Everyone's Invited with Platon and Lincoln Financial
Platon has been photographing ads since his career began. His work has been used in all manner of campaigns selling a huge range of products, but as his career has developed he’s changed how he uses the power of advertising. He wants to use it to bring people together and Lincoln Financial agrees with him. Their latest collaboration is about building wealth and security as a family, but Platon used real families because he sees authenticity as a part of his accountability as a photographer. “It’s really valuable for us to understand the responsibility of creating the sense of ideal in advertising,” says Platon. “A lot of people just go for the idea of what we’re taught to aim for in society. That’s not necessarily right or fair or real.” Instead, Platon went for reality, bringing in a range of real families to act as his subjects. As important as the authenticity was the range of experiences they portrayed, more important today than ever before.
“At a time where we are faced with such division in society, it was very much a project about social inclusion,” says Platon about this campaign with Lincoln Financial. “So that was a joy to be able to promote a sense of love, compassion, and well-being within a family, and yet challenge the status quo of what is an acceptable family unit. It was great for an advertising campaign to acknowledge and celebrate that.” The families featured show different ages, races, sexual orientations, and compositions. “This is what you do for the people you love,” Lincoln Financial’s site reads. Love touches a family no matter what it looks like or who its constituent members are. It’s high time that companies are embracing the diversity of the heart, and Platon is doing what he can to help guide companies towards a more inclusive message. That is where they’ll find real power going forward.
When viewers see themselves in advertising, it seizes the aspirational power of advertising in a different way and offers affirmation instead. It brings the brand into the life of the audience and creates a message of inclusion. Platon knows this is critical to the successful pairing of brands with their customers. “We should be creating a new set of cultural heroes, people who don’t intimidate us with their fake perfection, but inspire us with their genuine love, compassion, and understanding, and respect for each other,” says Platon. “It’s better if you see yourself in the story rather than don’t recognize anything and you’re expected to purchase a product that will help you up the ladder to reach something that doesn’t even exist.” Advertising is about messaging, but the current cultural climate is ever more fatigued with a message that asks the audience to reach for the impossible. Platon’s work with Lincoln Financial shows us that what we’re doing is already right, and if we’re going to look for more it’s going to be with each other, not a false future. We are the heroes we’ve been waiting for.