Embrace the manifold collage of the internet with Media Replacement

The style of videos and moving images we consume looks like a collage of design. Dive into the trend the Stock team calls Media Replacement.

Abstract shapes on a black background.

Image source: Still from Adobe Stock / trahkostock.

By Brenda Milis

Posted on 04-26-2021

The visual style of videos and moving images we consume on a daily basis — from Instagram stories and Facebook feeds, TikTok channels, and Twitter profiles, to news pages and 15-second advertisements — increasingly looks like a collage of design, motion graphics, and text. Auto-generated captions play alongside face filters, freeze-frames, and interactive boxes, each layer coming together into a coherent visual experience.

Perhaps this trend began a few years back when it became clear that most videos on social media were watched without sound, pushing creators to find purely visual ways to grab an audience’s attention. It could also be the result of people trying to cram as much information into shorter and shorter videos (supposedly matching our shorter attention spans). The new visual style trend also plays a role in accessibility, making the increasingly video-driven internet easier to interact with for people with hearing impairments.

Quick review: Motion Graphics templates

Adobe Stock’s motion trend Media Replacement is rooted in a collection of customizable, colorful, and eye-grabbing Motion Graphics templates, or MOGRT files, which make it easier for creators to build their own rich moving collages with swappable images and video. Video editors, social media creators, and anyone else creating digital content can now quickly use these templates, insert photos and videos into motion templates to improve communication, increase production value, and make videos come alive within their designs.

Creators newer to working with video and motion elements might be wondering: What is a Motion Graphics template?

Directly accessible within the Essential Graphics Panel from Premiere Pro, you can search for “Media Replacement” Motion Graphics templates, and turn your presentations into a dynamic mixture of your own visuals, text, and graphics. Perhaps you have a logo you absolutely love but that falls flat as a static visual in a video? Bring it to life with pop up shadows, neon light, or an incendiary dissolve.

While MOGRT files are nothing new for Adobe Stock (our 2020 previous motion trend Movement Response explored increasingly fluid and responsive motion design), this is the first collection which allows users to download a template, drag in their own media, and customize their own visuals without needing any advanced experience in motion graphics and design.

Empowering every creator

Media Replacement is, in many ways, a trend that is rooted in what creators have been asking for. Tom Spota, head of motion at Adobe Stock, has been hearing about it since 2018. “I had all of these interviews with artists,” he recalls, “and a major question that kept coming up was, When can I create motion graphics templates that allow customers to insert their own photos and videos into the graphics?”

The Media Replacement trend has something to offer the full spectrum of artists making videos and motion graphics. On the one hand, there are thousands of videographers who want to deliver visuals that have professional quality graphics, branding, and text, but who might not be experts in working with VFX or motion graphics. On the other, there are talented designers and visual artists who are creating increasingly accessible templates as a way to monetize their craft and reach new audiences. Both groups, and creators in between, contributed to the emergence of this trend in 2021.

While the core of the trend is the ability to swap in your own videos, photos, and text within a template, the customizations didn’t stop there, says Spota: “You can color correct, add effects such as Chroma keys and split screens.” Even with just a quick crash course in Premiere Pro, it is possible to download a stock MOGRT file and end up with something that feels unique and personal to your project.

Image source: Adobe Stock / Mograph Mindset.

Enabling one-person productions and up

Media Replacement is also driven by the fact the visual landscape now is increasingly populated by smaller production companies, brands, and entrepreneurs. Many brands you have seen while scrolling Instagram are effectively run by half a dozen people. Chances are, if you remember them, it is because their visuals are clear, attention grabbing, and tell you immediately what they do or sell.

In an increasingly competitive digital environment, where every brand is fighting for your attention, even the smallest companies need to have clear visuals that immediately resonate with an audience. Media Replacement is part of a larger trend towards making high-quality visuals more accessible and easier to use. With some of these files, it is possible for one person to go from concept to delivery, as long as they know how to edit footage and use Motion Graphics templates within Premiere Pro.

“20 years ago, 10 years ago, even five years ago, you’d have to go to a broadcast department with a post-production team for professional video,” says Spota. “Now you have smaller companies creating their own video for websites, social channels, and marketing.”

Social media is driving the evolution of this trend in a huge way, with major brands taking cues from video crazes on TikTok, Instagram, and more. In some instances, those grassroots inspirations find their way into major campaigns, like Samsung’s “UnstoppAble Dance” ad from 2020. The company worked with Associação Salvador, a Portuguese NGO, to create a TikTok dance intended to be danced from a wheelchair. The prevalence of editable graphics templates mean anyone could quickly create their own version for social media and participate in the campaign.

Another slightly more subtle example of the Media Replacement trend comes from the New York Times. With their “Truth is Essential” campaign in 2020, the prestigious paper promoted the depth of their news coverage and the importance of fact-based journalism, with swift and stirring video montages.

One of the easiest ways to make videos that immediately feel professional, accessible, and clear, is to include dynamic and colorful motion graphics and quickly-swapped media elements like these.

Image source: Adobe Stock / Wavebreak Media.

Adapting to a new standard for rapid content production

While many countries are gradually opening up from lockdowns, closures, and a general freezing of activity, it is clear that 2021 will still be a year of adapting production to a network of safety and budgetary concerns. What is the cost of paying to rent a drone for an establishing shot versus finding a stock video that works just as well? If you are in an edit room looking at a gap that needs filling, this might be the year when you consider adding more animation, motion design, and text instead of paying for re-shoots.

A global pandemic has not abated the need for video. If anything, forcing hundreds of millions of people to stay and work from home has only increased the need for video as the easiest way to communicate with an audience. More and more often, that video will be supplemented with or come entirely from stock content.

“The market for video is booming,” says Spota, “more and more people are producing video, and more and more people are doing whatever they can to increase the production value. Having great motion graphics is one of the number one ways of doing it.”

Image source: Adobe Stock / Wavebreak Media.

Topics: Creativity, Insights & Inspiration, Trends & Research, Creative Inspiration & Trends, Design, Video & Audio, Media & Entertainment, Creative Cloud,

Products: Creative Cloud, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Stock,