Neon lights, lasers, and lines of code. Here’s how brands can harness the cyberpunk trend through photography.
Known as a combination of “lowlife and high tech,” cyberpunk has been capturing our imaginations since New Wave sci-fi novels of the 1960s.
Given the current state of the world, it’s arguably more relevant than ever.
Artificial intelligence features heavily in cyberpunk fiction, which is appropriate for this piece, given that our very own Shutterstock.AI has been studying 2022’s cyberpunk trends to see which creative elements of this style and subculture make photos more clickable for marketers.
Let’s dig into the enigmatic and exciting world of the cyberpunk, with AI as our guide. We’ll get to see which creative image elements drive performance and what makes this subculture so clickable.
Choose the Clickable Colors of Cyberpunk
When one thinks of cyberpunk color palettes, bright hues and deep contrasts probably come to mind. So many of these books, comics, and movies have been futuristic fantasies, and are emblematic of the bright colors the genre is known for.
When looking at which colors are clickable today, we see several shades that could fit within cyberpunk palettes.
As predicted by Shutterstock.AI, several shades of green top today’s most-clickable colors list. Bright shades of green—similar to the iconic digital rain in The Matrix—make up several of today’s top-performing colors.
Specifically, #80FF80 (a.k.a. neon green) is today’s second-most clickable color. Other high-performing greens include #40C040, #00FF40, and #00FF80.
Beyond green, several shades of violet and blue make the most-clickable list. Velvet violet is today’s third-most-engaging color. Meanwhile, the soft shade of periwinkle and shocking electric purple also make the trending color shortlist.
When combining these colors, and any accent shades between them, we see palettes similar to many sci-fi and cyberpunk classics—ranging from Tron to the 1995 Ghost in the Shell.
Go with Cityscapes
For example, one big trend we see today is neon—neon lights have increased 207% in clickability since this time last year—and the neon trend goes hand-in-hand with skyscrapers, as their click-through rates (CTRs) has risen 513% since 2020.
Fractals have also gone up 230% in clickability since last year.
Data tells us that you can even give the weather a cyberpunk spin. Rain, which is a common trope of the cyberpunk genre, is trending up with a CTR that’s risen 58% over the last year.
Steam and sunsets have also risen 39% and 18% in clickability, respectively, over this last year.
From manga to movies, technology is a cornerstone of any cyberpunk work of fiction. So, what tech is driving up click-through rates for photos?
Data tells us that a few devices are reigning supreme right now. Tablets, for example, have seen their CTR rise 28% over the course of the last year.
Wires have even gone up in clickability. While our devices may use them less and less (despite Gen Z’s affinity for wired headphones), AI has observed the clickability of wires go up 35% since the beginning of the pandemic.
Highlight Cyberpunk Style
In today’s marketing and advertising data, we can see futuristic, sci-fi, and cyberpunk trends represented.
Masks have seen their CTR rise 306% since this time last year. This could be due to the return of masks in response to the omicron variant, but masks could also represent costumes we see in dystopian thrillers like Squid Game.
Beyond costumes, fantastical and futuristic vehicles are trending up. Sports cars, such as the iconic cars of Blade Runner 2049, have seen their CTR rise 48% over the last year.
AI also tells us that the ultimate space-age modes of transportation are trending, too. Spaceships have risen 43% in clickability since last year, and the CTR of rockets has risen 212%.
Cover image via Anton Vierietin.