Stock photography in marketing communications: It’s pointless. It’s awful. It’s pointawfuless.
There’s an old saying in advertising agencies and other purveyors of promotion production: “Good. Fast. Cheap. Pick any two.”
Stock photography is cheap and fast. But it’s not always good.
I bought this package of Kroger potato chips because they were half the price of the Lay’s brand. Results: They taste good.
Note how Kroger’s logo sits atop the ho-hum tagline, “From our family to yours.” That’s the connection to the photo of the happy, romping family of four: the family is running joyfully through tall, green grass to get those delicious potato chips at their nearest Kroger store. I can almost see the thin thread connecting brand to imagery to product. Almost.
A bland photo on a package doesn’t add or subtract anything. It’s just there. An excuse to print in four-color process.
You might luck out and find a stock photo that’s exactly what you want. In that case, save the money and go with stock. But remember that same photo might show up in other places. You didn’t take that picture. You don’t own it.
I’ll be looking for the potato-chip family to pop up in a life insurance ad.