This print campaign owes its existence to the fact that the national advertising agency for Azrac-Hamway International actually told the Child Guidance brand manager that they didn't have time to create his "special posters" for his portion of the Azrac-Hamway trade show booth at Toy Fair.
As it also happened, Dave Gordon, our "toy guy", was meeting with a few of his contacts in New York at the time when one of them mentioned the Child Guidance situation. Dave immediately contacted the Child Guidance brand manager and met up for drinks. After a quick pitch about our capabilities at Evans, Hardy + Young, we were given the opportunity to create something for this unsupported portion of the trade show booth.
Back in Santa Barbara, Scott Young, Kirk Evans and myself immediately started talking about what we could possibly do — In reality, I think we started ragging on the national ad agency for dumping this project with no time an little money in our laps. Either way, we came up with the idea of making the posters look like "print ads" which the brand manager loved as there actually wasn't an ad budget.
The concept was pretty straight forward. We'd use 2 c-prints per poster and dry mounted them to foam core. One half would be the child interaction photo and the other would be typeset copy and headline with an inset of the matching toys.
The only issue, how create the photos for the prints.
To accomplish this, I called Mark McIntyre a talented photographer and friend of mine and asked him if he could help out with a photo shoot for this project. The concept was to bring in as many babies and young children as possible and then photograph each in different clothing the parents would supply, place them on different canvas backdrops, and catch them actually playing with different sets of Child Guidance toys.
Below is the first group of posters…before they became actual ads.