Big sofas, small people?


I did a quirky post on oversized lamps a month or so ago, and got some good reactions to the pictures, many of which used smaller things, such as a dachsund dog as a counterpoint to the big lamp.

An case involving DFS sprang to mind, where the furniture retailer was alleged to have shrunk the size of models in TV adverts to make its sofas appear bigger.

The chain mounted a high profile campaign featuring actors miming, dancing and playing air guitar to the Nickelback song Rockstar against a background of sofas.

The actors were actually filmed against a neutral ‘green screen’ background and then super-imposed onto the images of its latest cut-price deals.

However, the scale used in the process effectively shrank the actors with the result the sofas looked far bigger than the really were.

(Daily Mail)

It’s worth pointing out DFS maintained that viewers would be able to judge the size of the sofas for themselves, and that there had been a small number of complaints, but the advert was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.

According to the Mail, there have long been suspicions that furniture retail chains have actively hired small actors for film and photo shoots in order to make the products seem bigger. I wondered if this may be true for the higher end design furniture sector.

I have found that it’s actually pretty uncommon to see any models in designer furniture photography – the product will more often be set against a plain studio background, allowing the designer or buyer to imagine it in their own setting.

Bebop sofa by Poltrona Frau

I had thought that glamorous ultra-thin models might be used in shoots, and searched for some examples of this but thankfully it isn’t the case! The plain background or a simple interior scene mocked-up in a studio are the format for the vast majority of sofa and armchair shoots.

Related to this is a fun, if risqué, series of blog posts on, called Chairchez la femme, featuring some of the sexier photo shoots he has found.

Time for a quick plug: if you’re actually specifying products, why not have a look designer and contract sofas on We have 114 products listed from a variety of manufacturers. Use the guided navigation on the left to filter and subset the products, and tick the ones you are interested to compare them side-by-side.


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