Market Trends

4 Essential Visual Trends This Holiday Season

By Miles Holder - 4 min read

There’s no doubt that holiday season celebrations will look different from the years gone by. With social distancing still being enforced worldwide, and Thanksgiving just around the corner, here are 4 key trends that will ensure that your campaigns engage modern consumers adapting to the ‘new normal.’

We’ve already shared 5 Ways We Keep Photo Productions Moving When Disruption Hits and why you should outsource your photo productions to create unique and eye-catching creative assets. However, these are unprecedented times, and as brands in every industry begin rolling out their winter campaigns, we knew we needed to build a guide for visualizing upcoming festive celebrations. Here are 4 essential visual trends that will make sure you can engage the modern consumers of 2020 despite this holiday season being in ‘lockdown.’

Mother playing with cute son in kitchen at home

If you’re looking for images that you can use for Thanksgiving or the holiday season more broadly, be sure to take a look at our brand-new custom Thanksgiving image collection.

Visual Trend #1: Close-knit Festivities

Man helping black girlfriend to cook dinner
Happy senior man talking to daughter-in-law at outdoor dining table
Woman with wineglass looking at male friend cutting pepper in kitchen

With the public being discouraged and in some places banned from hosting large get-togethers, imagery depicting large groups of friends or families gathering around the dining table won’t work. Portraying a false narrative or worse, encouraging flouting of the rules, through your choice of images is a quick way of losing the attention of consumers that are actively on search for brands they can trust during a time of uncertainty. However, there are still ways your brand can use images to capture the holiday spirit without losing that inviting and intimate feeling that is synonymous to this time of year.

Focus on capturing the joys of Thanksgiving between couples, small groups of family, friends, or neighbours. It goes without saying that this year has been shaped by moments of crisis and challenges, so make sure your visual cues remind your consumers that there is still much to be thankful for.

Expert Tip: Avoid the predictable, picture-perfect gratitude your consumers are all expecting to see. Authentic stories, realistic moments, and honest reflections of life in lockdown will be what capture your audience’s attention. Use images that highlight the imperfect to “avoid the negative stereotypes that can occur in marketing during times of crisis”.

Visual Trend #2: Technology Connectives

Woman toasting wineglass while doing video conference on digital tablet at home
Businesswoman using smartphone for communication in kitchen
High angle view of woman on video call with grandparents

We continue to see technology step in to help groups come together safely. Many will choose to spend their Thanksgiving day conversing over video calls or virtual games. Highlighting this in your campaign imagery might be a simple switch for you to make as a brand, but it will solidify your position as a thought-leader in the eyes of your target audience.

When it comes to selecting images of technology, it’s important to think outside the box. Think about how technology is enhancing connections and relationships rather than replacing them. Consumers are being forced to be more creative about how they facilitate social interaction, and your brand needs to do the same.

3) Take Out Instead of Turkey

Friends toasting beer bottles while sitting against clear sky during sunset
Midsection of person preparing food on table

While many households will still be serving the traditional Thanksgiving meal, 2020 represents a unique opportunity for brands to showcase many of the alternative cuisines that will be served up this holiday season. The call for diverse content is more prominent than ever before and so it’s time for brands to react to the need for breaking stereotypes. We’re encouraging every brand to consider the celebrations taking place this winter around the globe, and how those celebrations might look different from the predictable traditions we see every year without fail.

This year’s holiday season is one that will mean many young people will choose not to return home for the holidays. Many will be turning to restaurants, take-out restaurants or picnic-style setups for their Thanksgiving dinner instead of attempting to cook extensive traditional cuisine. To catch the attention of your audience, particularly for a Millennial or Gen Z user base, unable to travel this holiday season, use authentic imagery to connect with them right where they are at.

4) More ‘Me’ Time

High angle view of cake
Turkey served on table in kitchen
Female teenager using mobile phone while lying on bed at home

With individual states in control of social distancing rules, finding campaign imagery which engages with everyone can be a challenge. Change the perspective and use imagery that implies a single point of view. Use images of individuals in remote places, at home doing relaxing tasks or home-improvements that they wouldn’t be able to do with their typical day-to-day schedules.

To make things even easier remove people from your images all together. Your images can say ‘festive’ very quickly if they depict this year’s winter color trends. Using images of the winter landscapes or more abstract shots using autumn color palettes, will be enough to invoke that holiday feeling within your audience and leave room for you to add text that will get the right message across.

Make sure your images are on-trend this holiday season by exploring our custom Thanksgiving image collection filled with premium quality, authentic imagery shot by our community of photographers worldwide.