Isn’t it interesting how the planets come together. You talk about issues with difference people in totally separate parts of your life and then a project falls into your lap as if you’ve asked for it. Thank you Universe.
With most of my clients coming from the advertising world I have the benefit of being the photographer at various industry events where ad people have been talking about the push to represent the true reflection of our diverse society both in our work places and on our screens.
I was asked to work with Chrissy Totty, then Head of Innovation at Vizeum UK, and her team on an entry competition for DIVA magazine which was dealing with this very issue from a lesbian point of view. The premise was that although there seems to have been a rise of LGBT characters in advertising, when you look closer this is really only by using gay men. The gay men in question have been model types in the past but are more increasingly they are ‘normal’ looking guys and not always the ‘perfect specimen’ but on the very rare occasion lesbians are used it is either as titillation or the flannel shirted stereotyped lesbians, not the regular everyday women that surround me. The competition asked us to redo classic ads using lesbians as everyday characters not as glamorous, sexy, pornographic additions.
So after a few long discussions on those classic family ads representing NORMAL life we decided to twist the MALTESERS’ ‘straw’ TV and print ad. (see video below or visit https://youtu.be/DnaLG9CMWWc).
In our ad, we used a real life couple I’m friends with and who happen to be lesbians. It is totally identifiable as a MALTESERS ad, I doubt it would put anyone off the product and shock horror – we are not using sex to sell just the beauty of every day fun and intimacy, love being love!
I’m publishing this work on twitter, instagram and Facebook for Valentines’ days as it seems an appropriate day to bring the love in my community to the fore and hopefully the Ad World may just notice and start to make these changes that will help reflect our society a little more.
We have a long way to go to reflect the true depth of diversity in our society.