Still Images In Great Advertising, is a column where Suzanne Sease discovers great advertising images and then speaks with the photographers about it.
When I was researching great still images in advertising, I ran across the SJ “Smarter way to Travel” outdoor campaign. While I assumed and later confirmed SJ is a Swedish airline, the campaign hits home in any language. We can all relate and I think that is the success of this campaign. I reached out to Susanne Bransch, the agent of record for Petrus Olsson, the photographer for this campaign.
Suzanne: When I was researching Petrus, I see he has been featured in Ads of the World over a dozen times. Has this been helpful in getting his work seen around the World?
Susanne Bransch: Petrus recently returned to Bransch’s representation after parting ways with his Swedish agency Adamsky. Bransch has more connections with advertising agencies and art buyers around the world with our offices in Europe and New York that have an established connection to advertising markets in Paris, as well as Europe as a whole, and North America.
We hope that advertising showcase websites like “Ads of the World” will expose Petrus Olsson’s work to international art buyers looking to work with a photographer who has been involved in awardwinning advertising campaigns like SJ Rail. That particular campaign won the Gold in the 2011 Epica Awards in the category of Transport and Tourism (http://results.epica-awards.com/07-01882-POS.html)
Suzanne: The concepts are universal for travelers, how much input did Petrus have in the execution of these scenarios?
Susanne Bransch: Petrus knows that the key to being a good photographer is being able to work with agency creatives, giving his input about the choice of car, casting and styling, as well as collaborating with them, like a creative director. When the agency sketches showed people doing anything else but actually driving the car, he proposed the idea of the kissing couple, which ended up being one of the final ads.
Suzanne: Having worked in automotive and watches, windshields can be a beast, what did Petrus do to get the perspective from the windshield but still be realistic as an actual vehicle?
Susanne Bransch: The solution was to remove the windshield all together! Petrus shot the car (sans windshield) and people in studio with lighting setup to look like it would from outside. He took the surrounding background shots from a car driving around on a separate occasion.
Suzanne: Did he have a blast with casting and propping? Both make the concepts.
Susanne Bransch: For someone as creative as Petrus, he loves to get involved in the details, and putting his energy into the storytelling. He’s known for images with a special focus on intricate scenarios and interesting situations and SJ Rail is a wonderful example of how the photographer’s input on casting and propping can enhance a campaign.
Note: Content for Still Images In Great Advertising is found. Submissions are not accepted.
Petrus Olsson lives in Stockholm, Sweden. Since 1998 he has been working as a freelance photographer for international customers that include metro, Pfizer, DKV, Reebok and Renault, and for advertising agencies like Scholz & Fiends, ANR. BBDO, Lowebrindfors, Ogilvy & Mather and Mccann-Eriksson. Petrus Olsson has a special instinct for photographic scenarios that present people in complex situations. an illustration of this is to be seen in the puma campaign for which he provided the photographs. a certain overdrawing of the figures, an exaggeration of expression and gesture, is another of Olsson’s unmistakable trademarks.
APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after founding the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies.