The world is now on your fingertips, swipe through and travel along the maze of a billion pictures. Facebook along with its sister concerns, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, are together raking in reportedly 2 billion photos every day. With tech inclined towards images, networks getting image savvy, brands have become extremely visual savvy too with every passing year. Communication is now going back to the visual form: memes, gifs, witty visuals, infographics, and more.
From celebrating special occasions and festivals to dedicated days of the year and also not-so-popular days of the year like ‘Burger Day’, ‘Punctuation Day’ and the likes, 2016 saw a phenomenal rise in Indian brands investing in their visual content creation. The apprehension that images play a far memorable role in the human mind as compared to volumes of text, has finally set in.
The Indian digital marketer isn’t letting go even a single momentous day to connect with the new age consumer, with the help of visuals aligning with the brand philosophy. The result: 2016, unlike previous years, has witnessed a massive explosion in visual content. Brands varying from FMCG to banking, wellness and healthcare are all bracing for the visual revolution. Last year began the trend, we witnessed a spurt in creative brand visuals on social media. Read ‘Winning brand connect visuals of 2015‘.
Listed here, are the interesting examples of ‘visual content marketing’ in 2016 that managed to establish an interesting brand connect while keeping up with the spirit of the day:
Britannia Good Day
On Children’s Day, the premium biscuit brand connected well with its philosophy of ‘smile more for a good day.’ Childhood being full of imagination, became a playful rendition using the product.
— Britannia Good Day (@GoodDayCookies) November 14, 2016
The energy drink from Bisleri took contextual advantage of the festival of lights, and managed to shine its message bright.
— Urzza (@UrzzaPower) October 30, 2016
The IPL team weaved in cricket in the most subtle way, on the birth anniversary of the Mahatma.
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) October 2, 2016
The IPL team also rolled out a witty visual during Onam, playing on the traditional boat race.
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) September 13, 2016
When Lord Ganesha’s form is created by a brand’s alphabets, it is worth noting.
— HDFC Bank (@HDFC_Bank) September 5, 2016
On Teacher’s Day, the bank indulged in a series of smart visuals and smarter copywriting as a tribute to teachers, with some really witty brand connect!
— HDFC Bank (@HDFC_Bank) September 4, 2016
Post a demonetised India, Children’s Day was blended with the cashless mood prevailing in society. HDFC stressed on going cashless for a corruption-free India.
This Children's Day, join hands and move towards a clean future. pic.twitter.com/wuDH6dYPqy
— HDFC Bank (@HDFC_Bank) November 14, 2016
The used goods marketplace has been hellbent on ridding our countrymen of our ‘hoarding’ culture, the message has been put nicely across in this Dussehra gif .
— OLX India (@OLX_India) October 11, 2016
On Gandhi Jayanti, the same message was pitched differently using the Mahatma’s three monkeys as props.
— OLX India (@OLX_India) October 2, 2016
The tech company believes in connecting dots, and we can all relate to it. Cool one on Ganesh Chaturthi.
— Dell India (@Dell_IN) September 5, 2016
Music does affect the heart beat and what a brand resonance by Philips Sound on World Heart Day! A very simple yet innovative visual for the brand’s music loving fans.
— Philips Sound (@PhilipsSoundIN) September 29, 2016
An adorable visual on Children’s Day, whoever thought about swinging from musical notes!
— Philips Sound (@PhilipsSoundIN) November 14, 2016
The fun arcade game was given a sweet tribute in this gif.
— Philips Sound (@PhilipsSoundIN) May 21, 2016
The car and home fragrance brand found an interesting brand connect on Gandhi Jayanti, that even scored in its copy.
— Godrej aer (@godrejaer) October 2, 2016
The products always manage to find a clever placement in the brand’s visuals, as can be seen in this Ganesh Chaturthi one.
— Godrej aer (@godrejaer) September 2, 2016
The airline took the most creative approach to Diwali as the celebration of the Lord’s homecoming!
— SpiceJet (@flyspicejet) October 30, 2016
Real fruit juice
Dabur’s Real fruit juice brand played on simplicity this Onam, with a refreshing brand connect.
— Realfruitpower (@Realjuices) September 13, 2016
Popcorn and movies make the right pair, a simple brand connect by the video app.
— Viu India (@Viu_IN) February 14, 2016
The smartphone brand played smart on Gandhi Jayanti!
— Coolpad India (@CoolpadInd) October 2, 2016
Coolpad won the day again, on Janmasthami when it created the form of Krishna’s flute using a smartphone.
— Coolpad India (@CoolpadInd) August 25, 2016
On Dussehra, Coolpad captured the many evils faced by the smartphone generation, which could be destroyed by a victorious arrow – the Coolpad smartphone!
— Coolpad India (@CoolpadInd) October 11, 2016
The automaker smartly blended the essence of a woman with ‘navigating life.’
— HyundaiIndia (@HyundaiIndia) March 8, 2016
The music streaming app always had the Lord within it, cool visual on Ganesh Chaturthi.
— gaana.com (@gaana) September 5, 2016
On World Heart Day, one of India’s leading dating apps made a clever point about the relationship between your heart and mind.
— Woo (@TheWooApp) September 29, 2016
Cafe Coffee Day
At the time of Rio Olympics, the coffee chain shared adorable gifs featuring sporty coffee beans, this one is interesting.
Target on fleek. pic.twitter.com/3F4OCC7BlK
— Cafe Coffee Day (@CafeCoffeeDay) August 20, 2016
The coffee chain paid a smart tribute to cats on International Cat Day, Catrio sure does not take his coffee for granted!
— Cafe Coffee Day (@CafeCoffeeDay) August 8, 2016
On Eid, the approach was classy sophisticated coffee art.
— Cafe Coffee Day (@CafeCoffeeDay) September 12, 2016
For a fitness tracker brand, Fitbit really walked the talk on Gandhi Jayanti.
— Fitbit India (@FitbitIN) October 2, 2015
Penguin Books India
Penguin Books India bonded really well with book lovers in the country, on Yoga Day, with a hilarious series of reading aasanas.
— Penguin India (@PenguinIndia) June 21, 2016
Looking at books as teachers, the publisher shared minimal posters of famous classics on Teacher’s Day.
— Penguin India (@PenguinIndia) September 5, 2016
The publisher’s penguin got a little sporty around Usain Bolt’s supremacy.
May the force be with you. pic.twitter.com/FGT5WZ2IDm
— Penguin India (@PenguinIndia) August 22, 2016
On Valentine’s Day, Penguin rolled out adorable pun-filled visuals.
— Penguin India (@PenguinIndia) February 13, 2016
On Dussehra, the camera maker smartly pitched instax while capturing the essence of clicking pictures of a festival.
— Fujifilm India (@Fujifilm_India) October 12, 2016
On Eid, the tea brand rolled out an aesthetically pleasing visual in a tea cup.
The tea brand nailed it on Ganesh Chaturthi, whoever thought about a kettle taking the divine form!
— Society Tea (@SocietyTea) September 5, 2016
Engineer’s day is something the Indian audience relates to well, the ride hailing app aptly saluted the spirit of invention in this gif.
— Ola (@Olacabs) September 15, 2016
The coffee maker reiterated its ‘Stay Started’ philosophy well tuned with the spirit of Dussehra.
— NESCAFÉ India (@NESCAFEIndia) October 11, 2016
The carrier network kept it uber cool on Ganesh Chaturthi with a simple play on its logo, and a smart pitch for its SuperNet.
— Vodafone India (@VodafoneIN) September 5, 2016
It continued playing on ‘Being super’ on Raksha Bandhan with a series of Super Sisters visuals.
— Vodafone India (@VodafoneIN) August 18, 2016
Lenovo India managed to seamlessly match the late David Bowie’s ever evolving avatar with the brand’s rebranded philosophy – Never stand still, when the singer, songwriter, actor and record producer passed away last year.
— Lenovo India (@Lenovo_in) January 11, 2016
On Diwali, the security solutions provider smartly promoted its safe – the Matrix I-Warn endorsed by Lord Vishnu himself!
— Godrej Security (@godrejsecure) October 30, 2016
On Hindi Divas, Micromax Unite, the range of smartphones with regional language support rolled out a cool visual.
— Micromax India (@Micromax_Mobile) September 14, 2016
The mint managed to find a smart brand connect, be it on World Punctuation day or Women’s Equality day.
— Happydent (@HappydentGum) September 24, 2016
— Happydent (@HappydentGum) August 26, 2016
On Independence day, the male grooming brand found the right hero sporting the most famous mustache in history.
— Ustraa (@theustraa) August 14, 2016
It chose a hilarious connect on Mother’s day.
— Ustraa (@theustraa) May 8, 2016
The food app comes up with witty visuals for every occasion, just as it did on Dussehra.
New users get 20% OFF – use code GET20 pic.twitter.com/XSRjupEfLr
— Zomato India (@ZomatoIN) October 11, 2016
There may not be a better visual depiction of an engineer’s life.
The fun drinks brand popped you back into childhood in this interesting gif.
— Bisleri Pop (@BisleriPop) November 14, 2016
The online marketplace played well to its logo on Ganesh Chaturthi.
— Quikr (@Quikr) September 5, 2016
The traditional drinks maker had rolled out limited edition Rakhi-special gift boxes while promoting them with a series of adorable illustrations.
— Paper Boat (@paperboatdrinks) August 11, 2016
On Ganesh Chaturthi, the online store for everything kids want imagined this amusing chat conversation between mother and son, Parvati and Ganpati!
— Firstcry (@firstcryindia) September 5, 2016
On Diwali, the snacks brand had an alternate solution to let go crackers.
— Bingo! (@BingoSnacks) October 30, 2016
The candy managed to pitch its tangy flavours, in this interesting gif on Men’s Day.
— Pulse (@PassPass_Pulse) November 19, 2016
Intel ran a print batch only for engineers on Engineer’s Day.
— Intel India (@IntelIndia) September 15, 2016
The tech brand smartly emphasized on the flexibility attained by practicing yoga, demonstrated by the flexible two-in-ones, on Yoga Day.
— Intel India (@IntelIndia) June 21, 2016
Did you know that UFO stood for ‘Ultimate Flavorful Objects’?! Nice one by Havmor Ice Cream.
— Havmor Ice Cream (@HavmorIceCreams) July 3, 2016
Center Fresh India
Ever since #MondayMotivation became a trend, brands have been making the most of it. For a mint brand, this was a smart rollout by Center Fresh India.
— Center Fresh India (@CenterfreshIn) July 4, 2016
For a dating app that matches folks on specified preferences, this is a good one for its millennial audience on Eid.
— TrulyMadly (@thetrulymadly) September 13, 2016
For singles looking for a girlfriend, for the ones who’ve been taken, TrulyMadly made the most of Girlfriend Day.
— TrulyMadly (@thetrulymadly) August 1, 2016
The ecommerce major deftly connects with our first landing on the moon!
One small step for man and the rest is history!
ICYMI – It’s the anniversary of the first moon landing. pic.twitter.com/y68uwZ4ZEE
— Flipkart (@Flipkart) July 20, 2016
It rolled out a Mother’s day visual that was not just a tribute to motherhood but also weaved in a smart brand connect.
Without you, we wouldn't be. Happy Mother's Day! pic.twitter.com/YpGQMS4bvc
— Flipkart (@Flipkart) May 8, 2016
Internet-based companies sure owe their existence to the Web, nice ‘thank you’ letter by Flipkart on World Wide Web Day!
— Flipkart (@Flipkart) August 1, 2016
The doctor finding network made an adorable and witty connect on Republic Day.
— Practo (@Practo) January 26, 2016
Valentine’s day was all about healthy breakups!
— Practo (@Practo) February 13, 2016
Junk Food Day can be a great awareness occasion, as can be seen in these Practo illustrations.
A respectable tribute to our soldiers on Kargil Vijay divas, by Moto.
— Moto India (@Moto_IND) July 26, 2016
The smartphone maker cleverly associated itself with ‘shatterproof’ on Women’s Day.
— Moto India (@Moto_IND) March 8, 2016
Truer words have never been said. The hyperlocal grocery delivery app smartly weaved in a Gandhi quote on food on Gandhi Jayanti.
— Grofers (@Grofers) October 2, 2016
A nice twist on ‘stay hungry’ by the food app on Children’s day.
Don’t let growing up hide the inner child in you. HappyChildrensDay pic.twitter.com/rW2U2iWVQN
— Burrp! (@burrp) November 14, 2016
On Engineer’s Day the table reservation app neatly explained the life of a software engineer in a function code.
— Dineout (@dineout_india) September 15, 2016
The ice cream brand made a deep point on World Ozone day, with a smart brand connect.
— Dinshaw's (@DinshawsOfficia) September 16, 2016
Dussehra saw the publisher roll out an enlightening set of visuals on Ravan’s skills and knowledge.
Independence day can also be an interesting occasion to convey a brand message, like this RCB visual that has smartly weaved in its brand philosophy of ‘Play Bold’.
Remember the struggle, the heroes and thank them for our freedom. Happy Independence Day, and keep playing bold! pic.twitter.com/or7siolNyB
— Royal Challengers (@RCBTweets) August 15, 2016
An adorable visual and great brand connect by the water heater maker on Children’s Day.
— Racold Thermo (@RacoldThermo) November 14, 2016
The water heater maker rolled out a hot bubbling diya on Diwali.
— Racold Thermo (@RacoldThermo) October 28, 2016
The donut maker managed to sneak into the Onam sadya!
— Dunkin' Donuts (@Dunkin_India) September 14, 2016
Diwali is about prosperity and wealth, the stock broker smartly conveyed what an SIP investment can do for your personal wealth creation.
— KarvyStock Community (@KarvyStock) October 30, 2016
On Dussehra, the stock broking services company demonstrated the unpredictability of the market through each of Ravan’s head making ten different and conflicting investment decisions!
— KarvyStock Community (@KarvyStock) October 11, 2016
On Engineer’s Day, the witty gum brand got inside the mind of an engineering student.
— Mentos India (@IndiaMentos) September 15, 2016
Onam was a god given festival for the mint.
Isn't it a-boat time you celebrated the harvest festival? Happy Onam! pic.twitter.com/vEQ10JEwup
— Mentos India (@IndiaMentos) September 14, 2016
Doctor’s day wasn’t acknowledged as much as it should have been, but Mentos found a witty connect nevertheless.
Here’s to all the doctors' bad handwriting, do it the ruled way! pic.twitter.com/fY2fI2Wzin
— Mentos India (@IndiaMentos) July 1, 2016
On Gandhi Jayanti, the housing portal snugly fit its logo into a charkha!
— CommonFloor.com (@commonfloor) October 2, 2016
The essence of Friendship Day was captured beautifully in this one.
— CommonFloor.com (@commonfloor) August 7, 2016
Whoever thought about Diwali crackers from McDonald’s fries!
— McDonald's India (@mcdonaldsindia) October 29, 2016
Fast food brands are not going to like what this supplement maker is telling you to do, a cool one on Dussehra.
— MuscleBlaze (@MuscleBlaze) October 11, 2016
The phone maker highlighted India’s unity in diversity all with creative use of its logo.
We are one heart. One family. A very Happy Independence Day to everyone! pic.twitter.com/faTE3N3zol
— Gionee India (@GioneeIndia) August 15, 2016
A nice play on the brand logo here by Gionee on Gandhi Jayanti.
— Gionee India (@GioneeIndia) October 2, 2016
Volkswagen made the most of Teacher’s Day, the auto maker earned full marks for this visual.
— Volkswagen India (@volkswagenindia) September 5, 2016
You literally need to read between the lines to get the complete message by Volkswagen, directed at women stereotyping. Brilliant one on International Women’s day.
— Volkswagen India (@volkswagenindia) March 8, 2016
Wai Wai India
On Engineer’s Day, the instant noodle brand proved a bowl of noodles can also be fit into an equation.
— Wai Wai (@waiwaiindia) September 15, 2016
A paint brand couldn’t have done better on Children’s Day, Berger managed to bring out the playfulness.
— Berger Paints (@BergerPaintsInd) November 14, 2016
Onam posed the perfect occasion for the mobile OS to highlight its logo.
— Opera India (@OperaIndia) September 14, 2016
The camera maker emphasized on celebrating ‘memories’ rather than the noise, along with a creative product embed.
— CANON India (@Canon_India) October 30, 2016
The pizza maker rolled out a unique ‘Pizza Namaskar’ on Yoga Day, this one works the opposite: you are sure to put on kilos!
— Domino's Pizza India (@dominos_india) June 21, 2016
Dussehra highlighted the fun side of eBay, Ravan is left completely indecisive by each of his heads’ shopping ideas!
Make the most of this festive season; grab offers when you can. Happy Dusshera! pic.twitter.com/7L0Q7jBqav
— eBay India (@ebayindia) October 11, 2016
GE defines an engineer with a tone of harmless humour, on Engineer’s day.
— GE India (@GEIndia) September 15, 2016
Onam saw an interesting logo embed in the sadya by the holiday brand.
If you’re holidaying at our resorts, do enjoy the Sadhya at The Onam Festival! pic.twitter.com/gOUXbDPRXS
— Club Mahindra (@clubmahindra) September 14, 2016
On Teacher’s day, the airline got creative with smart puns in its gif.
— Vistara (@airvistara) September 5, 2016
The ethnic wear e-store virtually showered you with flowers on Ganesh Chaturthi even as it made smart use of its logo.
— Craftsvilla (@craftsvilla) September 4, 2016
The online travel brand took a humourous approach on Dussehra. Each of Ravan’s heads point to the many travel woes we all face, and of course, Yatra is the one-stop solution!
— Yatra.com (@YatraOfficial) October 11, 2016
Only an engineer would calculate the area of his/her pizza slice, a clever one by Foodpanda on Engineer’s Day.
Mad Over Donuts
On Teacher’s Day, the donut maker rolled out a funny visual most of us could relate to, and grammar nazis would be delighted about.
— Mad Over Donuts (@MadOverDonuts) September 5, 2016
This one is a really smart one by the mattress maker shared on Janmashtami, the product has been seamlessly embedded into the visual story.
— Kurlon Limited (@KurlonLimited) August 25, 2016
The online Fashion store only needed to turn upside down on International Women’s day, to make its point.
— Myntra (@myntra) March 8, 2016
Brands do have interesting aspects to their persona, which can very well be personified with the help of the right visual. While visual content marketing makes its own impression and drives ROI in terms of retweets, shares, comments, no amount of brand recall can be quantified. And, as the going gets tough in these cluttered social feed times, it gets imperative for brands to drive home their message in short, crisp, visual pieces. 2016 has proven to be a visually appealing year even as the promise of interesting creatives is already hanging in the new year.