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Images for Green Marketing Face Fear and Jaded Response

Messaging is AIDA - attention, interest, desire and action. Nothing has changed, but the green message must!

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Getty Images for Green Messaging

Getty Green Images Survey Results Getty Green Images Survey Results Getty Green Images Survey Results

Images courtesy of Getty Images

Getty Images, a high-end stock photo and images firm, has released a comprehensive report on how green images are being received, and how perceptions of "green" are changing.

Aspirational Messaging for Environmental Advertising and Editorial

Their online extract from their research results warns creatives and marketers of messaging and imagery they need to avoid, while identifying new positive, aspirational paths to follow.

Invent a new mythology

So far, we’ve seen the deep visual thinking behind “green” in our personal space, at home and beyond, and looked at some of the visual cues emerging in the visual language. What green means and looks like is currently a mix of the good, the bad and the bugly – yes, we will see more images of bugs!

But if it isn’t the case already, we will soon be suffering not from neglect or denial of the environment, but from a sea of environmental messaging. "Greenness" will be the default position for clients and advertisers, which means we are heading into a period of opportunity and confusion, where everything will start looking like everything else. And despite some experts’ claims, images of people hugging trees aren’t the path for those seeking to avoid old clichés that will turn off consumers as quickly as the "pious Prius."

Messaging to Engage Before Explaining

"Environmentalism in marketing is about caring, not just knowing. So visually, emotionally, we will move to more communication of the impact of our actions. Facts and reason are secondary, merely "hygiene factors" in marketing communication (unlike editorial) stories."

A Womb of My Own

"As the world lets us down, we want to be happy homemakers more than ever. It's the trend that could be labeled "a womb of my own," because it’s all about giving us some kind of primordial comfort. Advertisers offer security back to us in the warm, intimate shades of homemaking and home issues, where the big scary environment can be shut out."

The choice of environmental-related marketing as the subject for Getty's second MAP Report (shorthand for what Makes A Picture) was based on the fact that few global issues are as dominant or affect us as deeply as the environment. And marketing around this contentius topic poses risks as well as rewards.

Messaging Research by Getty

The Getty report reflects a year’s worth of work, spanning all continents, on the part of Getty's Creative Research team. In creating it, they pulled 2,500 ads – 1,500 of which are included – interviewed trend experts like Marian Salzman and Simran Sethi and partnered with industry leader Yankelovich Research on a large-scale consumer survey.

The result is the only comprehensive collection of green advertising available, one that identifies the trends that will be shaping communications worldwide – and suggests directions to help keep your environmental communications ahead of the market perception curve.

Here's a gallery of images Getty presents as alternatives to "trite" green images that have become ubiquitous.

Getty Green Images Survey Results

Trends explored in the report include visual benchmarks, empty space of ecology, and going back home.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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