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Volkswagen Combines The Tiny And The Terrifying With Its Own Animal Mash-Up Campaign

In most cases, acts of creativity involve borrowing. This certainly includes advertising, which has long taken inspiration from the art world, with that inspiration sometimes more direct than others.

Volkswagen and agency Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town created a series of awesome animal mash-ups, combining the tiny and terrifying, that perfectly and adorably tie into conveying the power of the carmaker’s small Polo TSI model. Striking shots of a tiger bee, bear squirrel, and humming-baboon-bird are each accompanied by the tagline “Small but ferocious.”


The work immediately recalled the creations of Seoul-based artist Sarah DeRemer’s art series “Hybrids” that, you guessed it, featured visually stunning Photoshop animal mash-ups. (See one of DeRemer’s creations below.)

From Sarah DeRemer’s Hybrids series: the “Birboon”

For her part, DeRemer is sanguine about, even flattered by, the similarities: “I wish I could say I was involved with the ad agency, but I’m not,” she says. “I think it’s a lot of fun that hybrid animals are making it into mainstream advertising, and I think they fit wonderfully into the idea that VW is going for. I’d be exceptionally flattered if they had seen some of mine and gathered ideas from them, since I’ve definitely done similar ones to those they’re using (monkey-bird, etc.). I haven’t worked with any ad agencies yet, though would definitely be interested in doing that someday if all goes well!”

So, note to agencies: If you find yourself inspired by an artist’s work, by all means feel free to actually involve that artist in your project. . . .

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