Generic stock photography gets spoofed

Published:  May 1, 2014
Bonnie Abbott

McCann London has worked with fashion photographer Max Oppenheim on a campaign for the upcoming  Cannes Lions festival, using some of the biggest names in the advertising world, disguised in the cool, corporate tones of a stock image model.

In a style all of its own, the indistinct ecstasy of the stock photo model pervades image libraries and commercial campaigns across the world, recognisable for their slick blandness. Yet where the use of this imagery usually indicates a lack of “creative”, Oppenheim’s shoot has reproduced this style perfectly — the clothes, and filters and the locations, even down to the expressions. Under the strap line “‘You’ll come back as pumped as a stock photo model,” advertising figures like Amir Kassae, Ted Royer and Cindy Gallop celebrate stiffly above the “relevant search terms” winning, inspired and energised.

“It was a challenge to find just the right visual language to pull off this series. I was very careful to select neutral locations, styling and wardrobe to capture the generic world of stock,” Oppenheim explained. “It helped massively that all the ‘models’ understood how great the idea was and threw themselves into their performances. They were pumped!”

Cannes Lions is one of the biggest dates on the advertising calendar, the annual awards show attracting over 12 000 creatives from 94 countries to Cannes, for trophies, forums and networking.

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