Monday, 11 May 2015

P H O T O G R A P H Y - / / N A T G R O U P B U S

As many of you know, I'm a photographer from South Wales. This morning, I woke up very exited because I knew my images were going to be displayed around Cardiff thanks to the help of NAT Group's buses and their latest bus adventures!

Only, after the response the campaign has received from the general public I'm left confused. The services that my images were featured on had been recalled within 5 hours of working. Disheartening me as a photographer, but also as a member of the general public.

Recently, NAT Group approached Future Model Management's agency founder Clair Rawlings in regards to supplying models to use for their campaign, Clair's a good friend of mine hence how I was introduced to the NAT team.

Nat provided us with their idea, of Calvin Klein style images, of young adults for the back of their buses. The reason behind this is purely because they wanted to offer something different to any other bus company within South Wales. The majority of buses often show images of those who are entitled to a free bus pass, with copy that states 'Now that I am 60, I can shop with my daughter for free!' and other slogans along the same lines.

Nat wanted to show that they are a force be a reckoned with. The idea of a sexual innuendo released within the campaign simply made the advertisement eye catching, which is surely the whole reason to any campaign? To grab attention to the company in order to make profit?



-Nat's Instagram



Many companies use this advertising strategy, like the saying goes 'sex sells'

The story has been featured on a number of media platforms, including News stories and social media.
I thought I'd share a few below for those who haven't seen what the fuss is all about.. allegedly. 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cardiff-company-nat-group-shamed-for-sexist-ad-on-back-of-bus-showing-topless-woman-holding-ride-me-all-day-for-3-sign-10241121.html

The Independent has slammed the campaign by branding it 'Sexist', The definition of Sexism is 'prejudice or discrimination based on sex' The campaign contains images of men and women, so why is it the woman are being 'sexually exploited' and the men are hardly covered at all in the onslaught? The campaign is very equal. Each model is using the same pose and the text carries through every images. 

The Independent also states that the female models are topless, when inf act they are wearing strapless bras with their vests straps tucked in. I wouldn't feel comfortable without my clothes on, why would I expect any of the models I work with to feel uncomfortable?

All the models knew what the idea was for the campaign, all finding it very humorous and cracking jokes with each other. There is no exploitation included within the campaign. The majority of comments on social media are positive. 'Funny', 'It got my attention', and 'I'd ride that bus' - This is exactly what NAT Group wanted to do!
Here are other images not used in the campaign, but still photographed on the same day, with the same models, in the same clothes!




Personally, I find the images great! *and not because I photographed them myself* 
The campaign is unique, although inspired by Calvin Klein, I've never seen imagery like this on the back of a bus. The use of males and females gives an understanding into equality, yes the models are attractive, but in no way are the images sexist. 
The slogan reaches out to adults and young adults. The comments made in regards to children seeing the images can be thrown out the window. A child will simply see a model, with a sign in front of them, with a message telling them it costs £3 to use the bus. The text is purely a sexual innuendo for grown ups to have a giggle at. Sexual innuendos are everywhere. In almost every episode of The Simpsons if you really look into it too!


( Found at : http://collegetimes.com/2014/05/27/sexual-innuendo-you-might-have-missed-in-the-simpsons )

I find the images quite empowering! All the models look beautiful and their poses show character. I wouldn't describe their expressions as 'come to bed eyes' but instead suggest that they represent strong personalities. It really gets to me when the word 'sexist' is thrown out towards men. As a woman myself, I know how it feels to be in a position where I feel uncomfortable, I would not say this bus makes the models uncomfortable... the comments they are receiving through social media may. 

I'm very happy for everyone to have their own opinions, without debate the world would be a very boring place to live; but I just wanted to add my little two piece. I'm grateful to 95% of the comments the campaign have received. They're positive and everyone can see the fun side to the whole thing.
NAT group went above and beyond and I'm proud that we live in a society where it's acceptable to try something new. The media only post about the negative response, but if you dig deeper, you'll find the truth.


The truth is, the advert is only offensive if you find it offensive, children will not be effected by the imagery or the text, the MEN AND WOMAN are empowered through the images, they look good, and they know they do, and now all of South Wales *And people around the world thanks to social media* know how good they look. Nat bus has had a lot of free advertising and everyone will remember their name.

We had a lot of fun on this shoot, and are still amazed by the overall coverage we've received!

I will finish with an apology, an apology to anyone who was slightly offended to this campaign, but please do take it with a pinch of salt!

Lots of love from me and the team!

2 comments:

  1. There's no such thing as bad publicity. Nice write up! Loved the ad'. As for the woman who can't explain it to her class of 5 year olds, "how about you don't".

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  2. Well I for one think the advertisements as far as marketing goes are "incredible" they do exactly what they should......they are eye catching, funny & most certainly memorable. My thoughts are "you ride a bus", buses have always been know for "let's have a ride into town" "fancy a bus ride" etc etc.....if people wish to interpret this slogan in a degrading way then they need to get out if the dark ages and just ride the bus like it says!!

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