Visual GPS: Realness

Trends / Realness
Sophie Mayanne
Getty Images Creative Insights Team
Feb 24, 2020
Developed with creative challenges in mind, Getty Images Visual GPS helps you navigate through the crowded visual landscape, showing you what's important to today's consumers, what kind of visual content engages them, and what leads them to make decisions. Through our unique research offering, we have found several factors that inform and impact decision‑making. We're calling them Forces because we've found that they're a powerful influence on the way people behave. In this article, you will learn about one of these Forces, Realness.
What defines the Realness Force?
Realness and authenticity are hot topics in media, in the arts, and, more and more, in the business world. But it would be a miscalculation to call it a trend—it’s an ongoing story about long‑overdue acceptance of our differences, empathy for how others experience the world, and the ability to bring our whole selves to everything we do, personally and professionally.

What our market research tells us people care about

There are two paths—sometimes parallel and sometimes intersecting—that Realness takes: one is personal (being true to oneself) and the other is marketplace oriented (truth in advertising; proof of inclusivity). Both of these paths are based on transparency, authenticity, standing for what you believe in, and tolerance.

"Consumers are punishing brands
who are not transparent, honest
and real. In order to establish brand
trust through visual storytelling,
truth and authenticity are key."
‑Getty Images Creative Insights Team
How Realness is expressed visually 
The following example is just one of the expressions representing what Realness means to consumers and what they’re passionate about when it comes to identity—as interpreted by our visual experts.

Demand for transparency in brands 
Consumers no longer accept information as evidence. And this is particularly true if a brand has taken a stand, supported a cause, promised sustainability, etc. Taking people “behind the scenes” and providing a 360 view satisfy consumer demand for transparency.

Bottomline, people expect brands to let them see behind the curtain to reveal truths around the provenance of materials, manufacturing processes, marketing initiatives, and personnel practices.

Visually, we’ve seen a period where corporations have used through‑the‑glass‑windows perspectives to show transparency. Not all businesses are in office buildings so we’ve been focusing on local industry, small businesses, and successful teams to visualize work as it is.

See how to visualize this expression here.

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