mena as publicity arid the press? They consider them
selves to be necessary in their present form. They are
part of the sum total of an epoch which governs them by
its general rhythm. And then, who knows but one day
there will emerge from all this a poetry which, up to
now, has been hardly noticed or defined? In the final
reckoning there is no phenomenon which does not con
tain some element of worth, but it is an element which
is not apparent until the outer surface begins to
There is, therefore, no reason whatever why the
humour of publicity should not, one day, be considered
as a particular form of expression equal in interest to
some one of the recognised literary or artistic types.
In this domain of humour, a young French designer,
Paul Grimault has conceived, and sometimes brought
into being, designs which have already placed him
among those who are destined to reanimate publicity
by giving it a new outlook.
The presentation of any product is, for him, a pretext
for a design in which his wit approaches that of the
He frequently uses the trick described above, of certain
publicity films in which a surprise ending is provided.
A design of this type, published in "Publicity 26" (Arts
et Metier Graphiques), which is reproduced here ap
pears to us to be a complete success.
The idea of a fisherman who catches fish with the
simple promise that they shall be fried in Lesieur Oil
shows a rare combination of simplicity and ingenuity.
It combines the primary qualities of humourkeen
ness and the absence of complications. An advertise
ment of this kind has also the advantage of being com
prehensible in any language because it does away with
the need for words. The same is true of the Razvite
advertisement whose meaning is, however, less direct.
The series of advertisements, already ancient history,
for Jerome and for Woodmilne, are also full of savour.
Here Paul Grimault likewise uses a surprise effect
which allows him to concentrate the interest on the
final element, which is the most important point. This
trick is, all the same, extremely difficult. To do it, one
has to aim straight and pull the trigger without hesita
tion. Jean Cocteau, who at one time magnificently
illustrated Kayser stockings, has excelled in this type of
But what is particularly attractive in Grimault is that
you never see any trace of effort in his work. Humour
is as natural to him as eloquence is to another. "He
thinks. He feels. And the expression follows."
His design has the richness and fantasy of a popular
number. The Zitane cigarette becomes in turn a stick,
the telescope of an astronomer, the funnel of a
steamer, or the bolster on a bed.
In fact, the elements of his advertising creations com-
pose the framework of a veritable film of animated car
toons. For comparison we have reproduced on page 230
Z The scenario is as follows
At the edge of the sea under a blazing sun, a man is
sitting in the bottom of a fishing boat, sleepily trailing
his line in the water. All at once he is shaken out of his
somnolence by a sudden blow. He pulls in his line and
finds it is attached to an enormous whale. This takes
fright and makes for the open sea, while the fisherman,
unwilling to lose his catch, is dragged in his boat after
Hardly has the man recovered from his surprise when
he is seized with a violent nausea. It is seasickness. A
particularly violent attack breaks his line and the
wretched fellow is left alone.
He has an idea for escaping from the seasickness. He
tremblingly takes off his shoes, then one of his socks,
and blows despairingly into it. It swells out and turns
into a balloon. It rises into the air, and the disappointed
sharks below cannot hide their fury.
The man, feeling better, rises steadily from the mo
ment when his sock begins to fill. With great speed
he is carried into the middle of a cloud where he entirely
disappears. When he emerges he is perched on an
The attacks of seasickness start again, and as a conse
quence rock the aeroplane, much to the horror of the
pilot. He, in order to get rid of him, begins a terrible
series of acrobatics made more dangerous by the move
ments of the agony-racked sufferer.
The machine plunges into the sea and emerges a few
metres farther on, rid this time of the intruder, and the
plane flies rapidly away.
The man is discovered again, walking on the bottom of
the sea. He enters a wreck, and comes out immediately
chewing something. The seasickness is conquered. He
leads a ballet of sirens and fish.
There are many artists who keep a keen watch on the
ideas of Paul Grimault, but, without the slightest ill will
in the world, he disposes of these plagiarists whom he
cannot shake off.
Indeed it is to be hoped that he will have numerous
imitators, and that, thanks to him and to many others,
humour which is opposed to old-fashionedness and even
to the less polished forms of wit, will bring new aspects
I to publicity.
J. a few fragments from a publicity film in course of
preparation, for a product against seasickness