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Commercial Print Modeling Vs Editorial Print Modeling
When you think or hear the word “commercial” in relation to the modeling industry, there are a few variations of the meaning, but in the most practical form in terms of “print” photography think of the word “promote”. The model’s job is to be photographed “promoting” a product or service in a print advertisement (for example… in magazines, brochures, newspapers, catalogs, etc.). There are numerous options for COMMERCIAL PRINT MODELS located throughout the United States and internationally. Advertising can range from the smallest business promoting their livelihood all the way to large corporations that can afford their own advertising agencies to handle marketing campaigns.
Commercial Print Modeling is very different from Editorial Print Modeling. Remember that an “editorial” is a fashion “story” in a magazine about the trend happening at that moment, not a specific ad for a single company, although you will see multiple credits cited in fine print by the stores and designers of the featured clothing and accessories. Some ads that you see in magazines may be carefully spread out and photographed in an “editorial style”, but it is ultimately a “commercial” ad if it promotes one company name. However, it is a smart, fashion-friendly ad because it is the style ad that they are marketing to their specific consumers.
However, usually the editorial model and their style of modeling do not represent the particular look that can be marketed to a large group of average “everyday” consumers (aka the people who buy). Consumers buy from ads that they can relate to or aspire to achieve. This is where a commercial model can have a wonderful chance of success because their image is part of the marketing process that sells to the consumer. They represent a highly accessible and marketable look. So no matter what product they are promoting, their appearance may vary depending on what product or service is being advertised to the consumer. This means that the door is open to many different types and sizes of models. Note that there are actually some editorial fashion models who are able to transition from editorial modeling to the diverse commercial advertising side. It is so ideal for a career model who wants longevity. The commercial model usually does not have just one look, although there may be a special look that gets them hired again and again.
This is where the terminology variations arise and can create confusion as to whether a model is considered an editorial or commercial model. Do you remember the prestige title? It is placed on editorial models, but there is also something wonderful to be said for being a successful commercial model. “Commercial” is a term that the general public perceives as advertisements that they see on television or hear on the radio. The terminology used by an advertising agency versus a modeling agency when referring to “commercial” also has different degrees of meaning depending on how they interpret the booking.
Being in a TV commercial is one type of opportunity that may use commercial models, but that is “NOT” why they are called commercial models. Aiming at a commercial type of model, the doors are open to almost anyone who has the skills to be either photogenic for photographs or have the right personality and approachable appearance to promote a product. The range of models can range from being very outwardly attractive all the way to people who possess a great “character” face and/or personality (aka character model). Fashion has its place for commercial models (aka commercial fashion models) by selling garments or accessories advertised in catalogs, showrooms, and certain magazine ads (not the editorial stories).
The context for explaining where the terms “commercial model” are used can vary depending on who is referring to the booking… an advertising agency, a commercial modeling agency, or a “specialist” editorial fashion agency. Advertising agencies (also known as advertising agencies) are hired on behalf of a company that wants their product or service promoted. Advertising agencies will generally take responsibility for how the product or service will be promoted and will usually take care of hiring all the necessary personnel to complete the job, such as photographers and models, as well. If the campaign is to promote a “fashion” product, then the “advertising” agency refers to this as a “fashion” job. This is where the slight confusion of terms is just a technicality. An “editorial” modeling agency does not refer to such “fashion” work as “editorial” and is likely to see the ad as commercial. So here you have the ad agency’s point of view of booking a “fashion model”, but maybe the modeling agency is referring to what the ad agency books in terms of a commercial model. At the end of the day, someone is used, so congratulations to whichever type of model gets the job. Commercial Fashion Print bookings for models also represent a lot of work around the world, as well as high fashion modeling. The demand for catalog models varies from city to city, as does the prestige of the work.
Although “Prestige” is usually a term used for the editorial model bookings, there is a rare degree of “exception” for the commercial models who also work for the “big” clients in fashion. High-end catalogs, beauty clients, fashion clients and department stores that use the “combination” of fashion and commercial models for their print work also offer opportunities that are different from the editorial fashion stories. It’s about advanced advertising! There are some rare “double-type” models who may be in the same types of magazines for their “commercial” fashion ad that their “editorial” fashion story would be in. These companies want to showcase their product and company name in a big way of effective, scaled-up representation so the bottom line is to “invest” in their ability to make money. Booking models is an investment of their money that they pay directly to the advertising agency (or modeling agency), so the ability to have the right model that represents the company’s “look” in their market that they are trying to reach is essential. “Prestige” in a commercial fashion printing option is usually associated with either the exclusive client, the use of photographs, or the amount paid to the commercial model.
Commercial print models appear in magazine ads, newspapers, newspaper flyers/inserts, brochures, school textbooks, catalogs, billboards, internet ads, hang tags, food packaging and numerous other product images (too many to list all). We mentioned earlier that there is flexibility in the model’s appearance and even size. The requirements are not as strict as the editorial model in terms of height, weight and body measurements, but the model hired for a commercial print job is required to fill the shoes of whatever “character” they have been hired to portray in front of the camera. The character is usually booked according to the model that best fits the role of “young mother”, “middle-aged pilot”, “business manager”, “young nurse”, “college student”, etc. The company or advertising agency has its own idea of how they want their product or service represented, so the model must “look” and “project” the part to the client and photographer. This involves action. The younger model is unlikely to be an experienced or trained actor, but modeling is a version of role-playing, so acting is a personal trait that can enhance the model’s ability to get into character. Actors also compete for these jobs in commercial print, so it’s not just for career models. Everyone wants the job. Commercial print modeling may or may not be a full-time career choice compared to the often hectic schedule of the editorial fashion model.
Flexibility in a model’s availability is also a key requirement for getting the job when jobs are available. Some bookings are literally “last minute” when clients need someone ASAP for “whatever” reason they can find (a model never showed up, a model needs to be replaced, etc.) There is often a team of people , who trusts “everyone” to do their work and show up on time. Time is something that is paid for, and a model should never assume that being five to fifteen minutes late is acceptable. This is not a social situation, but rather a professional, paying job. Being a little early is worth the experience of not frustrating a team of creative individuals and giving you some time to get into character! Being on time should not be considered showing up at the exact time the job officially starts. It goes without saying that you need to know that you need to be a little early to get any necessary information, extra preparation or updates on what is happening for that reservation. Your mind should be open to the character you want to portray and how best to display any product or implied service through your poses and props.
Clothes can’t always be provided by the client…surprise! You don’t want to find out too late either! This is part of the commercial modeling industry where you can provide “props” such as clothes, shoes, glasses, jewelry, etc. You may even be asked to apply your own make-up and do your own hair. It’s not as glamorous as the public perceives it, huh? It all depends on the client’s budget, so you must be aware of this BEFORE you show up for the booking. Always get as much information from the agency when you book your schedule about any special considerations. It also never hurts to check up on a potential customer before a trip to learn what it is they do if you’re not familiar with them. Anything that gives you information that can help you get the job or be prepared to do the job even better is smart. (aka “a smart model”)
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