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Getty Images’ new study says storytelling will be even wavier in 2018

Forget the “Tide Pod Challenge,” there are three wavier trends consumers will be most responsive to this year based on creative research conducted by Getty Images.

According to Getty Images’ 2018 Visual Trends, commercialized eye candy is looking to be reshaped by what Getty coined as ‘Masculinity Undone,’ ‘Second Renaissance,’ and ‘Conceptual Realism’  in 2018. This is very reputable research as Getty has been in the visual trend methodology game for 20 plus years. Now, that’s a pioneer.

The data collected for this year’s predictions is based on one billion customer searches and 400 million downloads from the photo agency’s website each year.

Getty Images

This data won’t go to waste. Media, advertisers, brands, and businesses use Getty Images’ visual trends forecast as a guide to a changing, developing, and increasingly digital world.

Andy Saunders, senior vice president of creative content at Getty Images, claimed in a statement that this year holds an optimistic vision of change. He said,

“It’s encouraging then that the visual trends we anticipate being important to brands and businesses in 2018 behold a sense of optimism: a vision of change, of new heroes and unrelenting creativity. For many people who were previously invisible, whose faces or bodies weren’t included in the mainstream media, this is important…”

One change looking to surface in mainstream media is men, shown in “complex gentle and emotionally astute ways.” Thus, giving way to ‘Masculinity Undone.’

Getty Images

The way masculinity is portrayed in mass media is outdated. So outdated that in the UK the Advertising Standards Authority announced a new rule banning gender stereotyping in order to tackle “harmful and outdated practices.”

Europe is not the only side of the globe catching on either. Getty Images’ data revealed that customer image searches for ‘gay dads’ saw an increase of 53 percent, ‘Man meditation’ 126 percent and ‘Single Father’ by 60 percent.

This only proves that the one-dimensional outlook of how masculinity is viewed in media is changing and people are becoming more receptive to more vulnerable depictions.

Alongside changes in the masculinity portrayed in media, another prediction made by the visual trend study was the coming of a ‘Second Renaissance.’

Getty Images

Getty Images’ research pointed to a kind of reawakening as people are looking for new and more creative ways to snap a photograph. Why? It has never been easier to snap a high-resolution photo.

This trend has been most prevalent in the BAME (Black, Asian, Minority, Ethnic)  community as photographers are trashing stereotypical aesthetics and clutching onto “a more positive, culturally rich narrative.

According to the data, demand for this style of work is hot in the streets. Currently image searches for ‘luxury abstract’ are up 186 percent and ‘Vintage Portrait’ 94 percent.

Lastly, we are in the age of social media, which allows us to see authentic imagery in real time. This has created an upsurge of creativity amongst photographers in the fashion and art industries. That upsurge is ‘Conceptual Realism’

Conceptual realism as Getty Images describes is “a combination of evolving long-term visual trends, new technology, and the public’s current skepticism to take things at their face value.”

Using a dash of the unusual, a sprinkle of real, and a pinch of the relatable creators are using this recipe to connect with consumers on another level and it’s working.

Getty Images’ 2018 Visual Trends data revealed that searches for ‘unexpected concept’ were up 116 percent, while those for ‘reality’ were up 176 percent proving that ‘Conceptual Realism’ is the way of the future.

All of these trends and image search data also highlighted some global issues. Research from the trend study showed the need for more advertised ‘diversity and inclusion’ as searches for the term was up by 917 percent.

Another plus, image searches for ‘LGBTQ’ swelled too, seeing an 809 percent increase along with searches for ‘Multi-ethnic family’ up 385 percent and ‘Cultural Diversity’ up 252 percent.

What was the concerning data? Image searches relating to stress and anxiety in men saw a significant increase.

‘Teen suicide’ rose 429 percent, ‘emotional stress’ by 263 percent and ‘emotional abuse’ by 110 percent. Sheesh! ‘Man stressed’  also rose by 105%, ‘Depression Man’ 31 percent and ‘man looking worried’ by 100 percent.

It’s obvious we have a global mental health issue and the trend data showed exactly that suggesting that there was an increased global focus on mental wellness, with those for ‘mental health’ up by 174 percent and ‘mental health awareness’ up by 258 percent.

Should we be looking forward to a new era of advertising? We sure think so. This is definitely something that needs to happen as we enter a very obscure age in humanity.

To flip through the fifth iteration of Getty Images’ 2018 Visual Trends report click here.