The Broncos may have won the Super Bowl, but we all know the real MVP’s of the night were the ads.

With the highest viewership of any show in America, companies pull out all the stops—some paying up to $5 million—to create the most talked about commercials. In order to stand out, brands continue to push boundaries and stay at the forefront of cultural and visual trends.

Many of the major themes found in Super Bowl commercials happen to be the very same trends predicted by Getty Images’ creative research team. This is no coincidence.

“We see these trends coming from miles away,” Getty Images Director of Visual Trends Pam Grossman said. “We analyze data from millions of images searched and licensed through and observe how customer search patterns and buying patterns evolve. We’re paying such close attention to different trends as they percolate and bubble up on the visual landscape so that by the time they hit the mass market, we’ve already been on top of them well in advance.”

Case in point: Genderblend, one of the 2015 trends we predicted, had a strong presence in last year’s Super Bowl commercials as ads such as Always’ “Like A Girl” and Toyota’s “To Be A Dad” dissolved gender stereotypes.

This year followed suit, seamlessly threading Getty Images’ 2016 creative trends into some of the best commercials from Super Bowl 50.

1. Outsider In

What it’s all about: People who push the envelope and visuals that break with tradition are being more widely embraced, as popular taste becomes more daring. This trend favors images that express an ethos of nonconformity using garish colors, unusual models and left-of-center conceptual narratives.

Who did it well:


2. Extended Human

What it’s all about: Our notion of personhood is expanding, as we harness the power of technology in all areas of our lives. The parameters of man and machine are starting to blur, and the results are riveting. It’s challenging our idea of what it means to be human as it optimizes our bodies, expands our minds’ capacity for memory and creativity, and affords total connectivity with each other.

Who did it well:


3. Silence vs. Noise

What it’s all about: This trend is focused on making space for consumers to breathe and reconnect in a cluttered marketplace, engaging our emotions and spirit with visual haiku. These images are restrained and powerful, telling their stories quietly and succinctly to create maximum impact.

Who did it well:

4. Surreality

What it’s all about: As we look to visually represent the multifaceted lives we experience in the digital age, the opportunities for creativity are endless. This trend manifests in hyper-immersive, psychedelic visuals that reignite the pleasure we feel in experiencing the unexpected.

Who did it well:


Go long. See the rest of the trends our team predicted for 2016. Read our trend report .