Marketers’ Five Favorite Holiday Image Themes


by Ayaz Nanji

Photos featuring friends, families, couples, co-workers, and communities happily spending time together are the most popular holiday/celebration image type with marketers, according to a recent report from Corbis.

Images of group interactions are far more popular than those of just individual people and those without people at all, the analysis found.

The report was based on 500 commercial and editorial tearsheets from around the world featuring holiday and celebration imagery, as well as internal data from Corbis on its top-selling holiday/celebration photos.

Below, the five most popular holiday/celebration image types, in order of their popularity with marketers.

People Together (35% of all images featured)

Most images used by marketers in this category are candid shots of people caught in a (seemingly) spontaneous moment: embracing, kissing, dining, toasting, playing, partying, dancing, commemorating, celebrating, and generally engaging with others.

Decorations (21%)

Popular decoration images include traditional photos of holiday lights, Christmas trees, wreaths, and ornaments, as well as more generic streamers, garlands, and balloons. Festive table settings are also popular, as are shots of home décor specific to a certain holiday or occasion.

Events (19%)

This group of images comprises specific events in action—festivals, parades, weddings, group prayers, ceremonies, cultural traditions, people watching fireworks, graduations—as well as more generic images of large-scale celebrations.

Food and Beverage (14%)

These images tend to convey a sense of comfort and togetherness by featuring traditional/festive dishes, drinks, and treats. Examples include Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas cookies, Easter eggs, Halloween candy, eggnog, champagne, and birthday cake.

Costumes (11%)

This group of images includes Halloween costumes as well as people (and pets) dressed up for other occasions (as Easter bunnies, turkeys, pilgrims, Santa Claus, etc.). Festival performers and costumed partygoers are also popular.