DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY: THE POWER OF VISUAL METAPHORS

“A visual metaphor is a device for encouraging insights, a tool to think with” states Noël Carroll in his book Beyond Aesthetics. Looking around at some of the world’s greatest ads, there is little doubt that one of the most powerful ways advertising communicates a message is through visual metaphors. It is an art in itself. To strip down an idea to its essence, then represent this through a powerful and visually engaging metaphor, making it easier to communicate the message to an audience. Our Advertising and Digital Media students produce an original photographic visual metaphor in our Digital Photography classes.

The first challenge of taking a great photo is coming up with a great idea. In this assignment, students nominate a client, product or service and develop a photographic ad to solve a specific communications problem. After a series of lessons in digital, studio and lifestyle photography, students take an original photo and retouch and composite it with a headline, typography and a brand logo.

“The first step is to nut out the core message, then sketch out visual solutions. Taking the photo is where the executional expertise comes in” says Digital Photography lecturer Simon Cardwell.

Simon runs the Digital Photography unit at our Sydney campus. In addition to being an accomplished fine arts and portrait photographer himself, Simon embodies Macleay’s principles of delivering student and industry focused education with industry expert teachers, project-based learning and a hands-on approach to learning.

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Advertising student Ray Phan (now working as a Designer at We Are Social) wanted to surprise his audience. His visual solution for Kinder Surprise – a chocolate egg with a hidden toy, was to remind us that eggs have long hidden unexpected hatchlings.

International student Carlos Alcantara (now working at Magna Global) approached his casual employer Des Renford Leisure Centre and offered to create an ad to help clients get their ‘muffin top’ into shape.

Recent Bachelor of Advertising and Media graduate Sophie Robertson created a soft and beautiful image of firm, round peaches to discreetly create awareness around screening for breast cancer.

Macleay College Digital Photography class

After taking time-out of her creative career to start a family, art director Helen Metlenko wanted to up-date her digital skills, and in the meantime, found out she was a pretty keen copywriter. Her visual ad for Patrick’s Barbers was pitched specifically at their male clientele.

Sam Harley (most recently Junior Creative at Host) topped the Diploma of Advertising course, and also came up with this crafty visual solution for the craft beer bar next door to the college.

Callam Hanks always had a creative ‘outside-of-the-box’ idea for his assignments. This was a very unexpected solution to the visual metaphor assignment, comparing the cost of a new car to the cost of raising a child. The ad was specifically aimed at getting teens to rethink their choices around unwanted teen pregnancy. No need to say Callam has gone on to create some innovative and out-there solutions in his new job as Social and Content Manager at Infinity Squared.

If you would like to know more about the Digital Photography classes, part of our Advertising & Media or Digital Media courses read on.

The art of becoming an Art Director

When Rowan Slade started his studies, he was a self-confessed “guy from a beachie town who made cappuccinos”. This might sound familiar. Finishing school and moving into a career can often be daunting, but after a couple of years of study Rowan discovered the art of becoming an Art Director. Proof of his artistic talent was on display recently with his graduating project from Macleay’s Bachelor of Advertising and Media, where Rowan created an art installation that explored the tension between the fantasy and brutality of Reality TV. 

Rowan describes the humble beginning of his creative career behind the cappuccino machine on his blog: “It was here, meeting and talking to a variety of different people, that I learned the value of customer experience for a business. I thrived working with others but decided that I didn’t want to be stuck in the hospitality bubble.”

“My life has been consistently drawn towards the creative arts and I’ve been a performer since my childhood; refer to mum for videos. I moved out on my own to Sydney where I’ve continued to study and further my career. I’ve studied acting, film & media production and travelled aplenty – and it’s all these influences of working within and being around creativity that have driven me to work in the advertising and media industry; in particular, the ability to use my creativity to drive business.”

Rowan has a keen eye and a great sense of style, so even his early college projects stood out. One of my favourites was a brand he developed from scratch (excuse the pun), for a real-world client in his Advanced Digital Design class. ‘RuvBox’ is a pet care pack that Rowan developed a logo, packaging, magazine advertising and merchandising for.

Rowan’s branding project for ‘RuvBox’

Once Rowan got a video camera in his hand, he started producing some fun and quirky video content, like this engaging digital content piece with Sophie Robertson visualising the word ‘Joy’ in their Art Direction and Design class.

But Rowan hasn’t limited his creative talents to visual mediums, he also produced a great podcast on ‘TV Streaming’ in his Radio Advertising & Podcasting class with our award-winning radio lecturer Cameron Horn. Have a listen here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1djurNOZl_p-Iw6hBbL5S2iEXRzRbL2_E/view

It was of course a highlight of Rowan’s time at the college to see him create a visual installation exploring his ideas around Reality TV. It was an ambitious project to take over a whole room; design and build a floral installation; contrast this with a broken television and image of a bleeding heart; and invite people to sit in the installation and share their selfies on Instagram.

Both Adam Ross, executive creative director at the projects* and the marketing consultant Louise Chamberlain, who sat on the industry marking panel commended Rowan’s courage and ambition in creating an immersive and interactive installation. The next challenge for Rowan is to make his creative mark on the advertising industry. Stay tuned.

Rowan presenting his major art directing project to Adam Ross and Louise Chamberlain.

Reaction

Instagram reactions to Rowan’s installation.

If you would like to see more of Rowan’s work, you can check out the creative portfolio on his blog here:

https://rowanjslade.wordpress.com/creative-portfolio/

Featured image of Rowan Slade and fellow Advertising & Media student Grace Cooper by Alana Taylor-Benn.

Macleay College offers diploma and bachelor courses in Advertising & Media in the campus in both Sydney and Melbourne.  For more information click this link.

Congrats to our latest AdGrads!

Congratulations to the graduating Bachelor of Advertising and Media students who successfully presented their Major Projects to a panel of industry judges.

Major Project is the capstone unit of the Bachelor of Advertising and Media and prepares graduating students as they launch themselves into the industry. Based on their skills and passions, students are asked to plan, manage and execute all the stages of an original piece of work, to a high professional standard. The project can be: creative (print, audio, moving image etc); a digital media project (app, game, web, video, animation, interactive, social media):  strategic media project; or a marketing or account management project.

The students proudly presented the following works:

MatthewFiacchi-SpectrumMatthew Fiacchi developed Spectrum, a queer wellness app designed to improve quality of life for queer people of all backgrounds. The app provides unique information and resources that help users connect, learn and navigate difficult mental health issues. 

ataylor-benn_DilemmialsDillemials is a positive psychology, social media platform for millennials developed by Alana Taylor-Benn. The platform encourages users to share their thoughts, feelings and anxieties within a supportive digital community.

 AdrianaKind_study choices app2Adriana Kind created a careers and study advice app for prospective tertiary students. The app assists young adults in finding relevant study information and career advice after graduating from high school.

Grace Cooper - Your VibeYour Vibe is a health and safety campaign targeted at young music festival attendees. The brainchild of Grace Cooper, the campaign addresses the topic of drug and alcohol safety in a fun and engaging manner.

Sophie Robertson - Foodface1Sophie Robertson developed FoodFace, a full-service food sharing app that helps people make the most out of cooking. The app encourages users to share recipes, advice, reviews and dining experiences.

Rowan Slade - RealityTVvsFantasy1Reality TV vs. Fantasy TV is a beautifully executed art piece for young women, that represents the contrast of reality and fantasy. The work was installed on campus by Rowan Slade, and encouraged audiences to interact with the work, by taking a seat and a sharing selfie.

The judges were blown away by the level of creativity and innovation showcased by these talented students and are excited to see what’s next for them as they enter the industry.

If you are interested in a career in Advertising and Media, Macleay College is currently enrolling for the trimester 2, starting on May 28th.

Click here for more information.

“FALL IN LOVE WITH A PROBLEM, NOT A SPECIFIC SOLUTION.”

This statement by Laura Javier has been front-of-mind as we explored Opportunity-Based Learning (OBL) in the Creative Process unit as part of the Advertising & Media course at Macleay College, culminating in a creative pitch to the Creative Director, Cherie Davies of Sudler & Hennessey.

The creative solutions – borne from a fast-paced OBL workshop – were well-received by Cherie who recognises the value of responding to a ‘problem-based’ question as it requires us to dig deeper to uncover a clear insight.

During the 1-hour workshop, the small cohort of students researched the question posed; determined an insight; and reframed the original question with this insight. The workshop included empathy maps, triangulated research, user-centred design and design thinking techniques.

The students then worked in groups to develop their prototypes and iterate their concepts. They were grateful for the opportunity to present their mixed media campaign solutions at the Sudler & Hennessey advertising agency in Sydney.

“Presenting to a Creative Director of Cherie’s standing was a daunting yet beneficial experience and the feedback we obtained was invaluable – not only to the current assignment, but also how I’ll approach future campaigns”, said Macleay College advertising student Jamie-Lee Carter.

Cherie shared a snapshot of her stellar career journey since completing Award School in 2006, then offered some useful tips, especially in relation to hunting through creative briefs for the kernel of an idea, and the importance of a key insight and big idea that can be extended across multi channels and executions.

Recently nominated to Judge at Cannes Lions* 2018, we’re extremely grateful for the time Cherie invests in our programs at Macleay. Our partnership with agencies like Sudler & Hennessey supports our commitment to preparing our students for purposeful employment in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world.

*Cannes Lions is the world’s largest festival and awards for the creative and marketing communications, entertainment, design and tech industries.

Macleay College’s industry and innovation focused advertising and media courses are currently enrolling for the mid-year intake (starts on the 28th May). For more information, click here!

 

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By Julieann Brooker
Creative Process Lecturer, Advertising & Media

Positive Psychology workshop with Louise Tidmand

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I previously studied at Macleay College and have come back after 3 years to finish my degree in Advertising. There are a lot of things that have changed but one of the things that I looked forward to was the subject on Positive Psychology.

It was a pleasant surprise to know that Macleay had introduced this new subject and I wasted no time in signing up for it. I had no clue about what it would entail, but from the title itself I knew that it would be a fundamental class that would shape me to be a better person and innovator.

And I wasn’t wrong.

Positive Psychology is defined as the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. It is founded on the belief that people want to lead more meaningful and fulfilling lives.

Through our classes, we have been learning unconventional ways of thinking in order to reduce the stresses accumulated from everyday life and to open our minds and be more creative. In my opinion it is a revolutionary movement that tackles the alarming growth of anxiety, depression and lack of self-fulfilment in people.

Louise Tidmand generously volunteered her time to the students of Macleay College, specifically those who were studying Positive Psychology. She shared her insight and research on the idea of teaching life coping skills to students and adults. She described it as the process of learning how to deal with stress which greatly varies from how you react to it.

When Louise presented her findings on the growing rate of depression and anxiety in adults and teens it resonated within myself as I have experienced the severity of these mental illnesses through close encounters. She highlighted that the traditional ways of addressing these illnesses, which often focus on negatives, are not enough to build a resilient foundation in our society. She showcased the tools she had created to get someone into the positives on the scale of happiness. It was very inspiring to see that there are people who are taking action to make a better change in the world.

In her presentation, Louise engaged with the audience with fun clapping routines and asking us simple but thoughtful questions to promote altruism. For e.g. What can you do to make someone happy? And what can you say to make someone happy?

I am so grateful for the chance to gain new wisdoms from Louise. It is so motivating to see that the studies of positive psychology are spreading to affect the lives of the people around us in a life-changing way.

 

 

 

 

By Patricia Tamayo
Bachelor of Advertising & Media

Welcome To The World Of The Individual

Demographics Are Dead: Welcome To The World Of The Individual 

Since the mid 20th Century, consumer targeting meant broadcasting out to a specific group of people based on gender, age, and location. Yet in 2017, data collection is far more intricate, and those brackets that we use to define and group people are now far too broad. Is it time for communicators to stop generalising markets, and shift our focus to the individual?

People no longer define themselves within one set of beliefs in the way we did 30 years ago. We have evolved to accept every facet of our personalities, and have multiple defining characteristics beyond our ethnic background, location, religious beliefs or even age. The only way to successfully market to the people of the future, is to get to know them beyond basic demographics and look further into their personality type, habits, and opinions.

Only a few years ago, people began to grow extremely uncomfortable with the amount of data that platforms, such as a Facebook, had on them. Yet it seems more and more widely accepted now that we all carry a complex digital footprint, and in that footprint is everything any brand needs to know about us. Many successful brands follow people on their daily interactions with digital media – from the minute they wake up to the minute they go to sleep. Marketing to the individual based on their digital data is a guaranteed way to increase brand awareness, whether your audience likes it or not. This retargeting model and its breach on privacy is another conversation, but we need acknowledge that when it comes to brand awareness, this method of individual marketing is a stepping stone in getting to know your consumer.

You’re probably thinking that this method of individual consumer targeting can’t possibly work for every brand – and you’re right. Keep in mind that data is power. Not all brands need social media and retargeting to reach their consumer, but all brands do need that vital information on their audience. Think about it in terms of the friends you have on Facebook; you may have never met someone, but based on their daily Facebook activity clogging your newsfeed, you can probably tell exactly what, why, and when they’d buy. Yet from a marketing perspective, this person is probably defined as ’50-65, woman, Eastern Suburbs’.

Let’s get personal. Look beyond classic defining characteristics and get to know your consumer on a deeper level. Consumers are getting smarter, so if we can respect our consumer as an individual with distinctive opinions and beliefs, then we can build a trusting relationship between brand and audience. (Even if achieving that personal relationship means digging deep in data).

By Keira Scurry (Bachelor of Advertising and Media student)

What is this trickery called retargeting? Is it effective?

Remember when you were in the market for a fresh pair of kicks or a new top to impress that not so special someone on your recently memorable for all the wrong reasons tinder date? You jumped onto ASOS and when overwhelmed with the choices thought “Fuck it I’ll look later.”. No? Well, facebook sure seems to think you did. Next thing you know your sitting in class, at work, on the train and you stumble your way online only to see banner ads from ASOS for the exact category you were perusing. Creepy. But hey no harm no foul you shrug it off right? And that weekend you’re out shopping with friends and low and behold find that perfect pair of shoes, tie, whatever, no need to keep looking but that’s not what Facebook thinks…next thing you know all you see for the next few weeks are ads for shoes over and over again to the point of irrational anger. Or is it rational?

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This is just one example of how technology is influencing advertisement and is more commonly known as ‘Adtech’. The example above highlights one of the most notorious forms of Adtech called retargeting where it roughly works like this; a website uses cookie-based technology that uses javascript code to follow those who visit the page around the rest of the web. This is done so anonymously and is done so in a way that the ad will only target those who have visited the said website. The purpose of this, of course, is so that even though Bob didn’t make it all the way to the ‘check out’, maybe he got distracted or something came up, brands and websites can subtly remind Bob about the new ultra shiny garden hose reel and other similar categorical items and hey, maybe Bob will complete the purchase at a later time and think fondly about that website.

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But is this ethical? Is Bob only buying that hose reel because he kept seeing images of it everywhere he went and now only bought it based on one initial passing thought, turned action off of subliminal advertising? More and more consumers are becoming irritated and fed up with the constant feed of adverts in their lives opting for web browser extensions that block all ads and it even caused big companies like Apple to start building these types of ad blockers into their own web browsers which have then been used as part of a selling point of their products. Innovations in technology have brought about a lot of new and amazing streams in which the advertising industry can play with but is the industry just being lazy?

The term ‘brand engagement’ is thrown around a lot these days where big brands want consumers to ‘engage’ with them but tactics like retargeting has had the exact opposite effect where consumers are actively trying to disengage with brands and ads so they can have a moment of peace from the bombardment of products and services shoved down their eyeballs. If you rely heavily on retargeting your potential consumers for your products and or services are you even offering anything of worth? Perhaps its time to think more creatively and do something that has consumers wanting to engage with your website and or brand.

By Lachlan Burdis (Bachelor of Advertising and Media student)

A BLOG BY MACLEAY COLLEGE ADVERTISING & DIGITAL MEDIA STUDENTS

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