“All hail the outspoken, the outré and the odd.” – Pam Grossman, Director of Visual Trends at Getty Images
Viewers are sick of the same old story. The mainstream is mixing with various extremes, resulting in an increased attraction to visuals that are different and unfamiliar. It’s no surprise then that the search term “bold choices” skyrocketed last year by 300% on gettyimages.com – brands are looking for misfits, rebels and mavericks, irreverent nonconformists and oddball vigilantes to set their communications apart from the crowd.
With so many images flickering in front of our eyes across multiple screens, as a brand, it’s hard not to get lost in the mix. That’s what makes Outsider In such a key trend for 2016 – the need to be noticed.
All kinds of content can benefit from a focus on this aesthetic. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Global politics, socioeconomic realities and environmental and humanitarian issues are coming to a head worldwide. The stories are plentiful and suggest that audiences are ready for a revolution – including when it comes to the kinds of images they’re being fed. Forget the usual suspects; hone in on the eccentric and unruly.
Search Tip: “Activist” shot up 50% last year in our database searches. Pair it with “protest,” “freedom” or “social issues,” which you can also search for directly – i.e. “conservation,” “gay rights,” “animal welfare” and so on.
It’s time to highlight the unexpected. Hitchhikers, cross-cultural details, wacky dads, and other unforeseen characters are all refreshing breaks from the standard awestruck backpacker or family-by-the-sea shots we’re used to seeing accompany travel content. Today’s audiences crave a different kind of journey.
Search Tip: Pair “travel” with words like “rebel,” “individual” and “funny.”
A dose of humor can be especially effective in healthcare-focused work. Lighten the mood and attract attention by going beyond your standard smiling doctor or pharmacist photo.
Search Tip: “Oddball,” “eccentric” and “weird” are just the right kind of unusual to start your Outsider In “healthcare” search.
It takes a village to raise a child, and that village is diversifying. Tattooed moms? Idiosyncratic interests? Same-sex parents? These days, every kind of family exists – and craves representation. Let them be seen.
Search Tip: Use keywords like “family,” “mother,” father,” “baby” and “kids” with terms like “modern,” “different,” “humor,” or specifics like “tattoo.”
Fashion, Beauty & Menswear
Subjects of style are thirsty for something new and original: a fresh dose of inspiration. People are tired of seeing the same posed models again and again, and standards of beauty are slowly but surely beginning to shift. The 21st century eye is attuned to something riskier, edgier and – sometimes – something that’s just more fun.
Search Tip: Our 2015 search reports showed a 40% increase in the term “irreverent,” 126% in “stand out in a crowd” and 2016% in “rebellious.” Search these keywords with “fashion,” “style,” “beauty,” and “menswear” and see what you might find, along with specific accessories or components like “bow tie,” “motorcycle,” “suit” and “tattoo.”
B2B topics in thought leadership, product innovation, customer service and company culture can all be enhanced with an injection of the Outsider In as well. Similar to healthcare, industries covering the realms of business, finance and distribution are perfectly primed for a refreshing batch of visuals.
As always, cater to your particular audience, but don’t hesitate to display a range of people and identities.
Draw attention to one bold focal point in more abstract, conceptual images to represent an important new idea or proposal.
Company Culture & Innovation
Office life is still a great illustrator for a lot of business content – just make sure your images are modern, visually stimulating, and different enough to make a lasting impression.
Search Tip: “Standing out in a crowd” works well with “business” and “office” too, as does “individuality” and “maverick,” which are terms that increased 46% in searches last year.