The cost-of-living crisis has increased fears of a recession in the UK. It is not only affecting consumers’ pockets and spending habits, but it is also having a profound impact on their mental health.
The latest research from Getty Images and iStock’s creative insights platform, VisualGPS, shows that younger generations are the most prone to financial anxiety (54%), up by 14 percentage points in August 2022 compared to April 2022.
82% of British Gen Z and Millennials believe the cost-of-living crisis will exceed their means (compared to 69% of all respondents). This provides brands with an opportunity to rethink their visual choices to navigate times of economic uncertainty, especially when targeting younger audiences.
Financial wellness is now the top priority for consumers in a post-pandemic world. As younger generations are keen to improve their financial literacy and save for the future, businesses should ask themselves how they are engaging with younger consumers in the visuals they use.
For instance, John Lewis recently revealed their decision to replace its famous strapline ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ with ‘For All Life’s Moments’, which positions the retailer as the one-stop shop for not only big gifting occasions, such as Christmas, but also for day-to-day shopping like clothing or hardware. Its consumer study found that the combination of the digital world and societal shifts due to Covid has cemented their consumers’ appreciation of the everyday.
Getty Images and iStock’s VisualGPS analysis concurs, suggesting that consumers are now looking to celebrate the emotional rewards of the little moments in life that make them happy (84%), rather than just celebrating big milestones, such as buying a house. This means that people are more likely to engage with images and videos that portray accessible experiences driven by the here and now.
Getty Images recently worked with London‑based creative duo, Flashpop, to create visuals based around the concept of love, laughter and dancing at a surprise birthday party, an example of celebrating these small, but important, moments.
Rachel Brinton Matthews, Senior Art Director at Getty Images, said, “Over the last couple of years, the need to come together with friends and family has felt more poignant – and our VisualGPS data shows a continuous increase in search terms for ‘celebration’, ‘togetherness’ and ‘party’ since 2020.
“We worked with Flashpop to devise a clear narrative around a surprise birthday party, looking at loads of inspirational references – from commercials to short films – to help inform what moments would be best to focus on.
“A lot of work went into pre-production planning – decisions around casting, prop choices and styling to name a few – and getting these details right is essential to making something special.”
Whether brands are looking to capture moments of togetherness, a celebratory surprise or dancing like nobody’s watching, this production captured powerful visuals that create an emotional response.
Brands, therefore, can make image and video choices that educate and support their customers by highlighting the little moments in life that make them happy. Placing empathy and wellness at the heart of visual messaging is key to building trust with consumers.