Thursday, May 21, 2009

Getting ahead in advertising

Has anyone else noticed the preponderance of advertisements employing huge heads recently? I was struck by it today. From movie posters to ads for insurance, what you see is large format, hi-res images of the celeb endorser. And they really are hi-res; every pore on the young James T Kirk's lovely moisturised Hollywood skin, every grey stubble hair on Hugh Laurie's chin, every wrinkle and sag of Iggy's belly leather is there before your eyes in near gynaecological high definition.
Weirdly, the two posters above look like a before and after shock tactic campaign warning people about the dangers of sex and drugs and rock and roll. Laurie and Pop do seem to have something similar going on around the mouth area. But I've also been bullied by the giant surprised face of Salvador Dali today, seen here on a poster at my local train station.

It's curious how trends come and go in advertising. On TV there's a positive menagerie of CGI meerkats, pandas, squirrels and frogs advertising everything from lawn treatments to crisps. Even Mr Muscle has turned from a speccy wimp into a pixelated muscle guy who rescues badly-dubbed archetype housewives from the horrors of a blocked sink. But CGI is hugely expensive and in this time of credit crunchiness, will we see a scaling back of budgets? Does that explain the giant heads?

I wonder what's next?

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