Everything old is new again. Ideas for using vintage images in social media.

By Ashley Jouhar on May 10, 2019

Vintage imagery wasn’t always vintage. Once upon a time it was brand new. But it doesn’t take long for it to age and begin to look dated, out of touch and past its sell-by-date.

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However, with time these attributes are often an advantage, as it is these things that give imagery like this its charm, warmth, humor and appeal.

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The juxtaposition of old photographs with modern concepts, headlines or treatments can create humour, impact and give social media an edge. Using old black and white imagery has standout and cuts through the visual noise that makes up much of what we see and experience daily on-line. 

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Nostalgia is always a useful emotion to tap into with consumers and in times of uncertainty, such as the ones we are all living through right now, it is especially influential as it evokes a warmlonging that we all feel when we think about fond memories from our past. 

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Many of the people seeing these photographs will be too young to make any childhood connection. For them there is always the inherent humor in many of the images, intentional or otherwise! Plus the innocence of a bygone era, where life seemed to be simpler…

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An additional benefit to the use of vintage imagery in communication pieces is how far they appear to be removed from today’s experiences. This lends them a ‘cartoon’ quality and flexibility for potential usage across a number of subject areas; particularly when accompanying topical and challenging subjects like finance, AI, the environment, climate change, consumerism, green energy, obesity and so on. 

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And lastly, vintage photography lends products, communications and marketing instant heritage. Provenance, history, continuity, responsibility and tradition are key elements that consumers look for in products and services they buy nowadays. The right vintage imagery can immediately communicate those attributes well, resulting in engagement and a warm response from your audience.

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Browse the Vintage Lifestyle Gallery here.

Topics: Vintage Photography, Lifestyle Photography, Stock Photography

Author: Ashley Jouhar

Ashley Jouhar is a Creative Director, Art Director and Photographer who has worked as a senior creative in the photography industry for over 14 years, first as Deputy Director of Photography at Getty Images and then as Creative Director of Image Source. Before turning to the photography industry full time, Ashley worked as a senior Art Director and Group Head at McCann Erickson, London creating popular and award winning advertising for clients such as Bacardi, AT&T, BMW, Medecins Sans Frontieres, TK Maxx and Nescafe.

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