What We Learned About Design And Emotions Thanks to 500 Million Downloaded Photos

If you want to achieve high engagement with your customers you need to incorporate emotions into a brand’s story and build in specific emotional characteristics that will increase positive attitudes about the product. Emotions provide authenticity and create relatable content that resonates with consumers because it engages and entertains them rather than coming off as an advertisement. One of the best ways to achieve that, both in online and offline world, is by using authentic imagery and music. No one knows this better than Shuttertstock, a stock photo service that sells images for ads and other marketing materials. During 2015 they have published their Global Trend Report that has successfully predicted 3 visual trends that have indeed influenced design and photography on a global scale (blurred photography, unique perspective and simple linear images) and now they are back with their Design and Emotion Report which analyzed 500 million purchased images and emotional keywords attached to them in order to discover what emotions their customers wanted to convey in 2015. Here are some of their most interesting results:

While “love”, still top ranking human emotion, grew 73% from the previous year, demand for sad images has more than doubled in the same period. These results corresponds to a trend called Sadvertising, where in an attempt to appeal to the heart and not just to the head advertisers develop more and more human stories and emotional ads that literally “make us cry”.

Joyous images are still downloaded five times as often as sad images but sadness images are fastest-growing, up 101% when compared with last year. Also, people select “fear” twice as often as “surprise”.

Emotion that has increased the least in 2015 is anger, holding sixth place with increase of “just” 52% year-on-year. This research additionally explores emojis/emoticon trends that rose 225% from a year ago so make sure to check out full interactive infographic and search top emoticons downloaded by country.

What do you think about this research and emotions most frequently used by big companies in communication with their customers? What are your experiences? What emotions trigger most reaction in your line of business? Let us know as we keep you updated on more trends and predictions from the world of design and social media.