, 32 tweets, 11 min read Read on Twitter
Logging into my bank (Chase) this morning, the background photo caught my eye. It was my neighborhood (eerie!), which caused me to wonder, "Does everyone see this photo?"

This thread is an investigation into that question. Let's call it: BANK STOCK PHOTO REGIONALIZATION. 1/18
So first, I opened the dom inspector, and found the image. A clue! My zip code was appended to the end of the url. static.chasecdn.com/content/geo-im…
Next step was obvious. I changed the zip code. Turns out, all NYC zip codes get the same image. static.chasecdn.com/content/geo-im…
Huh. Okay. Let's try some other cities.

Boom, the image changes. Here is the background stock photo that everyone in the Bay Area area gets.

Do you feel seen? No?
Which is different than Los Angeles.

Does this feel "LA" to you?
Which is different than San Diego. (Doggies!)
Then I noticed the word "day" in the url. And did the obvious.

Turns out every locale delivers different day/night photos, depending on when you load the site.

Here is Detroit in AM/PM mode.
Is this fun? Does it feel like we're traveling somewhere? A Stock Photo Tour of America.

Chicago by day and night:
An interesting assortment of people for New Orleans.

Makes you wonder how much time they spent thinking about representation. Both "a ton" and "none" seem possible.
Here's a glitch. Alaska, Hawaii, and New England are all the same photo...
...but they are different at night.
Were there debates about how much to regionalize this? I imagine art directors in a brawl with product managers.

All of Florida (plus most of Alabama, Mississippi, & Georgia) sees this photo. Does this seem scream "Miami" to you?
Atlanta is unique tho. But also strange, because one specific neighborhood is used for the whole city, including exurbs.
Interesting choice for Houston. A picture of taking pictures.
Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Michigan (minus Detroit), and the Dakotas all get these for night and day.

I have an annoying amount of Midwestern Pride, but have no idea what these landmarks are.
If you're wondering, I tried to reverse image search these, and couldn't find any info.

Arizona is the prettiest photo I could find.
But Phoenix, not so much.
I don't know why this is so interesting to me?

Maybe I like to imagine managing this project. I would want to die.

Here, look up your own. Change the zip code and toggle between "night" / "day" in the url. static.chasecdn.com/content/geo-im…
I wish I could see the product spec. "Avoid obvious landmarks" was probably a bullet point.

When you think "DC," is this what comes to mind?
Correction: I was wrong about Florida. Larger cities do get different images. Here are Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville.
To summarize, here are my imagined rules for BANK STOCK PHOTO REGIONALIZATION:

- Avoid obvious landmarks

- Use familiar neighborhoods

- Banal scenes only; no staging

- In urban areas, include people

- Deprioritize photo quality; no filters!
Addendum! Someone noticed a child hiding under a bench in the Boston photo (lower right). Now I wonder if they all have easter eggs!
BREAKING NEWS. I have the creative brief! The photography one.

It turns out these are NOT stock photos. Chase commissioned photographers. But there WERE strong restrictions. Here is page 3 of the 30-page brief.
Here's the bit (page 7) about how to regionalize the photos. We guessed correctly on some of this.

"Images can show urban areas but should be city agnostic. We shouldn't see any skylines or urban landmarks in any regional images."
In a section titled "People in Images," the first bullet says "2 or more people for all locations."

The third bullet says "Ethnic diversity."

The eighth bullet says "Please stay away red wardrobe." Huh. Okay!

Here is their sample:
Here is "Locations to Avoid"

(Um, yes on #6. In life too.)
The people in the photos seems to be hired. They all have to sign releases, and are referred to as "models" and "talent"

Some advice on how to "create a moment with talent"
One thing I didn't consider — and nearly a third of the brief is about this — is composition for different browser sizes (mobile, desktop). There's a whole section about how cropping works.
It's all pretty interesting! To me, at least. If some Chase product manager happens to see this 👋👋👋. Kudos on the effort. Corporate restrictions are FASCINATING.
Look at the attention to detail.

"When composing the shot, make sure talent do not appear to be jumping off the edge of a bridge, building or a cliff"
Correction: There was no budget for models, but all shots needed to have people who signed releases. Also, all locations required releases and permits, which sounds like a pain!
Whoa! Someone did the hard work making a MAP, which shows all the metros and regions that get unique photos. Wish I had done this. meanmedianmodechoice.com/2019/08/26/ban…
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