Sad news today as the man who introduced the ad world to animation, and enriched the 50's 60s and 70s with stylishly animated commercials for brands such as Dime Savings Bank, Alka-Seltzer, Green Giant vegetables, Crest toothpaste and Jax Beer and many more - Jack Zander - has driven his BMW bike to the dirt road in the sky.
The New York Times Obituary tells the tale of how Jack got his lucky break
The receptionist stuck her head into the lobby, where Mr. Zander and a friend happened to be sitting.
“Are you fellows animators?” she asked.
Mr. Zander, as he later said in interviews, had no idea what an animator was. But it was the start of the Depression.
“Yes!” he shouted, and so his career began.
CartonBrew has a recent Jack Zander interview from this summer, well worth a read.
One of the great things about Jack, that I think everyone who worked for him would agree on is that he hired and trusted a whole generation of young animators. Jack looked for talent, and didn't care much about age, race, background, whatever. He wasn't a New Yorker by birth, but he really was the quintessential New Yorker in his demeanor. And Jack sent some of the best animators in the business out into the world.
His production company was a great place with great people. And he was a great influence. A guy who encouraged free thinking and artistic expression in a business which for all its creativity, can sometimes stifle expansive thought.
He was a great man, and had a huge impact on advertising.
The art form turned out to be a natural for the tube. First it grabbed the viewer's attention just by the looks. At that time most of the commercials were talking heads or other examples of stand up deliveries. Pretty boring. Along comes the funny pictures and immediately the eye is drawn to the screen. Can t beat that. At that stage of the business all you had to do was make some drawings move. Our audience was there waiting for the message.
The lost 50's cartoon have some images from Jack Zanders work.