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Skinny "Friend-vertising"
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Troy Goodall by Troy Goodall on July 6, 2020


From the orange backdrop to the blue jeans, pink sweater and awkwardly-posed thumbs up combo, Skinny Mobile’s latest “Friend-vertising” campaign is impossible to miss.

Like their previous campaigns, it’s the type of conceptual work that I really enjoy shooting - that eccentric quirkiness that’s attention-grabbing in both its awkwardness and relatability.

The campaign capitalized on the fact that “word of mouth has been found to be 83% more effective than advertising”. With approximately two degrees of separation between New Zealanders, the treatment was a no-brainer - use everyday Kiwis to promote the Skinny brand.

Given the straightforward concept, you would think the execution would be relatively easy - take a few shots of a few people in the same outfit against the same background. But with 46 talent, each with their own personal TVC and print ad to shoot, it ended up being a pretty big undertaking.

Because of the sheer number of shots, time was extremely limited, so I kept things simple. I shot really wide on a 100 MP phase 1 camera as I knew we needed a lot of space around the talent for the ad copy, and used a classic studio portrait style of lighting that wouldn’t overcook the shots and could keep them consistent across different talent.

Even with this set-up, I still only had about a minute to photograph each person. The limited time actually ended up working in my favour though - it meant that the talent had no time to overthink the situation or the pose that they were striking for the shot. With that in mind, I just gave them the weirdest instructions straight off the bat - “come towards me but lean away, “you’re a jellyfish on a rock, give me the thumbs up” - and they just had to do it.

This not only guaranteed authenticity in the shots, but also channelled the overall vibe of the campaign really well. Because people couldn’t help but be awkward, it meant that the shots didn’t look staged, and the individual personalities of different people were able to authentically shine through.

46 unique TVC ads and 46 hero stills later, the word is out.

Tell your friends. Get the Skinny.

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More About Troy Goodall

Troy GoodallTroy has the unique and advantageous ability to find the photo in everything. Sure, he can shoot the perfect studio shot, or create the impossible from different elements. That’s not unique. But, you can throw Troy into eight foot surf with a floating rig that doesn’t float and shadowy sub-aquatic shapes that may or may not be sharks, and he’ll get the shot. Send him into an equally treacherous on-set environment working around a prima-donna director and he’ll get the shot. You’ll know you’re asking the ridiculous, and the conditions seem impossible, and the lighting is wrong, but he still comes back with the shots.

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