THEY SAY the best marketing campaigns are those that, over a period of time, seem to take on a life of their own. Such is the case with the series of vintage automobile posters created by Meyers—a point-of-sale, signage and label specialist based in Minneapolis—to promote its large-format sheetfed printing capabilities. When brothers Mark, Chris and David Dillon acquired their first large-format sheetfed press in 1995, they wanted to create a print promotion that would drive home the potential of the new six-color, 63˝ MAN Roland with UV coater to customers and prospects. Although at first tempted to produce a poster utilizing the full 45×63˝ sheet size, they realized that few recipients would actually have the necessary wall space to display a poster of that size. Instead, they opted to use the full sheet width of 63˝, but keep the poster at a more manageable, 9˝ height.
With the help of Thom Sandberg, principal of design firm The Kenyon Consortium, an image of a Cadillac Eldorado convertible from the 1960s was chosen for the first piece to illustrate a sense of length. “We decided on one of those really long cars that was so iconic and representative of American culture from that era,” recalls Mark Dillon. A model was dressed in period clothing with a long scarf trailing in the wind to further reinforce the sense of length. The poster was an instant hit.
The popularity of the first poster prompted Meyers to follow up with another vintage car from the same era, complete with the same female driver wearing her signature flowing scarf. Mailed to clients and handed out at industry trade shows, Meyers salespeople soon began to regularly see the colorful posters hanging in the offices of leading brand marketers, retailers and their agencies.
To liven things up when the third poster rolled along, it was decided that the woman, this time seated in a 1963 Lincoln Continental convertible, needed a boyfriend. “All of a sudden, a story was beginning to emerge,” relates Dillon. “By the time we produced the fourth poster, the couple gets married, driving off in their blue Thunderbird as she looks back wistfully with her long veil and flowers from her bouquet trailing behind.”