Man-Size (man_size) wrote,
Man-Size
man_size

Wendy's

I get a phone call on Tuesday from the woman who art directed Jonathan Ames' Showtime pilot, WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE? I'd illustrated the cover for the fake tabloid that ran in Ames' show and, having dug my wares, she took my number for future work. That's how it happens, folks. A month later and she's art directing a WENDY'S commercial for the famous hamburger franchise. Turns out, they want to mock hamburger mascots and movie tie-ins. Especially, anthropomorphic movie tie-ins. You know, RONALD McDONALD and FINDING NEMO type marketing. Seems that WENDY'S wants to make it clear that they don't need hamburger oriented heroes nor a kids blockbuster movie to sell their quality food. Fair enough.

The art director puts me on the phone with the director and we discuss a plan of attack. He doesn't want to make a direct correlation with McDONALD'S or BURGER KING, so they're thinking we should use a monkey. Hmm -- a monkey? I'm not feeling it. The movie tie-in would make fun of the likes of any number of the Disney/Pixar collaborations. So, they come up with a Rhino. They want a happy Rhino. I tell 'em two animals wouldn't sell the joke in a 30-second spot. And, since we can't parody a clown for the hamburger icon, I wanted to parody talking food. Having recently been made hip to the characters in AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE, I mention the character that is formed from rancid meat, and suggest I create a character made from hamburger [not unlike Mayor McCheese], only, since it's all about marketing, why not take the joke a little further and make it a hamburger that wears hip-hop gear as if the faux burger franchise was marketing their particular brand towards youths in the urban ghetto. Besides, it's not that far off from the truth. Right? The director agrees. Brainstorm finalized, I need to come up with sketches for a faux hip-hop hamburger franchise called Mega-Burger [or Giga-Burger, depending on what the clients decide], and a happy Rhino from a made up cartoon movie [not unlike A SHARK'S TALE], for a fake promotional food/kids movie tie-in -- in a style that evokes coloring book art. I had two days to turn it around; on top of my page per day quota for the Pekar graphic novel I'm drawing for Vertigo.


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