Go beyond the happy family (and I don’t mean chinese take out).

Ah the happy family. It’s a red-blooded American aspiration to be part of a happy family, which makes the image such a powerful one for advertisers. “You can be this happy if you only use our (insurance, checking account, mortgages, etc).” It’s an easy go-to element for your designers, especially in an industry which has products hard to depict. So have you thought about going against the grain? Using something beyond the happy family? Doing just that could be a great way to stand out in your market.

So why do so many banks and credit unions use these ubiquitous images?

  • It’s easy – there are a million of them on stock photo sites
  • People can relate to the scenes, drawing them into the sales pitch

But with a little bit of effort, your credit union or bank can rise above the crowd and make an impression on your target audience. Here are some alternatives to using the standard happy family photos:

illustration example


Illustrations can range from very simplistic as the one shown here, or highly stylized and artistic. The Wall Street Journal is a great example of how illustrations can appeal to a more refined audience.





Selective focus techinque

Photography techniques such as selective focus


If you want to use photography, consider a more sophisticated style such as selective focus or close up shots of objects.  Or go in the other direction and consider wide, sweeping landscapes for a more ethereal feel.




Black and white example

Black and white


Another image style to consider is black and white. Consider how this might stand out in a magazine of full color images. It would definitely get attention.






Are you selling the category?

After constant use of mainstream happy family photos, the financial industry is all starting to look the same, especially in the smaller segments (assets with less than $1 billion). If your bank or credit union is using these mainstream photos, are you just promoting the financial industry instead of your particular financial institution? Take a look at your recent ads and collateral with a critical eye: if you switched out your logo for someone else’s does it make much difference? Have you created a unique style with your imagery, one which is associated with your brand?

The new year is a great time to review your collateral and make plans to refresh, renew and reinvigorate your brand. Need help getting started? Give us at a call at 256-714-6596.