What is an Annie-Board?

Previ­ously I wrote how it was in the past, when a phar­ma­ceu­tical company’s product repre­sen­ta­tives intro­duced their full line of prescrip­tion medica­tions — only to doctors or medical teams. (No print ads or TV spots to the public.)

In the years 1987 – 1997, I was free-lancing for a medical adver­tising agency in San Fran­cisco: Vicom and Asso­ciates that became FCB Health­Care. They would create the promo­tional campaigns for each of their phar­ma­ceu­tical clients. The campaigns would include many plans that were presented by the agency’s exec­u­tives, creative team and product manager. Some of the presen­ta­tions were very exten­sive. The promo­tional ideas and sequencing were so complex that the agency asked me to draw their plans on the largest (19”x 24”) layout pad. I needed to arrange the lettering that fit with the art. The layouts were then mounted on foam-core board. If plans were changed, I could posi­tion my new art and new copy on the already mounted board, slice around the subject with my X‑Acto® knife, pull up the old and attach the new correction.
There were times when the large number of these presen­ta­tion boards stretched far down the hallway from my room. Often the work was well into the night before the boards were to – – fly across country or arrive here in the SF Bay – – the following morning. The agency’s team for that client would present the boards, which helped visu­ally, as they verbally offered the agency’s plans. Also the boards were an easy refer­ence after the initial conference.

Here are exam­ples: One shows a trade-show exhibit idea. (Trade shows were prof­itable expo­sures for the phar­ma­ceu­tical prod­ucts.) A Xerox copy is all that I have of the colorful board for the Aleve ® file folder.

These boards, above, were colored or greyed – -with Berol® Pris­ma­color Art Pencils and Art Stiks. For the lettering and line art I used a black, fine line Design® Art Marker.
Below, for this following collec­tion there was no time to add color. These layouts were also created with the same marking pen plus the medium and wedge tips. Black Pris­ma­color Art Stiks were used for some shading.

I worked many years with the creative director and many art direc­tors in the agency as we were producing campaign boards.
One art director moved to another agency and at one point said that she needed “Annie Boards”. She later told me that the persons in that other agency asked her: “Do you mean animatics? anima­tion?”. She said that she needed “Annie-Boards” as are created by Annie!
I don’t know who they found in that agency to do the same kind of presen­ta­tion boards — which would then be called: “_ _ ?_ _‑Boards”?
Also, I don’t know how campaigns are created and presented in today’s adver­tising agencies.

Ann Thompson