(Click photo to enlarge.)
Here's a picture of the G-8 summit leaders I found in yesterday's Baltimore Sun. I thought, That's a poorly orchestrated picture. Then I realized, it looks poorly orchestrated, well, because it is. It's not an advertisement where all of the "right" looking people are put in the proper places and where there's an equal balance of gender, ethnicity, ages and body types. Perhaps I've been working in advertising for too long, but here are a few things I'd change if this were actually an ad:
1) Everyone's face would look like (Oh, I only had my lunch break to work on this, so I neglected to look up all of the names of the particular world leaders in the picture, but apparently neither did the guy who wrote the caption.) the guy on the far left--actually happy to be there, although he might tone down the smile just a little.
3) George W. Bush would look less like his boat is listing to the right.
4) The 4th guy from the right would be LOOKING AT THE CAMERA! (unless this were the cover for an alt. rock album.)
5) The only woman in the photo would not look like she's about to tip over, unless of course she was leaning on a "buddy." In which case she'd have a forearm leaning on said buddy's shoulder and would not have her shoulders slumped forward.
6) The UK's Gordon Brown and friend on the far right, I'm okay with them, because at least they're interacting. "Pst, that guy's about to take a picture. Pat me on the back and look like you're laughing at something I just said."
7) And you probably don't put the five-foot-tall Russian guy next to Canada's at least six-foot-tall Stephen Harper.
Now let's talk about diversity.
8) White, white, white, white, white, Japanese (notice how he's near the center--nice placement), white, white, white. Okay, if this were an advertisement, you'd have at least one African-American! (Or for the sake of an international summit--African.) And you'd also have someone Hispanic or Latin American. Now the European Union could shout, "But hey, Spain is part of the EU!" True, but it only counts if the Spanish guy is actually in the picture! Once again he could be, but thanks to the lazy caption guy, that could be Taylor Hicks shaking hands with Jamie Farr for all I know.
9) You'd also have more than one woman. With 9 people in the photo, you'd probably have four or five and at least one would look like the Go Daddy girl, the blond from Battlestar Gallactica or 7 of 9.
10) If this were an ad for AARP, your age group would be pretty on point, but they'd all be playing tennis or walking on the beach. Otherwise your group would fall somewhere between the cast of The Office and the cast of The OC.
See how they even Photoshopped in the ocean there? Nice.
11) And finally, a graphic artist probably would've cropped out or Photoshopped the markers on the ground, put there to ensure every world leader would be equidistant.
But there's reality and there's advertising reality. Now if only reality would take some notes.
--Captain Awesome, Copywriter