Posts Tagged ‘campaign’
Through a series of striking portraits, Sydney-based photographer North Sullivan has brought art to the streets of an eclectic NSW city suburb and snapped his way to the heart of his community. Words by Flora King.
When Sydney-based photographers North Sullivan and Tom Psomotragos struck up a discussion with Glebe Chamber of Commerce President Paul Angell about a potential community photography exhibition, Angell grabbed the idea with both hands and made it happen. One year later and in time for the Chamber’s 150th anniversary, the streets of the eclectic and character-full inner-city suburb were transformed into a neighbourhood hall of fame, with 150 life-size portraits of local residents hung in 60 different locations, including pianist Bridie King, her face lit with laughter; two rappers slouched by a gleaming Aston Martin; smiling James the Big Issue seller; and artist and musician Reg Mombassa in his paint-splattered studio to name a few.
Sullivan is a prestigious commercial photographer and the eye behind some of Australia’s best-loved ad campaigns, with the Qantas Choir being perhaps the most famous. The loyal Glebe resident was responsible for a third of the 150 Locals exhibition – but why choose Glebe to shoot? “Because it’s real. It has a diversity of community unlike any other suburb in Sydney; there’s the student element, the family, the bohemian and the Aboriginal, the poets, artists, musicians and activists. It has multi-million dollar mansions side by side with public housing and not, dare I say it, the snobbishness that some suburbs have acquired.”
And so, in celebration of the area’s social fabric, creative roots and rich Victorian history, 150 Locals came in to being in this wonderful, unconventional, large-as-life setting. The vast portraits (50 in colour by Sullivan, 100 in black and white by Psomotragos) were hung everywhere from shop windows to apartment façades, café walls and back roads. “By bringing art to the streets, the idea was to tell a story, to give people an excuse to just wander around and absorb or somehow connect with Glebe’s unique culture.
Sullivan’s Glebe images are beautifully enhanced using hyper real techniques and, with their distinctive energy and intensity of colour, are true reflections of the community they portray. “I wanted to capture the characters, but also their surroundings. Environment was critically important.” And whether it’s a group of basketballers on their local court under a mottled evening sky, an author submerged by the colourful editions of one of the area’s many bookshops, or Mitch the bike man amidst his tangle of wheels, each and every shot achieves a powerful sense of people and place.
“The exhibition brought all different elements of the community together and gave them something for which to feel mutually proud,” says Sullivan. He was particularly touched when a young local girl sitting in the courtyard outside his studio called him over to say how much, since the exhibition, she’d grown to love her neighborhood.
Mitch the Bike Man // Infamous among the two-wheeled fraternity of the suburb’s “bottom end”, Mitch sits patiently at his back gate most afternoons. A raggedy collection of cycling relics lines the gutter like the second-hand cars on Parramatta Road. His backyard is stacked with a jumble of bikes of all descriptions while Rex the loyal dog looks on
Chris O’Doherty, aka Reg Mombassa // A member of the ’80s pop band Mental as Anything, Reg met his fellow band members at Art School. By the ’90s he was known as much for his work on iconic surf label Mambo as for his music. Reg now devotes the majority of his time to painting and art in his attic studio at home in Glebe.
Colin Stokes // The broad diversity of Glebe’s population raises many challenges. Not least the disparate offspring of the suburb’s public housing estates. Colin, a youth worker, is a rare individual, a no nonsense, knock-’em-down bloke with a heart of platinum. His care and devotion for the troubled youth from the neighbouring streets is reflected in their respect and affection for him.
Verity Firth MP // Verity is the NSW Member for Port Jackson and the current Minister for Education. A long-time Glebe resident, Verity is a familiar face at local events and a champion for the community in the halls of Macquarie St.
Robyn Lawrence // A notable artist in her own right, Robyn is also the force behind Glebe’s annual art show. She’s most often found in her studio at the end of the garden in the leafier domain of The Toxeth.
Jack Mundy // Jack is an unassuming legend. One of the few people who can truly lay claim to the Sydney skyline. A working class bloke who harnessed the power of a largely uneducated immigrant labour force to take on the might of government and won. Glebe in particular owes Jack a debt of gratitude wider than a six-lane freeway – one that was destined to cleave the suburb in half, taking with it some of the inner west’s most historic houses as it motored west through the heart of Wentworth Park on its way to Canberra.
Barry Canaham // Barry has been living in his Toxeth bed-sit, piled high with furniture, artworks and belongings, for 18 years. He’s a jazz drummer turned keyboard player who deviates into the world of painting and art. On the morning of our shoot, Barry was a little more subdued than usual. Through the course of the session, downing strong coffee and puffing on a cigar, he divulged that the bottle of Teacher’s Whiskey sitting on the table had been full the night before. He and a young lady friend had made a substantial impact on it through the course of the evening.
Sister Xavier // Now in her 90s, Sister Xavier is the oldest resident of the Saint Scholastica Convent attached to the Catholic girl’s school in Avenue Road. As a younger devotee, Sister Xavier spent many years as a missionary in Japan.
Vincent Buchanan & Kieran White // Vinnie and Kieran are two local rap artists that form the hip-hop crew Str8 Ballaz. Their recent CD was recorded and produced with the generous support of the local Glebe Youth Service. We shot this outside my photo studio during the filming of their video clip, with an Aston Martin borrowed from a friend.
John Ogburn // A painter and teacher, John is well into his 80s and suffering poorly from Parkinson’s and the decline of old age. His studio is lost in a maze of back lanes in the heart of Glebe. Disguised as a common shed, the interior wafts with the romance of linseed oil, stacks of canvases and tables clustered with grubby tubes of Windsor and Newton, with accompanying festoons of motley brushes.
Looking back at some of the greatest innovations in marketing and advertising over the past 100 years, the creative brilliance of these ideas is obvious. Yet the stories behind these examples involve bold thinking, the passion to champion new ideas and a high dose of risk. Our industry’s visionaries often countered research results, drove themselves beyond the great idea and defied bosses and boards to push through their plans.
Let these stories inspire today’s marketers, who have so many new tools at their disposal, to set aside conventional thinking and become the marketing innovators of the next 100 years.
L’EGGS’ PACKAGING HATCHES A NEW LOOK
In 1969, designer Roger Ferriter of Herb Lubalin Associates wouldn’t settle. Feeling the work wasn’t creative enough, the morning he was presenting new marketing and packaging ideas to Hanes for a low-cost pantyhose launch, he sought to showcase the product in a new way. While squeezing the pantyhose in his fist to see how compact they could be, it struck him that the package could be an egg. Immediately, he also realized that egg rhymes with leg. Adding a French flair, he named the product L’eggs, prepared sketches for that afternoon, and hatched one of the most successful product launches in history.
ABSOLUT VODKA’S BOTTLE SPEAKS FOR THE BRAND
Lars Lindmark, CEO of Sweden’s Wines and Spirits, teamed with Gunnar Broman, a Stockholm ad man, to create a liquor-export product. Bowman borrowed the name Absolut Pure Vodka from an inexpensive Swedish vodka and took inspiration from 19th century apothecary bottles for the unusual package. Ignoring opposition from art directors, liquor executives and focus groups, Lindmark began shipping. When he coupled the bottle design with the Absolut (something) campaign from TBWA, the bottle itself became its own marketing engine. Launched in 1979, Absolut became the No. 1-selling imported vodka by 1985.
WOODBURY SOAP DARES TO USE SEX APPEAL
In 1911, the ad industry was dominated by males, and the advertising they produced was predominantly product-centric. It took a woman, Helen Lansdowne, who headed the newly formed women’s editorial department of J. Walter Thompson, to challenge the norms of the day. She refocused Woodbury’s advertising on product users with ads that featured elegant young ladies enjoying the attention of dashing young gentlemen. The campaign she directed, “Skin You Love to Touch,” is considered by several advertising historians to be the first modern ad campaign to use sex appeal.
APPLE COMPUTER: ONE MENTION, ONE AIRING
The “1984″ commercial introduced the Macintosh PC to the world for the first time. Airing nationally just once, during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII in 1984, the Ridley Scott-directed spot by Chiat Day represented the Macintosh as a means of saving humanity from “conformity.” It mentioned Apple Computer only once. The board of directors hated the spot after viewing it for the first time when Steve Jobs and John Sculley asked for permission to run it. Steve Wozniak volunteered to personally fund half the cost of airing the ad, but luckily there was no need for that, as the board gave in and approved it.
AVIS TRIES HONESTY
The “We’re No. 2. We Try Harder” campaign broke all of the rules. It admitted Avis was losing money, was short of customers and was second to Hertz. Test results from agency Doyle Dane Bernbach were so poor, no one today would allow it to run. But Bob Townsend of Avis believed in the tagline and knew it expressed Avis’s management desires to be different, effective and outstanding. Almost 40 years later it is more than a catchy slogan — it has become the essence of Avis.
BURMA-SHAVE LINES THE HIGHWAYS
In the early years of the automobile, Clinton Odell developed a brushless shaving cream. It was a great product with no marketing plan until his son, Allan, pitched him an idea in 1925: consecutive signs with simple verses, posted at the edge of highways. Clinton, not crazy about the idea, gave Allan $200 for a trial near Minneapolis. The signs delighted motorists, sales soared, and the iconic campaign eventually spawned 600 verses on 7,000 signs, many submitted by the public through an annual contest. Within a decade, Burma-Shave became the second-most-popular shaving cream in America.
BENETTON BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER
In 1965, four brothers in Treviso, Italy, started the now well-known international fashion empire Benetton. In 1984, advertising only in Italy and France, they hit upon an idea. Focusing on the global appeal for racial harmony and peace, Benetton launched its “All the Colors of the World” campaign. In 1989, an intense collaboration between Luciano Benetton and photographer Oliviero Toscani produced a bold and startlingly different campaign. Removing the merchandise from its ads, “The United Colors of Benetton” featured symbolic multicultural photographs. Benetton’s commitment to ethnic diversity remains the staple of its advertising today.
VOLKSWAGEN TELLS IT LIKE IT IS
What do you do if you are Doyle Dane Bernbach and the small, ugly, foreign car you are promoting is competing with over-the-top, macho, American superhero cars? You advocate the negative truths about your car: It isn’t big, beautiful or fast. Then sneak in the positives: It doesn’t eat gas, oil or tires and doesn’t require a big parking spot or high insurance premiums. By turning negatives into witty positives, DDB created an influential ad campaign that made the VW Beetle the best-selling imported car in America and proved that it pays to “Think Small!”
BURGER KING’S ‘SUBSERVIENT CHICKEN’ DOMINATES
The brand promise, “Have it your way,” took on a whole new meaning in 2004 with the “Subservient Chicken” campaign. Launching a new TenderCrisp Chicken Sandwich for the company and targeting young adults, VP-Marketing Impact Brian Gies wanted to launch in an unconventional way. Crispin Porter & Bogusky’s solution was to launch an interactive website featuring a chicken that could do seemingly any command visitors typed in. The results? A million hits in a day, 20 million the first week, 396 million the first year, an average of a remarkable six to seven minutes spent on the site and a sales increase of 9% per week.
NIKE TAKES A $35 LOGO THE DISTANCE
One of the world’s most-recognizable logos was derived from truly humble beginnings. In 1971, Carolyn Davidson, a graphic-design student at Portland State University, met University of Oregon track runner and accounting teacher Phil Knight. Phil and his coach, Bill Bowerman, needed a logo for a line of athletic footwear for their new company. They named their product Nike, after the Greek goddess of victory. For $2 an hour, they hired Carolyn as their designer, and, inspired by the wing in the famous statue of Nike, she created the swoosh. Total invoice: $35.