Leaving the Journal, Going to Madison Avenue for a Watch

watchface

Ahh, the Romance!     … that was the title of a New York Times article describing the launch of an a major ad campaign by Concord Watch Makers. My illustrations were featured in the campaign.

Full-page newspaper ad, to run in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

Full-page newspaper ad, to run in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

After the Black Book was released (see previous post), I started getting calls. One of them was from Creative Director Ross Sutherland, of Ogilvy and Mather. I met with Ross and presented my portfolio. I was hired to create detailed images of the Concord watch line. It was so early in my freelance days that my accounts book does not reflect any entries for this assignment. I believe I was making $800. for each drawing. The amusing thing about this is that the folks at Ogilvy would send me home with a paper bag full of watches, worth several thousands of dollars! It was weird to be walking the streets of the Big Apple, riding the subway, etc. with all that loot. Once, one of the watches went missing, and I was questioned about it. I had no idea as to the whereabouts of the missing timepiece. I do not believe it was ever recovered.

Ad from The New York Times.

Ad from The New York Times.

The following images give you an idea of the detail that went into these illustrations…

bw watch closeup

b&w-watch

watch

The above was a color version of one of the Concords. It was never used in the campaign.

Things were going smoothly until the market meltdown of 1988. The campaign was abruptly terminated— it was quite a shock! I was told that the owner of the watch company lost his shirt, and informed by Ross of this unwelcome development over a posh luncheon meeting. I have to say, it was a rough meal to get through, as I had recently resigned my post at the Wall Street Journal, and was not going back. Luckily, I had other fish to fry…

I’ll tell you all about it in the next post.

 

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