In the eye of the beholder
It helps to have a very popular and famous personality for an endorser, but to begin with, it also definitely helps if the product being advertised is just as great. When a very established retail company, Executive Optical, recently wanted to launch its line of lifestyle eyewear combined with a pair of headphones, they decided to get Sam Milby. Sam Milby is one of the sensational stars to emerge out of the phenomenal TV hit series, Big Brother. Although he was embroiled in a somewhat scandalous controversy, and though he didn’t stay that long inside Big Brother’s house, he has captured the attention of so many people that his stardom was almost assured. The moment he stepped out of TV-land’s most famous house, he was immediately packaged and treated like as if he was already a big star. Largely because of his good looks and charms, and because he’s a nice guy, his popularity propped him up to fame. Sam Milby has been photographed a number of times since. But familiarity, they say, breeds contempt. Which is why, despite the fact that he is the most ideal candidate when it come to promoting mass produced lifestyle items such as an eyewear doubling as a headphone (an accessory which has a great sales potential largely due to the popularity of portable music devices such as the iPod), Sam Milby must be photographed and portrayed in a never-before-seen way. His pictures for the campaign must make him look a bit different from any of the pictures of him which has been previously released. Creating a “new” and “unique” image, therefore, of a celebrity endorsing a product, is the challenge of this pictorial. The image of Sam Milby has been carefully cultivated to project “a good guy” which, in truth, he is. In this photograph, however, we aimed to introduce an element of “danger” in his persona to promote an all-black eyewear. The photograph I created for him, together with one of the best hair-and-makeup artist and fashion stylist today, Lala Flores, successfully projects a new look for Sam Milby that is dangerous, but at the same time, one that we know is playful. There’s a thin line there somewhere, and with this picture, we’ve successfully kept ourselves within the line–doing it, but without overdoing it.