Evolution of Marketing and 20 Years of Marketoonist cartoons – Marketoonist

Last Friday marked 20 years of Marketoonist.  On October 21, 2002, I published my very first marketing cartoon, then called Brand Camp.  It was a cartoon on the 8 Types of Brand Managers.

I had just started as an Associate Marketing Manager at General Mills, working on Yoplait.  I emailed this first cartoon to 35 co-workers from my cubicle on the 4th floor, linking to a newsletter sign-up.  

I imagined this marketing cartoon series would be mainly for my co-workers in the office.  But I soon started hearing from people working in marketing in a wide variety of companies all over the world.  I learned we all share similar stories and experiences in this funny marketing industry of ours (and business in general).

Marketing is constantly in a state of flux, with an endless stream of shiny new things to distract us.  But the more things change, the more they stay the same.  

Over the years, I’ve loved this communal feeling that we’re all figuring it out together.  

I never imagined that this cartoon would have lasted 20 years, and certainly not that it would evolve into my career.  I kept drawing as I worked at different companies (General Mills, Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream (Nestle), Method Products, HotelTonight) and in different places (Minneapolis, San Francisco, London). 

In October 2010, I made the leap to focus on Marketoonist full-time, growing it into a custom cartoon studio and giving keynote talks around the world.  This gave me the opportunity to meet many of you in person.

I mostly want this cartoon series to be a reminder not to take ourselves too seriously.  And I think that laughing at some of the funny things in marketing can help us become better marketers.

I’m grateful for all of you who have been reading this cartoon over the years.  Thank you for joining me on this journey and supporting me along the way.  

Later this week, I’ll share an interview with MarketingWeek on some of what I’ve observed on this 20-year journey, and the backstories on some of my favorite cartoons over the last 20 years.

“If marketing kept a diary, this would be it.”

– Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs

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Here’s my first-ever cartoon in this series, and a few others that come to mind: