Lock, butt and two smoking barrels – the state of Asian stock photography

“Can we buy this person to make him look more Asian?” While totally insensitive in any other circumstance, these are the all too real requests that agencies and studios get from clients struggling to find an Asian face to tackle their Asian campaign.

The ivory world of advertising and marketing is slowly losing control here in Asia. The lines in the sand are clearly drawn. Brands can no longer adapt Western campaigns and lifestyles here and hope to get the same populist traction they used to have back in the day (read: 90s and early 2000s). We no longer aspire to ‘be like Mike’ or ‘keep up with the Kardashians; we thirst for relationships, we aspire to be inspired by our own culture, and we long to be spoken to in a language we can understand. ‘

The Almighty Consumer stomps his foot and brands are trying to respond in kind. Localization is no longer a buzzword, but a necessity to produce effective communication campaigns. So the big archival imaging houses respond: they work with photographers, set up sets, and fill their libraries.

At first everything is fine, but then the internet age had a trick up its sleeve, and boy was it an avalanche.

Today, the average user is inundated with more than 3,000 pieces of content daily on the various platforms they interact with.

Netflix, tablets, smartphones, digital TVs. Coupled with the fact that the human brain can identify and retrieve an image from memory in less than 1 second, it seriously diminishes the value, currency, uniqueness, and staying power of content. The concept of “old” has taken on a new meaning. Anything older than a week is dated. More than a month? Old. Couple of month? Old and irrelevant. One year? Forget this.

What does this mean? It means that consumers demand to be constantly engaged with new and fresh content. This is the reality for brands that want to remain relevant.

Personalization, location, and uniqueness are the three pillars that now support the pagoda of Asian content. Brands can no longer get away with the ‘same old, same old’ philosophy.

The rise of the visual market here in these lands is a response to the transformation of an industry, a transformation that is occurring most significantly in Asia, the nexus of Globalization 2.0. As the region slowly overtakes Europe and the Americas in terms of general internet users, millennials, smartphone penetration, adoption of new technologies, and the rapid rise of the connected consumer, the need for visual content that responds to the Asian perspective is never. more urgent than her. is today. Marketers and administrators who are simply lazy and resistant to change will only be left behind.

The rhetoric is simple: if an average user can create 2-3 pieces of new content per week in multiple formats, what else is a brand with many more resources?

With markets connecting talented buyers across Asia, crowdsourced content should no longer be an issue.

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