Canon: This Is Australia
76% of Australians believe that brands need to do more to ensure that their advertising authentically and accurately represents the Australian population today. Cue, the new ‘This is Australia’ collection that aims to create a fresh – diverse – visual language for marketing campaigns.
Partnering with Canon Australia seemed like a natural fit. Who better to assist in building a more authentic representation of Australian life than a community of storytellers armed with cameras?
Just last year Ebiquity and SBS conducted a study that found 3 out of every 4 Australian TV advertisements featured an all‑white cast. It’s no wonder that a country made up of 270 ancestries would feel like advertisers are not doing their job when it comes to authentically representing Australian diversity. In an age where we find ourselves exposed to images more than ever before, it is important to recognize the power of perception. As industry leaders in stock imagery we see it as our responsibility to encourage healthy perceptions and ideals within advertising. This means creating imagery that reflects the stories being told by our search data and consumer surveys. Partnering with Canon Australia seemed like a natural fit. Who better to assist in building a more authentic representation of Australian life than a community of storytellers armed with cameras? What ensued is the constantly growing collection of commercially released images (currently around 8000 strong) titled; ‘This is Australia’.
Canon Australia’s photographic community is rich in diversity themselves, which means that we have a better chance of tackling the issues most important to Australians.
Our data has revealed that searches for images of “Indigenous Australian” are up 224%, and searches for “Multicultural” are up 108%. However, the collection addresses so much more than diversity through accurate ethnic representation. It also considers what lies behind the nationwide increase in search terms like “Individuality” (up 129% on previous years). The collection looks at addressing those age‑old stereotypes around gender, sexual orientation, religion and age, with an additional focus on disability and the inclusion of video content in 2019.
Change is definitely in the air. This year we have seen diversity and inclusion become one of the hottest topics at Cannes Lions and there is increasing support for initiatives that are driving this transformation. Vegemite is one of the more prominent brands that has taken steps towards more authentic representation of Australians in advertising. Earlier this year they released their ‘Tastes Like Australia’ campaign which uses the work of one of the ‘This is Australia’ contributors, Attila Csaszar from Queensland, featuring a Muslim surfer girl.
“Photographs allow us to capture and represent our environments, beliefs and cultures as individuals. Nobody sees Australia like the people who make up its communities,” said Jason McLean, Director Canon Consumer Imaging.
Canon Australia’s photographic community is rich in diversity themselves, which means that we have a better chance of tackling the issues most important to Australians. Our partnership with Canon Australia has seen a 55% female uptake out of 200 new contributors. With more women behind the lens telling their stories, we hope this will have a positive impact, considering 60% of women say advertising makes them feel worse about themselves. Through a robust program of events and educational opportunities, we are giving our photographers a platform to share what Australia today means to them.
This is just one of the positive stories to come out of this collection and you can view more of our contributor stories here on the Canon Australia website.
We truly believe that this is only the beginning of our journey, and we have a long way to go, but this is an important step. Change is continuous. Through our community of photographers, we plan on evolving this collection to ensure it continues to reach and represent all Australians.