Top Insights for Automotive Brands in Europe

Trends / Sustainability
PM Images
Sandra Michalska
Mar 26, 2024
As the automotive industry reinvents the future of mobility, new aesthetics around mobility emerge. Getty Images’ latest VisualGPS research reveals top insights on how automotive brands can leverage the power of visual storytelling to show sustainability, innovation and journey experiences.
Visualising net‑zero mobility
There is an opportunity for the automotive industry, to educate and demonstrate their actions toward a more sustainable and healthier environment as this will have an impact on brand perception. 83% of Europeans agree that companies have a moral obligation to use their resources to improve society and the environment while 66% of consumers believe that companies should give equal weight to ESG (environmental, social and governance) policies and making a profit. When showing the journey towards net‑zero mobility, showing tangible and educational moments such as sustainable improvements in your supply chain, ethical material sourcing and how your actions impact local communities is key.
Technology, now
The automotive industry has always been at the forefront of research and development. As for the audience, the breakneck pace of tech progress is seen as both inspiring and unsettling. Nearly 6 in 10 Europeans believe economic opportunities will decrease as automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are increasingly integrated. However, 64% of Europeans and 70% of global automotive professionals believe AI technology can help solve important issues. While in popular culture, AI has often been pictured in dystopian colours, brands have the opportunity to rebrand advanced technologies. If technology is constantly in motion, its aesthetics are not.

Over the years, brands across industries–including automotive–have leaned on familiar tropes from science fiction culture with blue tones, digital overlays or holographic interfaces. While these elements evoke a sense of futurism in technology, opening out visual expressions of technology in mobility beyond a vision of the future can be more relatable. By over‑relying on futurist concepts, auto brands often miss the opportunity to illustrate current tech dynamics and stories of organic transformation. Linking technology to nature and the present real world with warmer palettes, authentic representations of people and playful unexpected metaphors can engage deeper. 
Destination realness
Our customers have been using visuals of open roads to evoke freedom, adventure and getting away from it all. As nearly 6 in 10 Europeans find it difficult to keep up with the pace of today’s world, escapism is alluring. Our research on popular visuals used by automotive brands shows that the concept of a journey is most often illustrated with cinematic aerial views showing small vehicles driving through lush forests. VisualGPS research shows consumers want more variety.

6 in 10 Europeans prefer to see images of destinations that are realistic and look like pictures they/their friends or family would take. It’s about bringing comfort and wellness by evoking something familiar. Visuals showing the casual side of the journey over luxury and aspiration that includes off‑season and unfiltered moments of spontaneity is appealing. Remember wider framing will immerse your audience but more intimate compositions will centre emotions and real connections on journeys. 
CPG: Top Insights for 2024