On Sunday I moderated an ad agency panel for Shoot! the Day, a day-long photographer conference put together by PhotoShelter.
A few things I picked up amidst coleslaw mountains and sassy stock:
- ADs and art buyers depend pretty heavily on stock photography, but feel like they've seen everything the industry has to offer -- including its paltry selection of models. "It's become a running joke," said Molly Aaker of Unit7. "'There's that same girl, except with her hair up!'"
- Diversity is an issue, but it can't be solved just by changing the color of people's faces. Belinda Lopez of StrawberryFrog wants to see more "documentary-style" imagery -- people in natural poses, expressing real emotions, and doing things a person in that situation and/or of that ethnicity is likely to do.
- Everybody seems crazy about PhotoShelter -- which is probably why they attended the first annual Shoot! the Day in the first place.
This is not an ad for Apple. Apple doesn't do racy ads. Apple doesn't believe sex sells. Nope. This is not an ad for Apple. Apple prefers hipsteresque silhouettes and white space. Industrial design and witty repartee. Tiny envelopes and bloviated PC guys. This is not an ad for Apple.
We're more likely to see Steve Jobs himself appear in an Apple ad than some cutie in black lingerie lounging on a white couch. No, this is not an ad for Apple. It is, however, an ad for MacUnblogged. Sort of.
You've got to love a brand that motivates people to photograph themselves - or hot models - with the brand's products.
Test Your Instincts is a free (brought to you by Samsung Instinct!) quiz that gauges a person's wildlife savvy: what do you do when a jellyfish stings, when a shark comes angling for your surfboard, or when you're stuck in quicksand (which happens to me all the time)?
The scenarios are wordy, but you'll at least learn something* and there's no registration process. I fared pretty terribly. Oddly, the answers I did know were mostly culled from Captain Planet.
As a follow up to its original rugby film, Land Rover is out with another which debuted mid-July and has, again, tapped British royalty to appear in the video. In the new video, the goofy rugby lover puts his smarmy moves on Zara Phillips, the eldest granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II. Phillips, an equestrienne Eventing World Champion is seen taking her horse out of its trailer while the goofy dude tries to explain to Phillips, who, apparently, he doesn't know, how simple horse rising is. Philips just smiles but the horse doesn't take too kindly to the dude's smarm.
In late 2006, Phillips appeared in a print ad for Land Rover wearing a gown covered in mud with the headline, "Beautifuly Poised." The Queen wasn't all that happy about her appearing in the ad but perhaps she's had a chance to get used to Phillip's more "real world" endeavors.
To some, yawning lions who break into song could be interpreted as funny, amusing or even entertaining. Even a half-eaten dead antelope who gets up and dances could cause a giggle. Thankfully for those who don't find this sort of thing amusing, this Samsung video promoting the NV24HD only lasts 1:19. For the rest of the story (as some old news dude used to say), a visit to seethewholestory.com will give you the details on the new camera.
Social media firm Votigo partnered with L'Oreal to promote its Shue Uemura Art of Hair Product Line.
The result: what else? -- UGC! A style challenge, to be exact. Go do somebody's hair and take a picture. Be sure to claim you used an Art of Hair product.
Entrants will be graded, in part by their peers, based on artistic approach, technical difficulty and stylist's pick. The winner gets a trip to Tokyo.
Renaud, the author of Shoot My Blog, asked a bunch of other bloggers (including us; we declined) to shoot a digital photo of something with his blog in the background. Here are the results.
It's cool that he got a bunch of people to go out of their way and do this for him, but what's it all for? Like Paris Hilton circa 2006, the blog apparently only exists to be photographed. You wanna put an ad on that bad-boy or what?
Check out Faceless People, for which a bunch of, well, faceless people appear in high-profile places all over England.
By wading through a sea of faceless folk on FacelessPeople.com, you can read up on the specs for the new Lotus Evora. Tagline: "True character in a faceless world."
Diggin' the creepy guerrilla effort (imagine getting on the bus and sitting next to somebody WITHOUT A FACE!), but I also think it's pretty bitchy to claim to have a premium on character. (Why spend $80K for character when a jagged scar does it for free?) Thanks to Adrants reader Tom Quinn for sending this over.
Looks like CP+B's finally doing something with the $300 million in ad money Microsoft gave it. Oops, this isn't a CP+B campaign.
The divine task: reposition Vista.
"Vista is now actually better than its reputation. That's a marketing issue," observed Tim Anderson of the ailing OS -- which, to be fair, was getting panned even before it went live. (Warts and all.)
One of the new ads, at left, reads, "At one point, everyone thought the Earth was flat. Get the facts about Windows Vista." Clicking on that brings you to this page, which in part reads:
When Windows Vista debuted in January 2007, we declared it the best operating system we had ever made. "Windows Vista is beautiful," The New York Times raved. It's humbling that millions of you agree.
But we know a few of you were disappointed by your early encounter. Printers didn't work. Games felt sluggish. You told us--loudly at times--that the latest Windows wasn't always living up to your high expectations for a Microsoft product.
Well, we've been taking notes and addressing issues.
That's charming. Touching, even. But do they mean it? And what happens now?
Lately I can't turn the TV on without running into an ad for the Pickens Plan, T. Boone Pickens' $58 million attempt to liberate the US from its sordid addiction to foreign oil.
Interesting things about Pickens and this campaign:
o Pickens is an oil magnate. (Can you hear the crows going "OMG! OMG!"?) Soon, he'll be a wind magnate too.
o The ads are totally finance-focused. Pickens hardly says the e-word ("environmental") at all.