Still Images in Great Advertising- Thomas Mangold

Still Images In Great Advertising, is a column where Suzanne Sease discovers great advertising images and then speaks with the photographers about it.

When doing research for this blog post I go to many sources from adsoftheworld.comadforum.com, Facebook to blogs.  I found this campaign in adsoftheworld.com and was so pleased to see a great campaign was done in the US for JWT.   I always like to see still life images as the focus of an advertising campaign as well.  I reached out to Susanne Bransch, agent for Thomas Mangold to ask them questions on the campaign.


Suzanne:  When I look at Thomas’ work, I see a lot of humor. I think this is what got him this campaign.  How much input did Thomas have on the expressions of the coffee cups?

Susanne: Working on campaigns like these is always teamwork.  In this case between the agency, JWT, the illustrator of the cups, and Thomas. For all the artists involved in creating images like these, the most important thing is good communication and creative synchronization about what the image has to express, and which kind of illustration style will support that.

Suzanne:  Thomas is based in Germany I and love that the American office of JWT hired a still life photographer.  Tell me about the selection process and how you all got in to the bidding process?

Susanne: We were approached by the agency because of Thomas’ portfolio.  Originally, they wanted to shoot everything, but Thomas submitted a treatment that incorporated CGI, including some preliminary tests.  That treatment was what won him the job and allowed agency and client to easily visualize and have confidence in Thomas’s approach.

Suzanne:  Thomas uses a lot of computer manipulation with his images.  Has that been his specialty or an area that has become his specialty and therefore getting more American campaigns?

Susanne: Computer generated imagery (CGI) has become very popular in the past 10 years, not only in the U.S. Thomas started working with these techniques from the beginning – directly after his graduation in photo design – and it has become his specialty.  It enables him to advance past pure photography and create images beyond realism that nonetheless feel real at the same time.  We’ve seen the demand for computer-generated images continues to rise in both the U.S. and worldwide.

Suzanne:  Did Thomas shoot this campaign here in the States, did the agency come to him or was it done over the Internet?

Susanne: Thomas is always very flexible with his work and with the clients.  He works via the Internet, phone or personally depending on the demands of the job. In this case it was a mixture – he shot the backgrounds in Germany, then the cups in New York, and did the post-production back in Germany.

Suzanne:  What advice would you give to someone who specializes in still life photography?  Mine would be to do something special that is truly your own.

Susanne: Definitely! Reinvent your style at least every 6 months. Work on personal projects and compare your work with what is already out there. How special is your vision? Why should somebody hire you? And last but not least, love what you are doing: that’s the only way to do a good job.

Note: Content for Still Images In Great Advertising is found. Submissions are not accepted.

Thomas Mangold lives in Dortmund, Germany, and has been working as a freelance photographer and photographic designer since 2001. his work marries the real and the possible. his photographic design extends from subtle modifications of the images he has created right through to virtual three-dimensional photographic structures that are generated on the computer. his digital skills are valued by agencies like TBWA, Abbott Mead Vickers/BBDO, Kempertrautmann and Euro/RSCG, while his customers include Playstation, Audi, Bridgestone, Shiseido and Sony. In the editorial area he works for clients like Big, Dazed & Confused, Geo and Wallpaper.

Twenty years ago BRANSCH was founded by Susanne Bransch in Düsseldorf, Germany. Having previously worked as an Account Executive, Producer and Art Buyer in the advertising industry, she held the vision of an agency that represented young photographic talent beyond regional borders – a truly innovative approach to the German market. After its creation, it took little time before BRANSCH photographers were successfully working for leading advertising agencies, blue chip companies and popular print magazines, both nationally and internationally. After moving to Hamburg, Germany, in 1998, BRANSCH increasingly expanded its presence on the global stage, officially arriving in the United States in 1999 with the establishment of a New York City office. Today BRANSCH represents 30 international photographers. Because of their individual and unique modes of artistic expression blended with the utmost technical skill, BRANSCH photographers and illustrators are the first choice of many clients when it comes to brand and image campaigns and editorial projects around the globe.

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after founding the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter fed with helpful marketing information.  Follow her@SuzanneSease.

There Are 6 Comments On This Article.

  1. I don’t get it…what’s the big deal about all the “computer generated imagery” and post-production work ? Basically, the layout is a cardboard coffee container with a design painted on it, and an out-of-focus generic background… Am I missing something special here ?

    • with the two fuzzy backgrounds it could be anyplace where there is someone behind a counter to serve or help you. They would want to have bad breath because it could cause them to lose a customer/client. I think it is well done. JMHO.

      I think one offering in the column holds true and many miss, and that is
      “Susanne: Definitely! Reinvent your style at least every 6 months. Work on personal projects and compare your work with what is already out there. How special is your vision? Why should somebody hire you? And last but not least, love what you are doing: that’s the only way to do a good job.”

      It is good advice. TY Suzanne

  2. I love this campaign. The Empath in me embraced it immediately. I hate to see suffering, be it humans, animals, plant life, a Romney voter, or even a lowly single-use coffee cups (well maybe not a Romney voter). I’m Venti sympatico. These sad cups are embarrassed at having to hide their caffeine-stained teeth behind cardboard safety muffs. Adding insult to injury they have to watch the cool cups flaunt their perfect smiles sans safety muffs at the trendy java joint across the street. Muffled by their muffs they suffer in silence, expresso-tears staining their faces to a Janis Ian soundtrack. I was a sip away from donning a cardboard protest muff of my own when I remembered that thanks to CGI, no inanimate objects suffered during the creation of these ads. This Christmas when the Salvation Army Coffee Cups huddle for warmth in front of the exhaust fans at the local Starbucks, I plan on lifting their spirits by brightening their caffeine-stained smiles with a large donation of Trident gum. We’re going to have a white Christmas this year come sunshine or snowflake — you can bet your sweet little CGI on that. Clearly I’ve been without power too long.