French luxury design house Hermès offers shoppers a world of sumptuous lifestyle goods. To transport you into its lavish world, Hermès teamed up with German illustrator Klaus Krammerz to create a charming animated short that's brimming with character and magic realism.
Having been approached by the creative team at Hermès during mid-2021, Klaus was invited to create animations for its 2021 Autumn/Winter collection in his distinctive felt-tip pen style. "The brief was pretty cool," Klaus tells Creative Boom. "We follow an urban horse through a cityscape of Hermés products, with special drop-in's like the very cool 'Drive Me Crazy' silk scarf by Yoni Altersuch, and the 'Masan & Masan' silk scarf by Terawat Teankaprasith."
The animation is a refreshingly novel take on advertising luxury goods. There's not a swooning model gazing off into the middle distance in sight. And even though it doesn't get the chance to overstay its welcome with a running time of 25 seconds, it quickly manages to conjure up the Hermès brand and entice viewers to check out the products.
Depicting a horse galloping through a fabulous display of Hermès goods, the animation makes the most of Klaus' unique style. With inspirations ranging from American underground comix of the '60s, mixed with artists like John Wesley, Alex Katz, Wesley Willis and Ken Price, his wide-ranging aesthetic is pulled together with a dash of magic realism. And this fantastical quality is plain to see in the finished advert.
"I started out working with felt-tip pens, then I changed, the process was too long, and switched to spot colours," Klaus reveals. "This gave me the opportunity to pay more attention to the perspective and composition of the image rather than the combination of colours which, in the case of felt-tip pens, is rather complicated and tedious."
Working with high-end brands comes with its own unique set of challenges, and this advertising spot was no exception. Maintaining a creative identity while talking about brands was one of the biggest hurdles facing Klaus during this project, not to mention making a city out of bags, shoes and belts.
"When constructing a visual language, the biggest challenge is to recognise its limits and overcome them, to subsume the corners, and add bricks," Klaus explains. "It's a real construction. It takes time, confidence, patience and a lot of ugly work; but in the end, the result comes and is perfected by all that hard work. Like all things."
Another key component to this creative conundrum was the teamwork Klaus had with Michael Lester, AKA @beginners. This is the studio that animated Klaus' drawings, and through their collaboration, they figured out how to develop the story in the finished advert. "The spikes came from both of us and we solved it with the horse crossing the city made of Hermès products."
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