While pictures may speak a thousand words, often enough, its hard to visually express certain messages in pictorial ways. How does one depict intelligence, rationality and innovation in pictures? Robots; classrooms; or a bespectacled corporate woman in a power suit?

Corbis Images, a visual media provider has launched a new collection of images to satisfy consumers search and demand for intelligence and knowledge in science and information.

This follows a recent Corbis study that revealed an increasing trend in consumer intelligence, where knowledge and research is becoming an essential part of life, from academic pursuits to purchasing decisions.

The report, titled ‘Mass Intelligence’, reveals that consumers are abandoning emotionally driven practices in favour for decisions that are based on facts, data and intellect.

In the world of digital devices, consumers are using these new gadgets to learn and gain access to information faster and more efficiently. In fashion and culture, the movement of ‘geek chic’ is also flourishing, where intelligence is seen as modern and trendy.

The study also found that employment prospects in the fields of science, math, technology, engineering and artificial intelligence are amongst the hottest fields.

Education levels around the world is also rising, with 84 per cent of North American adults holding at least a high school qualification and the demand for tertiary education across the world is growing stronger.

Efforts by marketers to tap into the trend of mass intelligence can be seen in advertising and brand communications, where sustainability and green efforts are resonating well with consumers. Efficiency and messages of technology advancements are also popular trends amongst communication to consumers.

Corbis’ senior director of creative research, Mark Retzer, believes that “as advertisers, educators and media tout smart technologies and ideas, photography that reflects our information-driven culture will only grow in demand”.

“Evidence of this fascination [with intelligence] is all around us – from pages of fashion magazines to big box-office movies and bestseller lists”.

Arion Predika of Corbis’ creative research department said that mass intelligence is becoming a way of life. Speaking to Marketing, Predika says: “It has become ubiquitous. For example, someone riding an electric train while using a smart phone or tablet to communicate with a friend on the other side of the globe is now hardly something that would be considered incredible. Though, even ten years ago, this would be something spectacular.

“Marketers are usually very aware of emerging trends as well as changes in consumer behaviour, so I would consider brand communication to be ever evolving. I’d think marketers would adjust their communications where a theme referencing how technology is increasingly part of our everyday lives is relevant to their campaign. Access to information and the ability to complain about or praise a brand has never been easier, and this new fact of life will continue to be something marketers are very aware of. How a marketer reacts to these real-time “reviews” on-line is something else entirely.”

Predika also believes that global trends are overtaking country-specific behaviour patterns. “I think as the world becomes more and more connected, global trends will become very relevant to all of the world. The specific “trends” observed in a region will continue to be morphed by fashion, extreme weather events, popular culture and fads, political climate and the response to social and political issues.

“For Australia and Asia, in general, I see the movement of society from regions to metropolitan centers (both big and small cities) to be one of the most important global trends seen in the world today. As more people become urbanites, it is inevitable that urban culture will become the dominate culture, if it is not already. Of course, these metropolitan centers offer very specific and different experiences depending on the region. I think it’s also important to consider emerging nations becoming very important globally, in terms of fashion and style as well as sustainable energy and transportation solutions.”


What do you think this means for Australian marketers? Will communication messages have to change to suit the consumer’s new search for intelligence?

Leave us a comment.

Belle Kwan
BY Belle Kwan ON 1 June 2011
Assistant editor, Marketing magazine & marketingmag.com.au
A marketer's dream who believes everything she sees on TV.
Advertising is not evil, it is an artform and a science.