Friday, November 5, 2010

Is It Too Early for Some Grand Marnier?

Grand Marnier has a new ad campaign of distinctive red graphics, but I don't think they'll ever surpass the delightful ad campaign they had in the mid-1980s. Today I'm showcasing the work of two great illustrators, Gervasio Gallardo, who painted the top four ads, and Braldt Bralds, who painted the bottom three ads. There were other paintings in this series, but these are the ones I saved. (Each of these will enlarge quite a bit if you click upon them.)

The styles of the two illustrators mesh very nicely, which probably speaks about good art directing. No offense to Grand Marnier or Braldt Bralds, but don't you think the last painting would make a great book jacket for Stephen King's The Shining?

Gervasio Gallardo was born in Barcelona, Spain in 1934. He worked in Spanish ad agencies, then in Munich, Paris and New York. In the United States, Gallardo did many book cover illustrations for Ballantine Books' adult fantasy series. In 1976, Bantam Books published The Fantastic World of Gervasio Gallardo, which is itself a fantastic collection and a favorite in my library.

Braldt Bralds was born in the Netherlands in 1951. So great is his talent that on his very first day in New York City, he received a commission to paint a cover for Time magazine! He has done commercial illustration work and covers for many high-profile magazines, but today, like Gallardo, he prefers to paint for galleries. Bralds is known today for his whimsical paintings of cats, apparently his favorite subject matter. 


  1. You would be forgiven for thinking that they are the same artist as the styles are very similiar. very Magritte don't you think?

    And it is never too early!

  2. Hi Mark...Holiday time must be approaching, as I was just thinking about Grand Marnier. I've always loved their ads. These are marvelous. Some I had never seen, like the G.M. bottle emerging from the stone. Though I'm sad to hear they've changed their ad campaign...Both artists are very talented. (Haha, no. Never too early!)


  3. I remember each ad campaign! I think the lace bird is most memorable. They are done in a Magritte style, aren't they? I love the history behind the creation...great post!

  4. Thank you David, H.H. and Theresa! The work of both artists has been compared to René Magritte, who had a wicked sense of humor and would probably be amused.

  5. It is never too early for some Grand Marnier.... I do remember a few of these ads, but most of them I am happy to be introduced to. Better late than never.

    So few companies use illustrations in their promotions, instead they favour the photographic image which lacks the charm of an artist’s rendering. I think by the mid 1960s, most magazine and poster ads were photographs. I particularly admire the French advertisements for perfumes and other products that were done by Peynet, Gruau, Cassandre, and especially Marcel Vertès. Using artwork over photo images adds cachet, mystique, and a creative element for prestige companies like those of French liqueurs, wines, perfume, and other luxury products.

    I wonder if they aren't too sophisticated for the tastes of today? We live in a jeans, electronics and SUV kind of world that doesn’t appreciate such refinements. There seem to be a few companies that use illustrated works of artists such as work by Ruben Toledo, in contrast to the ubiquitous and predictable photo ads.

    I am delighted to learn of Gallardo and Bralds and that these beautiful works were done by them. Thank you for an interesting article.