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Those Illustrated Ads in the Current Issue: Jill Calder Explains It All to You

Filed under: Seal Barks   Tagged: ,

If you’re anything like me (and you are—at least a little, little bit), you’re wondering what’s going on with that series of ads for Mass Mutual Financial Group in this week’s New Yorker, the ones in which a red-headed woman is overwhelmed by insurance. From iSpot’s blog:
Jill Calder’s whimsical artwork takes over the April 16, 2007 issue of the New Yorker magazine with a narrative series of ads for Mass Mutual Financial Group. The New Yorker selected about 40 illustrators for Mass Mutual and their ad agency, Mullen, to choose from, which eventually whittled down to Jill; her job was to bring their concept to life.

[Jill Calder:] I started by creating a character, whom I named Stella (rather than “the Mass Mutual woman”!) - female, 30’s, capable, confident and busy, but sometimes too busy to tend to her insurance needs. I also created a colour palette which would keep the look of the ads consistent but give me flexibility and a generous range, as I love colour. The Mass Mutual corporate blue was one of the colours, which gave the ads a strong, if subliminal, branding…. I had to show Stella in all manner of situations, some quite surreal and others quite lifelike, that were basically “barriers” preventing Stella from getting her financial needs sorted out. The first full page image was of Stella surrounded by an extreme amount of paperwork, teetering piles of it, which described her misconception that applying for insurance would be complicated and involve too much paperwork. In the next image, Stella decides she has no spare time to deal with insurance - this again is illustrated in a dreamlike fashion: she appears in an hourglass, trapped but still moving forward. Cont’d.

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