Trends Go Visual part 2: Getty Images on the importance of 'real', meaningful communication


All images appear courtesy of Getty Images. 

Last month saw the launch of Trends Go Visual: a collaborative project between TrendWatching and Getty Images, mapping two of the 16 mega-trends that form part of our broader Trend Framework. Below, Jacqueline Bourke -- Senior Manager of Creative Planning for Getty Images London -- dives into YOUNIVERSE and LOCAL LOVE, sharing how they manifest themselves in the visual realm.

(Missed the first part and want to get up to speed? Catch up on STATUS SEEKERS and BETTERMENT right here).



YOUNIVERSE is all about ensuring the customer is at the centre of their universe.

Why? Because, in the consumer YOUNIVERSE, each individual's preferences and tastes reign supreme - so customized products, services and experiences have evolved from revolutionary to near-ubiquitous. In today's consumption arena every consumer wants to feel unique, and be served as such.

From the basic - serving a fundamental human need to feel individual, or in control - to the sophisticated (think biometric sensing and facial recognition), brands that can predict consumer preferences or offer post-production customization are the ones that will succeed in this field.

The Getty Images perspective 

In an era of customer-centric personalization, we are seeing a shifting visual landscape when it comes to brand communication that is seeking not only to be relevant on a multitude of platforms, but meaningful to the individual consumer.

Increasingly on the rise is a visual trend called OutsiderIn that celebrates individuality, rebellion and breaking with tradition. Surprise and non-conformity are the order of the day whilst unifying us by our diversity of experiences. Customers hunger for visuals stories from outside the mainstream that are immediately relatable whilst shifting their perspectives to wake them out of their own ubiquity.

Against a cluttered advertising landscape, rebellious brands that make bold choices and subvert stereotypes in their visual brand storytelling while surprising and inspiring consumer’s individual personalization stand out from the crowd.

(You can view the complete YOUNIVERSE collection by Getty Images right here).



LOCAL LOVE refers to exactly that - why ‘local’ is, and will remain, loved.

Despite globalization, despite online; place still matters. Whether driven by a sense of pride, authenticity, convenience and / or eco-concerns, 'local' products, services and knowledge will forever find favor with consumers.

Digital connectivity continues to make the world smaller but, for the much of the world's population, daily life still revolves around a fixed location, such as a city, province or country. Understanding – or at least acknowledging – evolving definitions of local and in a borderless world might not be easy, but brands prepared to take the risk will gain respect and admiration. Don’t deny place, embrace it.

The Getty Images perspective

As people become more nomadic, brands become increasingly border-less in a global market economy. According to latest figures from the UN, we are a global nation of migrants, 214 million strong, living in countries other than their own.  This cross-pollination of cultures, tastes and tribes in an age of ethical consumption is placing 'local' front and center.

Visuals around community, craft and authenticity are pivotal as today's consumers are far more sophisticated to visual vernaculars. Global sales around 'real people' imagery have increased by 300% in the last five years.

Vanguardians is a visual trend at Getty Images that reflects the cultural shift toward social good in imagery. It is all about empowering local communities, local businesses and local visionaries who come together to use new technologies to increase transparency, build social good into their business models and embrace communal participation to make a real difference.

A sense of community, social responsibility and a grounded connection that is more intimate, more transparent and locally 'sourced' unfolds in imagery that is unfiltered, un-posed, feels real and brings people together for the local good. Customer searches for 'social responsibility' visuals have risen by 73% in the last five years as brands most now re-calculate the idea of success to include value, especially local value beyond the purely commercial.

(You can view the complete LOCAL LOVE collection by Getty Images right here).


Getty Images is the world’s leader in visual communication, with over 190 million assets available through its premium content site and its leading stock content site. They are an official partner for our 2016 Trend Events; more info (and final tickets ;) right here