SUPERTECH with Billmund
People and their needs are changing. It's refreshing to see businesses find new and inventive ways of getting their product noticed using illustration. Billmund recently worked with Oticon, who make hearing aids. They had a new approach in mind. The project was to create a superhero comic based on Oticon's hearing aids to cut through competition.
Hearing aids are a bit of an unsung hero! So useful to so many people. What was it like creating heroes based on a product that is quite technical and specific? What was the process of bringing these characters to life?
It was quite fun. The brief was pretty simple; create 3 cool/slightly camp comic heroes to represent the 3 new BrainHearing hearing aids from Oticon, and then show off their abilities with a 4 page comic book. Tonally the 3 heroes needed to look super smart and high tech yet cheesy and fun, yet heroic. It could have been complicated but I just figured I'd make the costumes smart and high tech by keeping the costumes consistent with the colours and designs of the hearing aids and the BrainHearing badge, make the anatomy heroic by keeping the heroes muscle-bound and super lean, and make them camp and fun by giving them all cheesy grins and dynamic OTT super-poses.
To make the stats and functions of the new hearing aids fun and relevant I worked out heroic scenarios for the characters to test their powers thereby visualising these stats and functions. For example I created the fast-fading Soft Speech as a character needing rescue and the villainous Feedback getting beaten by the Dynamo hearing aid.
Exciting to see brands doing different things to get themselves ahead in the market. What's something out there you'd love to see more of?
I'd love to see more brands utilising illustration in their social media, in an environment where quickly produced, highly relevant content is a necessity illustration seems to me the perfect medium. When content is needed on a daily basis film takes too long, photoshopping a bunch of stock photos together looks weird and fake, and re-posting memes is hackneyed and irrelevant, whereas illustration can tell engaging stories that are relevant to consumers in a timely fashion.
See some of the comic:
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