June 2016

Stock vs Original Art

Stock Picture

Stock art, including illustrations, photos, videos, music and digital effects, is existing art that marketers “rent” for a specific use. Some of it is very inexpensive, others extremely expensive. There are literally millions of images and files available to be used in ads.

The alternative to stock is original artwork, visual and audio content created for a specific project. Both approaches are used widely throughout the advertising industry. Stock art is often used to save money or time. The downside of using stock includes the fact that you don’t own it, so others, including your competitors, may use the same image or music. This can lead to consumer confusion and certainly won’t help you stand out.

Another issue is stock has already been created, so putting it in the context of your message may mean settling for something that isn’t exactly right, or altering the concept to fit the stock.

Original art provides the freedom to create the exact mood and impression your communication efforts intended. It also protects you from seeing or hearing the same thing in competitors’ ads. The challenge is it often costs more and takes more time to execute.

So how do you decide when to use stock and when to use original art? The simple answer is original art that is created to reflect your brand and your company’s uniqueness is preferable and certainly should be used whenever possible. If it’s not possible to use original art throughout your marketing materials, stock is a viable option, but it would still behoove you to invest in original art for the main portion of your digital, print or broadcast projects and use stock in supporting roles.

Click here to see some original photography Insight Marketing Design has created for our clients.

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