Panasonic recently found itself in the center of attention for all the wrong reasons. The company published a series of weird composites to promote its wearable speaker SoundSlayer. One of the images consists of a white man’s head on a black man’s body, with skin tone altered to match. And not surprisingly – it has sparked a lot of controversies.
You thought you can escape from ads on Instagram? No way, they’re now officially everywhere. After initially testing ads in Reels in four countries, Instagram has now rolled them out worldwide so all of us can see even more of them.
After Instagram (and Facebook) recently put out notifications in the app stating that they wanted access to your data to “Help keep Instagram free of charge“, I stumbled across an experiment by the folks over at Signal. Now, Signal is obviously a competitor to Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp – at least as far as their messaging abilities go – but the results of that experiment are quite interesting.
They involve the personal data collected by Facebook and the services it owns and how it’s used for advertising. It allows you to target ads very specifically. This isn’t really news, as this prank from 2014 illustrates hilariously. But what is interesting is that you’re not allowed to know how and why you were targeted to see a specific ad.
Most commercials don’t interest me these days. But sometimes, you spot one that really grabs your attention. This one from Verizon called The Reset, to promote their 5G service, grabbed mine. And I’m not even close to being in their service area, living in a different continent n’ all.
The 2-minute video shows what the world would be like if we experienced video game “lag” in real life and it’s just packed with some pretty amazing (and occasionally creepy) visual effects. It reminds me a lot of the early days of World of Warcraft, with glitchy terrain, walking through walls and things not loading exactly where they’re supposed to be.
A whole bunch of ads is one of the worst things on Instagram. Only Reels have been spared, but not for long. Instagram has started testing ads in Reels in four countries, but there are more to come over the next couple of months.
Plenty of Fujifilm gear has leaked over the years: from instant cameras to medium format. Most recently, we saw the now announced GFX 100S appear online – but did it really leak? In this brilliant and hilarious ad, Fuji tells us “the truth” about how the company’s latest medium format camera got to leak days ahead of the announcement.
Earlier this week, the UK Government came under fire over a “crass” campaign photo. It shows a young ballet dancer and a caption reading: “Fatima’s next job could be in cyber (she just doesn’t know it yet). Rethink. Reskill. Reboot.” Atlanta-based photographer Krys Alex shot the original image, and she spoke up about the incident. She says that she was “devastated” when she found out how her photo was used, and that she would have never allowed it.
Coronavirus has hit all of us, but artists and creators are among those who were hit really hard. UK Government decided to hit them even harder in a marketing campaign that completely devaluates their jobs. Not only does it mock artists, but it also uses free photos found on Unsplash, So, it’s no wonder that it faced a strong backlash and it was soon taken down.
Has COVID-19 impacted the look of advertising campaigns?
Maybe – but probably not by as much as you might think. What is impacted, however, is the way that a commercial photography set operates for the foreseeable future.
As an advertising photographer, you are responsible for everything that happens on set while shooting a campaign. This can range from not just the lighting scheme, but the choice of using craft services versus having a chef on set, choosing the appropriate camera and related equipment, and most importantly the safety of everyone present. This isn’t to say that there are not safety officers on set, or form specific trainers when we photograph professional athletes, but that the buck always stops at the photographer. For those that do commercial photography, we know that there are never ending insurance certificate pulls happening just to step foot on set. But how do we create when it comes to an unseen virus, and what will those campaigns look like?
Commercial filmmakers, videographers, and photographers usually need to pay a fee if they want to shoot on every federal land. Right now, however, the fees aren’t consistent across these lands. Therefore, federal land management agencies are currently in the process of standardizing them and making them mandatory and consistent everywhere.