The story behind this picture ;-)
To be honest, I didn’t think this picture was going to have this big of a reaction.
Let me walk you through what happened…
It was the end of a long day of shooting for our crowdfunding campaign. It was a beautiful day at the Bondi Golf and Diggers Club with lots of sunshine and wind to keep us company. It was a beautiful day but at the end of it, every member of the team was exhausted.
"Hey, let's finish the day with a few funny photos” said one of our models.
And so, that's what we did. We forgot how to be serious for a few minutes and we took a bunch of spontaneous shots. I remember capturing this picture in particular and thinking it was just one of those funny shots that I would never end up using. I changed my mind when I saw this picture in post-production for the first time.
It’s rude, it’s arrogant, it shows a lack of respect for authority… But I also thought it was refreshing, funny, and a great example of how to not take life too seriously. I really liked it. It also happened to fit in with the Untraced message of questioning the codes and breaking rules that need to be broken.
So, I thought the risky thought of ‘why not?’
Why not use this photo in the campaign and have a little fun with our audience? I posted it online across all media platforms and I didn’t get the response I was expecting.
I received fifty comments and messages in three hours from people all over Europe saying that it was outrageous, insolent, shocking, insulting, not a proper image of golf... People were asking for explanations, justifications, details about our communication and marketing strategy.
The comments and messages were getting so out of control that I had to take this picture down and replace it with something more “appropriate”. Everything went back to normal an hour later.
I felt it was a wildly disproportionate response (I mean, is this picture really so terrible?). I’ve had some nice debates in private afterward so I could try to understand their view but I am still a bit skeptical.
Yes, it’s a bit arrogant, but come on... ;-)
Overall, this showed me the power of an image and how careful a brand has to be when putting images in front of their audience. Also, I learned just how much of an impact an audience member can have by engaging with brands on social media.
Everyone can give their opinions very freely today because they have been given the space to do so. Sometimes it’s for the best and then sometimes it’s just absurd.
Anyway, we managed to stop the storm and to keep the focus on our campaign but I wanted to take advantage of this blog and make sure this short story would never be forgotten.
I have one more question for you, if I had chosen the picture below where our models are smiling, would that have made a difference?
Oh, I’m just kidding, I will recommend for the last time not to take anything you see on the internet too personally!
A final note to myself: spontaneity is only good when it also happens to be spot on, otherwise my audience will surely call me out for missing the mark.
A final note from me to you: it has never been our intention to hurt you. Everything is cool and we love you!
This story has been written from my perspective, my name is Arthur, and I am the founder of Untraced. If you have any questions or comments, I invite you to get in touch with me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org