируется.

Edik Katyhin, illustrator, artist
First of all, the Scrabble posters that ranked Silver at the “Cannes Lions Festival 2008”. Then these posters transformed to the videos, which were made by Wizz. All Illustrations were based on the individual styles of the artists from the different countries. I would like to stress that this was an individual style, not the imitation of someone style. During this work our customer asked everybody following to his personal style. Except me, the following people were also involved in this project. : Jean SpezialEktaAm I CollectiveZBKDran. All guys were selected from the Street Sketchbook.

Also take look at illustrations of Mingarro brothers for Honda and for Excredrin.

And finally comes James Jean with Bronze at the “Cannes Lions Festival 2008”. Direction, style and plastic of the artist come under this idea in a best way.

Masha Krasnova-Shabaeva, illustrator
I guess the videos for Starbucks are a really good example of cartoon animation in advertising. This is not only animation, illustrations too. Tatsuro Kiuchi, who worked on it, is a very popular Japanese illustrator. It's very organic and sweet in my opinion. Personally, these commercials for some reason arouse nostalgic associations with my Soviet childhood.

Protey Temen, illustrator, designer
Ronald Kurniawan. This guy is making really cool stuff for advertising.

Anton Gerasimenko, designer Look At Me
The Presets cartoon video, “Girl and the sea”. Beautiful.