July 22, 2006

Cheesecake is for Bakeries

There's no question but that we all enjoy leg art, a well-filled sweater, some cleavage. But that's no excuse for making them the strongest points, the only assets, of a product publicity picture. Fine for Hollywood, this type of shot should be the very last on your production schedule...if used at all.

DON'T SUBSTITUTE SEX FOR THINKING...Publicity is not a space-grabbing operation. While it may be easier for a certain breed of "publicist" to place a story of an Army camp reception for "Miss Ground Valve" than one on the Ground Valve Co.'s service to industry, it certainly isn't as productive a story. In contrived cheesecake set-ups, there's seldom any real gain to the client. All too often, even the company name gets lost in the shuffle, and only the "publicist" and the client, who paid and paid, know the company name involved.

SELL YOUR PICTURES AS NEWS...It's what the product does, how it's used, that's news; not the long-legged gal in the picture. If you do use cheesecake...expose the product as well as the model. A bathing suit shot, for example, can leave readers with the knowledge that the girl is using your portable cooler, not just sunning herself on the beach. Give the picture a reason for being; as always, use the model to highlight the product rather than as a distraction.

April 1957

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