Welcome to the Age of the "Evocative Web"

Images tell powerful stories, and the use of imagery to convey information and ideas has long been an effective way to communicate a message. In the past few years, a massive technology-driven shift has occurred in the way we communicate on digital platforms, and this shift is changing the way that publishers, brands, and consumers interact with one another. From selfies to Pins to shoppable content, digital consumption now emphasizes pictures over text.

The future of communication lies in visual experiences, and the rise of the evocative web represents the shift from the text-heavy sites of the past to sites and apps that let the pictures do the talking. The explosion in adoption and usage of mobile and tablet devices is helping this trend to develop so quickly across the web.

For publishers, the evocative web represents new ways to develop and deliver content and help brands tell compelling stories. From visually anchored content offerings to native ad offerings, publishers are embracing the use of high-quality visual content to create a compelling and engaging experience for consumers and a fertile ground for creating brand awareness and action.

For consumers, the evocative web provides endless entertainment, inspiration, information, and nostalgia and offers consumers more personal engagement and emotional connections to images, which are more easily processed than text.

For brands, the evocative web offers the potential for higher engagement and emotional resonance and the ability for consumers to forge stronger emotional connections with brands than exist via traditional digital advertising methods. As visual content creators, brands have an opportunity to offer entertainment and information, foster community, and communicate key brand values, all through high-quality visual content.

In late 2014, we conducted a study in partnership with Ipsos OTX focused on the relationship between publishers and brand marketers and the emotional connection that both can create via the use of high-quality visual imagery. From a publisher's perspective, we focused on the creative elements of site design, on the development and display of original content, and on native visual ad offerings that are available for brands. For brands, we focused on the types of images and imagery that resonate best, as brands are trying to create an emotional connection with consumers and drive them to action. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be highlighting the results of that study here.