How can visual trends affect your brand?

Connect with your audience by understanding what appeals to them.

Ben Gross

Written by Ben Gross | 

Date: 9th July 2018

Connect with your audience by understanding what they’re looking for

The aim of this document is run through some visual themes we’ve picked up from researching Getty Images trends. It is not to shoehorn an idea into your marketing strategy, but to give you ideas about how being creative can influence your brand. We can’t promise any of these ideas will work, but we can promise a reaction.

Before reading, ask yourself. Does your brand connect emotionally with your users? If not,  this article might open up some ideas.

The following three concepts are categorised by Getty as key trends that the market is looking for. We’ve done a quick description of each one and thought of some ways they can be used to tell your story.

Theme 1
#Second Renaissance

What is it?
It’s the familiar meets the unexpected. It’s about using your brand to tell modern stories. Nostalgia is part of the images, but they all have a modern twist to make them relevant.

Who’s used it?
Solange Knowles used it in an impactful way to promote her album cover.

Solange creative

Image source:

What does it include?
It has a ‘strong women’ focus. It celebrates immigration and diversity. It is nostalgic and modern. It makes people think of the past in a reassuring way but changes the feel subtly to tell a contemporary story.

How can it be used for you?

By tapping into the selfie culture but giving it a modern take you can use your customers to promote your brand.
Show powerful/different looking women owning the relationship with your brand. If you’ve traditionally seen the woman as a mother then think how she can be the leader in pictures.
If your brand is tailored to the white male think of the variations of people you can show. Give them a strong voice, not a supporting role and make them central figures in your campaigns.

What does it look like?

Renaissance style photography

Theme 2
#Conceptual Realism

What is it?
The idea is to appeal to a visually savvy consumer. It’s using simple visual cues to tell a story. It is being funny and playful.

Who’s used it?
A good example of someone who has harnessed it is the ‘Shed at Dulwich’. A fictional restaurant but has made it to the top of TripAdvisor by using great conceptual photography.


Creative concept in photography

View the full site here:

Bodyform also tapped into strong, motivated women and designed a campaign to appeal to this audience. The concept ‘No blood should hold us back’ was a rallying call to the market and supports their proposition.

Bodyform creative advert

What does it include?
It includes weirdness, quick visual concepts, double meanings and strange objects

How can it be used for you?
You can think about how your story could be told in an unusual way. What’s different about your brand and how can each image be used to tell a story.

One technique organisations are using miniatures to frame some of your brand values.

What does it look like?

Conceptual realism photography

Theme 3
#Masculinity Undone

What is it?
The male is in crisis. Right now there are record high suicide rates for men under 50. Current advertising doesn’t address this but sets traditional conformist trends such as the “buffoon” (incompetent dad); sports advertising “hero”; beer commercial “tough guy”; and the ‘hunks’ of Diet Coke. Customers are rejecting these stereotypes and looking for brands that understand what it’s like to be a man.

Who’s used it?
Here is a campaign by Lynx to tap into this theme and reposition their brand.

Lynx visual concept

View the full site here:  

What does it involve?
Showing men who don’t fit the standard stereotypes. Allowing people to appear vulnerable and showing images which reinforce positive messages.

How can it be used for you?

Tapping into emotionally available dads and how they interact with your brand.
Looking at how people who don’t conform to your standard user base, but are your customers. Such as gay dads and punky teenagers.People with twenty-something teenagers who can relate to them being a bit weird but still want to choose a quality brand for them.

What does it look like?



Masculinity concept


By thinking about different themes you can open up your brand appeal and get a reaction from your customers.  We think some key themes to think about are humour, positive change, strong women, diversity and visual concepts.

Potential markets you can  tap into which haven’t had any advertising exposure are:

  1. Emotionally available dad
  2. Gay dad
  3. Single dad
  4. Smartphone grandparents
  5. Strong women
  6. Non-conformist twentysomethings

Remember your users are now visually savvy and always looking for the unexpected. If you’re struggling to reach your them it’s time to change. Tell your story but have the courage to make it interesting. To connect with your audience you need to be interesting and visually tell your stories that are relevant to your audience.

You can read the full article about 2018 trends published by Getty here:  


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