The #RePicture hashtag was in fullforce at the Cannes Lions 2014. It was Getty Images’ way of getting people re-thinking the way they look at the world, to let go of stereotyped visuals that are usually used to describe people and concepts.
As Getty Images says, “It has often been said that if we can visualize it, we can create it, including a better world. And we can – using pictures, platforms, and influential channels such as media and advertising to ignite important cultural shifts.”
At the Getty Images lounge, attendees browsed interactive galleries of imagery representing Getty Images’ re-pictured point of view on various themes – and people could respond with their own ideas by using the #RePicture hashtag, which appeared on Getty’s social media feeds.
Getty’s team of creative experts also did presentations to re-picture key concepts like success, beauty, age, masculinity, love, leadership, working women etc.
Much was around issues from Getty Images Lean In collection, which features 2,500 photos of women portrayed as confident, powerful executives rather than models, holding jobs as diverse as a butcher or artist. Girls are not depicted in pink dresses, but rather as students of math and science and participating in sports.
Sheryl Sandberg’s presentation at the Cannes Lions demonstrated in real time the double standard that exists for men and women by asking the audience to answer questions like “How many women in the room have been described as aggressive?” All the women raised their hands. Only a few hands went up when she asked the men. And the fact that there were more men in the audience than women really drove the point home.
Andrew Robertson, CEO of BBDO, Joanna Coles, Editor at Cosmopolitan, and Jonathan Klein, CEO of Getty Images, also participated in a panel moderated by Sheryl Sandberg to discuss “The Power of Picturing” – how images, media and advertising have the power to inspire a more equal and authentic world for women. Citing examples from Getty Images, Pantene and Dove, the panelists spoke about how these campaigns that challenge the stereotyping of women have led to increased sales and success for the products. All the panelists supported the case that the success of women is vital to economic prosperity. Doing good for women is good for business. Women have 80 percent of the consumer purchase power, and 74 percent of women are users of social networking sites, compared with 62 percent of men. Yet media and advertising today does not reflect this.
The on-going gender gap in imagery was explored by Getty Images director of visual trends Pam Grossman and Lean In’s contributing editor Jessica Bennett, showcasing how authentic and empowering images of women can inspire social, cultural and professional change:
And Susan Song, VP of brand marketing, Getty Images, spoke about the fact that the topic of sexism is unavoidable if you are a woman working in the business world today.
“You’ve either personally experienced it at some point in your career or known someone who did. Personally, I have always felt I could only talk about it in a “safe” environment – with a friend, family member, or executive coach. I’ve been told many times, always by other women, that to bring it up in the office-either during performance review or with a manager – would damage my reputation and my career. I suspect many women have felt this way because I’ve never seen anyone take a stand on it in a public and visible way.”