As brands start to focus on values, reflection and revelation are front and center as we shift our focus to more meaningful consumption. We’re all seekers now.
Divine living focuses on meaningful consumption. It’s about purchasing with purpose and carefully selecting treasured objects and experiences over mass accumulation. It’s about living the way we want the world to be—around us and inside us.
The word “divine” has two meanings. It means delightful, magnificent and special, and it also plugs into the idea of supreme beings, heavenly bodies and a desire for the marvelous, for quasi-mystical or religious experiences from monasticity to spirituality. We’re seeing both of these aspects play out on the visual landscape, and a surge of concepts such as goodness, intention and interconnectedness. And we’re recasting luxury brands in loftier roles than ever before, using them as signifiers of lives lived with morality and distinction.
Soul-searching and contemplation are key elements of this trend. UBS connects the concept of wealth with the idea of being a more thoughtful, introspective person in their new campaign shot by Annie Leibovitz, which shows people in moments of repose, asking themselves questions about how to live more meaningful lives. Volvo’s new car campaign states that luxury is “sanctuary,” and Oprah’s latest TV series “Belief” explores people’s search for connection with something greater than themselves. In an overwhelming visual world, brands and storytellers are placing purpose at the core of their narratives.
Consumers are increasingly savvy truth-finders looking beneath the surface of brand messaging with a demand for clear vision and values. Brands must now appeal to our sense of worth inside and out. From Tesla’s open-source car design, to Citi Bike shares, to the wildhoods of do-it-yourself online learning, the material objects that we own are being replaced with new systems of connecting and sharing.
This new transparency is being shown in brands, both figuratively, with companies pulling back their curtains and allowing the consumer to see their inner workings, and literally, by using plenty of images that feel glassy and luminous.
But how else does one depict the divine? Our customers have a growing appetite for images with light leaks and an airy, aspirational aesthetic with people looking up into the heavens. There has been an increase in the usage of striking aerials with a “God’s-eye view” that show wonder and epic scale. There is also a penchant for clean lines and styling; focus on single, relic-like objects as opposed to abundance; and a growing use of subtle light and a soft, ethereal, color palette. From sharp focus to bokeh bliss, devotional aesthetics and illuminating messaging is what’s resonating right now.
Visuals are our new religion. We are eye-minded beings in a continual process of becoming and seeing, so it’s no wonder we’re longing for imagery that will uplift and offer reflection and revelation.
See which keywords have risen in Getty Images search data that have helped define the Divine Living trend:
Discover more luminous, reflective and aspirational images inspired by the Divine Living visual trend at Getty Images and iStock by Getty Images