5 min read

18 Completely Unusable & Ridiculous Stock Photos For Marketing

Published on
June 29, 2023
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One awesome picture says more than a 1,000 words, right? In the hope that you find an awesome one, you go on the hunt for stock photos for your marketing. The you crawl the endless stock photo sites for header images & blog visuals.

But that’s exactly  when things can turn nasty pretty quick. In fact, every time I see a bad stock photo used, I cringe and want hide or run away.

For this reason, this post is going to pull out a sample of some of the most unusable & ridiculous stock photos for marketing when you’re actually on the hunt for the good stuff.

In case you see stuff like the below during your image search...keep clicking.

Here goes...

The Most Unusable & Ridiculous Stock Photos For Marketing

1. The money plant stock image

“The corporate money plant stock image. Because generating GDP is just like growing a carrot. True story!

2. Business super hero

Stock Photos For Marketing Super Hero
Business Super Hero
“Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No. It’s just another super cheesy business super hero.”

3. Business man playing with balloon

Business man playing with a baloon
Our homework, ladies and gents, is to find out what this guy is doing for work.
Aaaaand ... go!

4. The most fake hand shake ever

Fake business hand shake
“A bit creepy, mate - and also not the best time to be shaking hands.”

5. Stock Photos For Marketing: The Online Marketing Doodle

Seriously, who plans their SEO strategy on an iPad like that
“Seriously, who plans their SEO & Content strategy like this? If marketing was really that easy.

6. We work hard and we have fun. YAY!!!!!!

Stock photos for marketing - happy team
Also, gravity called out sick that day.

7. Business man with suitcase

Stock photos for marketing - business brief case
“Because business people always carry brief cases and pens, right?”

8. Business Man On Mountain

Stock photos for marketing - mountain
“A great successful day at work ends on top of a mountain.”

9. No Ideas

'Hooray! We've had no ideas'
Resorting to a #BadStockPhoto? Commission a bespoke #Illustration or #Cartoon instead pic.twitter.com/PYXq5DqxRi

— James Mellor (@JamesDFMellor) May 24, 2016
“Hooray, we have no ideas!”

10. Stock Photos For Marketing: The Puzzle

“Susan, are you okay? You look a little puzzled.”

11.Customer service rep with the Colgate smile

“These headsets would be awesome if we didn’t have to hold them up all day.”

12. Business People Collaborating

Stock photos for marketing - business people collaborating
Business People Collaborating
Wait...shall we try Helvetica instead of Times New Roman?

13. Stressed Business Man

“Not trying to be a smart arse, but your stress might be coming from your sub-par filing system, mate.”

14. Business man with sparking idea

“Stand back guys, innovation is happening (inside this light bulb)”

15. Business People Ready For Important Things

Stock Photos For Marketing - Group of Business people
“That’s how we always get ready for important tasks ahead. Our enormous, bright office.”

16. Stock photos for marketing: Typewriter Letters Exploding

Typewriter explodes from awesomess
“This is 100% accurate. Every time I write something, my typewriter explodes from the awesomeness.”

17. Inspiring Stock Photos For Marketing: The (Im)possible

“You sly dog, you!”

18. Aren’t We Successful

“Want to know how to spot a truly successful business person? They can draw shiny arrows in the air with their finger like E.T. himself. It’s quite the skill.”

Wrapping Up

Stock photo sites are getting better and less stocky these days, but still, there are lots of weird and creepy photos that leave you wondering who the heck would take them for their marketing. But every time you still see them thrown in to blog headers, LinkedIn carousel posts or used in graphic design in general, us designers cringe a little inside.