Mansplaining Pictogram for the Verbally Challenged

7 posts / 0 new
Last post
Pondering
Mansplaining Pictogram for the Verbally Challenged

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-44667195

How did this get approval at the ad agency for presentation to a client? Aside from the obvious political incorrectedness those women could not look more disinterested and the man looks like he is posing for a Jesus portrait. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

The funny part is that stock photography like this is supposed to be the visual equivalent of elevator music.  It's really not supposed to "mean" anything much at all, and certainly isn't meant to be memorable, or even all that noticable.  Just generic people generically collaborating on some unknown thing or some such.

It looks like the photographer told the dude "look like you just invented the edible iPhone and have to explain it to female time travellers from the 1940s".

Pogo Pogo's picture

This could be a New Yorker fill in the blank:

"as I was saying, my ex said I never listened to her"

6079_Smith_W

Saw this on FB yesterday. Really I have to ask what they were thinking, both in the idea, and did they not notice the expressions on their faces? Or that most of them aren't even looking at him?

Or maybe that was the plan to have something so satirical it go viral worldwide.

voice of the damned

If anything, the photo is offensive to men, since it seems to imply that the guy is so boring and/or clueless that the women don't even think themselves obligated to listen to him.

Pogo:

Well played.

voice of the damned

The funny part is that stock photography like this is supposed to be the visual equivalent of elevator music. 

At a former school, the boss once assigned me the task of writing ESL questions to accompany stock photos. Looking at them was like spending a few hours in some weird alternate reality.

I've wondered who makes such photos, and how they decide what to photograph? Do they just say "Okay, today we're gonna do a couple of people standing around a water cooler examining a magazine", and then hope that somewhere out there is a customer for that particular image?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I've wondered who makes such photos, and how they decide what to photograph? Do they just say "Okay, today we're gonna do a couple of people standing around a water cooler examining a magazine", and then hope that somewhere out there is a customer for that particular image?

That's pretty close.

Stock photographers certainly want to take "saleable" pictures -- pictures that someone, for whatever reason, will pay some amount to licence and use.

Part of the art and science of this is choosing subject matter that's both timely (e.g. a bunch of opiod tablets, or stacks of dollars, Euros and Yen) and also universal or, if you prefer, vague, (e.g. your example of generic workers around a water cooler being interested in something, or a parent seeming to impart wisdom to a child).

Some stock agencies "vett" their photos -- accepting some and rejecting most -- and others work on a "consignment" model (in other words, upload whatever, and if it sells, we take our cut and if it doesn't, who cares?).

The thing with shooting stock is that the more specific and unambiguous a shot is, the smaller the market for it.  This leads to cheesiness.

Going back to your example, a smart stock photographer would shoot two of those:  one with the generic (and ideally, diverse) staff looking at the magazine all excitedly, and another where they're looking at it disgusted.  Takes literally five more seconds, and doubles the revenue opportunities.