Advertising

12 Agency Pros Share Visual Marketing Trends Brands Can Capitalize On

Since long before the advent of marketing and advertising, humans have been compelled by what they see. Visuals are so effective in marketing, for example, because they can convey complex messages quickly and engage audiences on a visceral level by tapping into emotions. Visual elements can create a memorable impact, enhance recognition, make it easier for consumers to recall a brand and, ultimately, influence their purchasing decisions.

The visual elements used in marketing have evolved in recent years, driven by a shift toward immersive and interactive experiences and technologies such as artificial intelligence and augmented and virtual reality. Below, members of Forbes Agency Council discuss current visual trends in marketing and advertising that are reshaping the way brands engage with target audiences. Read on for innovative ideas for capturing a prospective customer’s attention with standout visuals.

1. Surrealist Marketing

Surrealist marketing positions your brand as larger than life in a whimsical and engaging way. French luxury brand Jacquemus is currently leading the charge with this trend. The brand started by posting videos of oversized bags gliding like trams along the streets of Paris and followed that with a huge purse sailing on Lake Como. – Ivonna Young, The Lavender Agency

2. Video, Video And More Video

Not only do the social media algorithms prefer video to other content, but so do consumers. Every sort of brand needs to be using video. We have seen financial advisors create short videos on financial tips and for event promotions and market updates. It doesn’t need to be a “creative” brand or even a “creative” video. It just needs to be a video. – Trey Robinson, Story Amplify

3. Retro Themes

Retro themes—specifically, using line art to draw in natural elements such as botanicals, mystical elements or animated characters—is a trend that many brands could capitalize on. This type of art has the ability to link nostalgia to the brand, which has a number of positive possibilities, including enhanced credibility, length of time in market, goodwill and trustworthiness. – Jill Whiskeyman, Simpatico Studios, LLC

4. UCG Instagram Ad Content

Recently (for better or worse), I’ve seen a huge influx of user-generated ad content on Instagram. While UGC is nothing new, the “basicness” of this content is surprising. Quality and effort look to be steadily dropping. Brands can capitalize on this by simply raising their UGC bar by even 1% to stand out. Quick edits, mixed media and captions are easy additions that can take your UGC up a notch (or 10). – Bernard May, National Positions


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5. AI Images From Midjourney

AI images from Midjourney are popping up everywhere, and half the time, the art director doesn’t even bother to fix the “tells,” such as oddly shaped hands that AI seems to struggle with. It’s fast and cheap, which means it’ll grow in popularity. So we’re going the opposite route—using authentic images of real people with real emotions in real environments. Humans aren’t ready to cross the uncanny valley. – Dan Kahn, Kahn Media, Inc.

6. Augmented Reality

Application of augmented reality is something everyone should keep an eye on. Lenses on Snapchat, generative AI filters, AR apps—these are terms you hear being thrown around, but the bigger picture here is how we are already seeing content that caters to this medium. Follow these developments. Learn them. Apply them early. – Monica Alvarez-Mitchell, Pulse Creative, LLC

7. Quick Cuts

One visual trend is using cuts to create an engaging and fast-moving video. This can be done by having one person showcasing or demonstrating a product, and then cutting to another person who is continuing the same motion but in a different setting. Including lively music makes for a fun and quick way to showcase products and hold the viewer’s attention. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising

8. Nostalgia

What comes around goes around. Nostalgia—particularly in the form of visuals from the 1990s and early 2000s—is being used in marketing and advertising. Brands are capitalizing on this by incorporating retro elements into their designs for logos, packaging and campaigns. This not only captures the attention of Millennials who grew up in that era, but also evokes a sense of comfort and nostalgia. – George Arabian, NVISION

9. Human-Centered Design

The emerging trend of human-centered design is being enriched by people-focused narratives in marketing and advertising. Brands can leverage this by crafting authentic, relatable stories that resonate emotionally. This approach boosts website engagement and fosters long-term loyalty, making campaigns more impactful and shareable. – Goran Paun, ArtVersion

10. Short-Form Videos

The visual trend I’ve seen emerge in marketing and advertising recently is the use of short-form videos lasting under 60 seconds. Among all current marketing trends, short-form videos have the highest return on investment and the highest average engagement. Brands can leverage this trend to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, boost sales or engage with their audiences in a meaningful way. – Dmitrii Kustov, Regex SEO

11. A Mix Of Kinetic Design And Maximalism

Look for a mix of kinetic design and rising maximalism over the next 12 months. With that, we anticipate a return to a higher level of craft in all production. Brands should push to bring out their colors, play with layers and textures and, of course, be a little more open with their visual identity. Finally, they shouldn’t be afraid to invest in high-quality film. The numbers don’t lie. – John Geletka, Geletka+

12. 3-D Images

Although it’s still a bit early, one visual trend that will become mainstream within the next 12 to 18 months will be 3-D images. We’ll especially see these images become commonplace in e-commerce stores, as the latest iPhone (and other tech) has simplified 3-D photography of static objects. As with product videos, consumers will also expect 3-D images of products to help with their purchasing decisions. – Vinny La Barbera, imFORZA