With AMC’s hit show, Mad Men, premiering it’s sixth season this Sunday, the advertising industry will again move into the spotlight of the public conscious. For all those still living under a rock, the term “Mad Men” is a combination of the words ‘ad men’ (men who work in advertising) and Madison Avenue (The famous New York street where all of the large advertising agencies were in the 1960s). The show does a great job of showing viewers how advertising was created and the various media outlets they used during those times.
Television rocked the advertising world when it came into popularity in the 1950s. Before that, advertising consisted of product shots/drawings for newspapers and magazines or they were verbal endorsements/jingles made for radio audiences. In the show, creative director, Don Draper, has to learn to adjust to this new era where television and film grow in importance in pop culture. As you can tell from our work at Le Image Inc. or any towering billboard you see on a daily basis, advertisement photography is not dead. Although more money may go into television commercials than print advertisements, professional commercial photographers need not be afraid.
The Internet and online shopping has revived the need for product photography more than ever. According to Business Week, last holiday season resulted in an estimated $586 billion made from online shopping. Now, every commercial photographer is seizing the chance to shoot look books and product shots for e-commerce sites. Shooting for online sites is very cost effective for commercial advertising photographers. Generally, images for these retailers are very streamlined and only need a photography studio with a white seamless background and some well-placed lights. Online shopping has revolutionized fashion merchandizing and is already changing the role of photographers. Now the line between commercial photographers and fashion photographers is beginning to blur. Photographers will soon have to be both in order to ride the waves of the ever-changing tides of retail.