Big, Beautiful Advertising
Big, beautiful and naked. That was the idea for the album's musical and advertising content. Since I am Just Like Humans, I knew I wanted to use humans in the advertising of this new album and its release in June of 2015, and I wanted to show skin because why not? Doing so would be a departure from my previous two album releases and graphic designs. The axiom 'sex sells' is always true, in any form of advertising (when used appropriately, of course). Tastefully and with reason, showing skin is intriguing. And that's where I wanted to be with this album - on the cover and musically with the thirteen tracks. Nude, intriguing, open, unflinching.
It's now the two year anniversary of the release of the album. I was thinking about Big Beautiful because (1) I uploaded it to some music sites recently, and (2) I actually listened to the album all the way through for the first time in two years. Hearing it again, I'm quite happy with the way it turned out. I believe it turned out just the way it was meant to turn out, if that makes any sense. If you're a creative in any sense of the word, whether it be music or painting, woodworking or sewing, you don't know exactly how something may turn out until it does.
I am also happy with the way the advertising came out. It took me so long to find just the right image of the male for the album cover, and for the other images of people I would use to convey a feeling and idea of the music. Looking back into my files recently I was instantly reminded of all the planning and ideas I had for the marketing leading up to the release, and then after the release. I'm frugal in that I don't keep a lot of crap in files; with that said, I wished I had some early concepts for the album to show the creative processes I went through to arrive at the finals. That'd be cool, right? However, they are long gone, deleted or overwritten. I believe what I ended up with were just what I was needed, and were then responded to quite well on social media, the website I had at the time, and other outlets. I'm super happy the way they all turned out.
The two items on the top row, above, were part of the teaser campaign for Big Beautiful, and each piece gave hints at coming artwork and ideas. Quality, stock photography was cropped tight in the circle so you couldn't quite tell what was what, close-ups that were just too close up.
Once I announced this next release from Just Like Humans, Big Beautiful, I used the Be Big, Be Beautiful, Be Human (shown in samples at the opening of this post, and above left). I have to admit that with the color scheme, human figures (although warped), and the tagline I was using, I was a bit worried that it would come across as a makeup advertisement for the launch of a new product range! But, my reach wasn't really that far with the few fans I had at that point in time.
(Big Beautiful official cover artwork is show above at right.)
After the album release, I started the third phase of advertising to try to generate further interest. The two pieces above were part of a larger campaign that had short lines of meaningful or intriguing song lyrics from the album (with lyrics by Patrick Sporrer) or featured different images using people in big, outdoor settings with darker colors in the same color scheme as the album (golds, greens, grays). Had I been able to shoot the photography for the album myself, time permitting, I would have loved to have the same person or persons throughout. Yet at the same time, I find that the different men and woman, nude or otherwise, lent to the musical ideas. For me they were cohesive and yet their own identities. Or maybe I just overthought it...but I definitely remember planning this just for that message.
Big Beautiful was a big, beautiful thing. A huge, long, naked emotional thing. A thing of creativity and long hours and blown emotions, both happy and sad. Getting it done was incredible, raw, and well, naked...naked because I poured myself into it, and opened myself up for others to hear and interpret, though the music and through the advertising. I hope that for those that saw the album's release in June 2015 through the end of it's planned advertising five months enjoyed it as well.