Women’s Work is a collective of women New Zealand photographers. You won’t have seen its campaign. It never ran. The collective has found a way to get the campaign’s case study seen by a vast range of advertising agencies and their creatives, however. It is entering it into Cannes Lions.
The case study film features the previously unseen campaign of 24 posters that highlight the disturbing fact that of all the photography used in advertising less than 15% is shot by women. It then calls out agencies, asking them to start deliberately and consciously putting women photographers on their shortlists for future projects.
Women’s Work Creative Director, Victoria Baldwin, explained, “We’ve calculated that less than 15% of photographers in advertising are women. But realistically, the percentage globally is probably less than half that. We asked Saatchi & Saatchi to help promote our talented New Zealand women photographers. They, however, suggested going bigger by using this opportunity to highlight this global issue of unconscious bias to the world, and so The Case Study Project was born.”
Steve Cochran, chief creative officer at Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand, noted, “Our deliberate and transparent ambition for this campaign is to enter into Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in order to get our message directly in front of the creative community’s most influential leaders. In, what might sound very meta, our case study about our ads is actually our ad.
“Some might say creating a case study about ads that never ran to enter into an award show is a bit cynical or bending rules. But we think there’s poetic irony in using an unseen advertising campaign featuring women’s photography to highlight that fact women’s photography in advertising is just that – relatively unseen.”
Kristal Knight, creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand, added, “Our global CCO, Kate Stanners, has advocated for all Saatchi & Saatchi offices around the world to make women a consideration on any pitch list, both photographers and directors. So The Case Study Project is about challenging ourselves and every other agency to do that. Yes, we’ve called out numerous globally renowned agencies with a blatant shot-gun approach to purely get attention and provoke – but what we are really looking to do here is to create real, tangible change.”
The Case Study Project has been released online before the Cannes cut-off deadline to make sure it qualifies as a piece of work in itself.
More information about Women’s Work and links to its photographers can be found here.