BRANDAWEAR | MELBOURNE I 2005
I have been interested in the importance of branding to manipulate a myth around certain products. Brands are symbols that represent companies, services and products. The success of the most iconic brands relates to their ability to translate the values they symbolize into an ideal that consumers choose to identify and associate with.
Brandawear (2005) is a series of black and white portrait images that explore the impact and manipulation of advertising targeted at young children in the toddler to pre-tween age brackets. Consumer society encourage from an early age, even before children can read.
Visual literacy in this context is learnt before written so the meaning of these symbols and brands are particularly insidious and manipulative.
The portraits of these children are devoid of colour and dressed in clothing that is without apparent or visible brand identity. In this sense, the images challenge the conventions of advertising by removing the elements that would associate these images with traditional marketing activities. Instead, attention is drawn to an element that is not usually branded: the skin. The aim was to avoid creating images where the brands looked like tattoos, which could be considered as artificially added to the skin. The creative intention was to create a sense that these children were born with these relationships to brands; the logos are inextricably linked to their identity and embedded into the skin. The brands are not only represented by logos, the children are wrapped, blended in post-production in the seductive packaging like the toys themselves.