Stock photo service Unsplash launches image-based advertising for brands

Unsplash, the free, crowd-sourced stock photo service, has announced the launch of a new digital advertising offering that will give brands access to an audience of 300 million users monthly, according to the company.

Dubbed Unsplash for Brands, the platform is still in its early stages, offering advertising services on a brand-by-brand basis. Through the new service, businesses are able to work alongside Unsplash to publish and link sponsored images to relevant search terms – making them visible to a broad range of Unsplash users and creators.

“People want to connect with brands in a way that doesn’t feel fake or forced,” said Unsplash co-founder and CEO Mikael Cho. “With Unsplash dominating the visuals being used across the internet, we could offer brands a positive and authentic opportunity to engage with people at scale, in a way that doesn’t feel like any of the traditional ad products.”

Why we care

Businesses rely on stock imagery for a range of purposes – from editorial and social creative to website graphics and brand mockups. As a free service that sources content and creative licenses from its users, Unsplash often appeals to smaller businesses with limited budgets and resources for content creation. By bringing an image-based ad offering to the service, Unsplash is giving brands the ability to show up at the top of the platform’s search results, bringing visibility to content that users might not see otherwise.

The new ad product could also help brands become bigger players in relevant topics by being featured natively in articles, presentations, posts, and other media. This could help bring awareness and reinforce brand messaging without the exhausting user experience that comes with traditional digital advertising.

More on the news

  • Unsplash has already signed on with a range of brands to help launch campaigns, including Google, Harley Davidson, Square, The Honest Company, and Boxed Water.
  • According to the company, research conducted by Kantar Millward Brown has shown that brands on Unsplash reach mass scale while outperforming TV and digital benchmarks by up to five times on brand lift measures.
  • Unsplash for Brands is currently invite-only. For more information, users can visit

About The Author

Taylor Peterson is Third Door Media’s Deputy Editor, managing industry-leading coverage that informs and inspires marketers. Based in New York, Taylor brings marketing expertise grounded in creative production and agency advertising for global brands. Taylor’s editorial focus blends digital marketing and creative strategy with topics like campaign management, emerging formats, and display advertising.

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