Way back in the early days of the web, I saw it’s power. I ran across a few interesting things today that reminded me of it.
I’ve been using the 1918.com domain since the late 1990’s. When my oldest son Collin was 6 he loved playing with his GI Joe’s. I had also been a big fan when I was young and enjoyed playing with them again Collin. One thing we enjoyed was imaging scenarios and setting up the Joe’s and taking some pictures. We used to post those photos and chat with other GI Joe crazies that did the same.
Back in May of 1999 we spent one evening playing out a scenario where a pilot was shot down and her buddies were rescuing her. A couple of the photos came out really nice, mostly because it was a beautiful time of day.
My name is David Bottazzi, I’m contacting you with what might seem a strange request. I work for a company called Four By Four Creative Services, we are an advertising/design company based in London, England. We are in the process of producing some advertsing for an English toy chain which will be recruitment adverts done in the style of Army recruitment ads, but using Action Men (GI Joe’s to you) instead of real soldiers. Our request is this, can we use/purchase one of the shots which you have posted on your site? I was searching everywhere for decent images of Action Men that we could use in a visual to try and convince our client to go down this route when i came across your site, one of the images from your “never leave a buddy” set would be ideal for what we are trying to achieve. I would be grateful if you could contact me about this, hopefully you won’t mind and we can come to some arrangement – it should make a cool looking advert if nothing else.
Thanks for your time.
Art Director, Four By Four Creative Services
I was terribly excited, and so was Collin. How cool to have one of our photos being used in a real ad! I told David he was free to use the image on one condition, that he sent me a copy of the final product.
So that’s part one. Back in the old days, the internet was a much nicer, more trusting place. It was also a lot easier to rank for a term like “GI Joe” apparently 🙂
About 6 months later David sent me an email letting me see their proof.
Thanks for getting back to me so soon, the ad we’re doing is a recruiment ad for Beatties Toy Stores, it’s going to be running in The Daily Mail, which is a national daily covering all of the UK. I’ve enclosed a JPEG of it for you, if you can’t read this let me know and i’ll post a copy to you (can do this anyway if you like). The ad is a spoof of some ads that the British Army have been running recently – the thinking behind ours is that at first glance it should look like a regular Army advert, it’s only when you take a second look that you notice the soldiers are actually Action Man and his team and it’s for Beatties. Not sure when it will run (currently there are loads of suits trying to make a decision about it – could take some time) but hopefully should be in the next couple of weeks. Anyway thanks again for permission to use your shots.
A weird side note concerns iStockphoto. I uploaded this photo and it was flagged. I received an email telling me that I would have to remove it unless I could prove it was mine. I didn’t have the photo anymore, so I just removed it.