This year has been particularly notable in the use of visuals as a brand communication piece on social networks. Be it for increasing brand preference or building affinity with millennials, for most brands churning out a regular visual on social media is the equivalent of ‘going digital.’ And, creative digital agencies aren’t complaining either.
Content marketing calendars of brands have been brimming with ideas for every day of the week. Be it Mondays, mid-week days or weekends, a contextual visual is always a sureshot piece to bring about the desired engagement. Then there are the festivals, birth anniversaries and special days in the country that need to be catered too. Read “How brands are brightening up our Mondays with cool #MondayMotivation visuals and gifs.”
The challenge, however, is to stand out from the clutter. Rake in the maximum likes, retweets, favourites, shares and possibly silent admiration of the new age consumer. With more consumers to connect with in this ever-on content loaded digital times, coupled with the decreasing organic social media reach, it has become imperative to not miss out on the trending news of the day.
Design teams and the brand marketer are forever on the hunt for ‘buzzy’ topics and quick to roll out the brand’s take, what we may term as ‘real time content marketing.’ This year trending topics like Rio 2016, demonetization and Pokemon Go mania sparked creatives on social media from a large number of brands. Last year, quite a few brands capitalized on buzzy events of the day to churn out some quick and timely content pieces. Read “The coolest real-time content marketing examples of 2015.”
Listed here, are the interesting examples of ‘real time visual content marketing’ in 2016 that leveraged the current social buzz, became a part of consumer conversations and established a brand connect in the process.
India’s largest dairy brand and one of the sponsor of the Olympic India contingent extended a hand of encouragement to boost our athletes at Rio 2016. Staying true to its tradition of rolling out witty posters, Amul’s utterly butterly girl captured the essence of the games in pun-filled visuals. Below are the ones paying a tribute to gymnast Dipa Karmakar’s qualification for the Olympics and PV Sindhu’s Silver medal win at Badminton.
— Amul.coop (@Amul_Coop) April 21, 2016
— Amul.coop (@Amul_Coop) August 19, 2016
The Amul girl showed her support for demonetization too with this witty visual.
— Amul.coop (@Amul_Coop) November 15, 2016
The day Juno entered Jupiter, more than NASA’s win, it became a realtime win for a few brands who picked up the buzz like Flipkart did in this witty creative.
And the spacecraft Juno successfully enters Jupiter’s orbit. A happy day and a big feat for mankind! pic.twitter.com/slWitKnyoe
— Flipkart (@Flipkart) July 5, 2016
When the superhero movie Deadpool became the rage on the social web, Flipkart was quick with this one.
— Flipkart (@Flipkart) February 12, 2016
When the underdogs went on to win the English Premier League title this May with all the players putting up a stunning performance, Flipkart paid a smart tribute to the Foxes.
Amazing team work, inspiring leadership & a whole lot of grit. Nothing but respect for you Leicester City. pic.twitter.com/eti815ntrW
— Flipkart (@Flipkart) May 3, 2016
Leonardo Di Caprio made history at this year’s academy awards when he finally won an Oscar for Best Actor in ‘The Revenant.’ The news was at the top of worldwide buzz; Flipkart just hit the nail with this.
— Flipkart (@Flipkart) February 29, 2016
When our gymnast, Dipa Karmakar became the first Indian to enter the vault finals in the Olympics, the trend on social media captured a proud moment for all Indians. Flipkart was quick with its tribute visual.
— Flipkart (@Flipkart) August 7, 2016
To combat Delhi’s traffic and pollution crisis, CM Kejriwal had implemented the ‘Odd-Even policy’ last year, which quickly became the topic of debate. The quirky mouth-freshening gum came up with this visual representation of the policy.
— Mentos India (@IndiaMentos) January 7, 2016
Pokemon Go became a worldwide phenomenon in the world of mobile gaming this July, with record downloads surpassing major networks. While players went hunting for adorable monsters, Mentos rolled out the Mentosaur.
Here's the rarest of them all. Do you think you have it in you to outsmart and catch him ? Share proof! pic.twitter.com/bIKxYyT4ZT
— Mentos India (@IndiaMentos) July 27, 2016
A very popular dialogue from the movie Devdas became a smart timely visual for food ordering app, Faasos, on the occasion of the movie’s 14th anniversary.
— FAASOS (@faasos) July 12, 2016
Cafe Coffee Day
The coffee chain shared adorable gifs featuring coffee beans during Rio, this gif rolled out before PV Sindhu’s final game is a cute one capturing the anticipation.
May the odds be in our favour. pic.twitter.com/mvSbGuSxjo
— Cafe Coffee Day (@CafeCoffeeDay) August 19, 2016
Lenovo India managed to seamlessly match 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 in January.
— Lenovo India (@Lenovo_in) January 11, 2016
Britannia Good Day
When Indians were (and still are) severely inconvenienced by the govt’s surprise demonetization move in the late evening of November 8, the cookie with the smile reiterated how smiles are free.
— Britannia Good Day (@GoodDayCookies) November 8, 2016
Kit Kat India
Kit Kat never fails to place a Kit Kat in its visual stories. This is a nice one by the wafer chocolate bar wherein it stood with Dipa Karmakar despite her fourth place finish at the Olympics finals.
Her passion to excel, her faith in herself and her never-give-up attitude make her a true winner in our eyes. pic.twitter.com/jGHCI5XRuL
— KitKat India (@KitKatIndia) August 17, 2016
When the old 500-rupee note became obsolete, Kit Kat smartly weaved in its connection with a ‘break’.
— KitKat India (@KitKatIndia) November 10, 2016
When a NASA spacecraft travelled all alone to Jupiter, Yatra was quick to inspire its traveller community.
— Yatra.com (@YatraOfficial) July 9, 2016
The telco also joined in the nation’s pride and celebrated Sindhu’s win, while weaving in its brand campaign idea – Be Super.
— Vodafone India (@VodafoneIN) August 19, 2016
The mango drink reveled in the spirit of demonetization that had swept the country.
— Maaza India (@MaazaIndia) November 10, 2016
When the DC comics anti hero team movie became a rage, Zomato was quick to roll out its own squad team.
Zomato truly captured the joyous spirit on the web following Leonardo’s Oscar win.
— Zomato (@Zomato) February 29, 2016
This year, the Panama Papers sought to leak names of offshore stealth account holders, becoming a topic of nationwide debate. Zomato quickly played to the buzz.
— Zomato (@Zomato) April 6, 2016
The ice cream brand found a witty connect among Leonardo’s Oscar win, love and ice cream.
— Cornetto India (@CornettoIndia) February 29, 2016
The condom maker certainly scored (pun intended) with this public interest ad aimed to leverage the demonetization scenario in the country.
— Skore India (@SkoreIndia) November 9, 2016
The King of Good Times celebrated Leonardo’s win in this smart visual.
— Kingfisher (@kingfisherworld) February 29, 2016
When youngsters were gripped with Pokemon fever, the dating app urged them to stop chasing imaginary creatures and instead get on Woo!
The only app to find, chat and meet fun people – Woo pic.twitter.com/9bJi6RyQkH
— Woo (@TheWooApp) July 26, 2016
PV Sindhu’s silver medal was indeed gold for us, nicely captured by the retail jewellery brand.
Once a gem, always a gem! pic.twitter.com/WZONfDsCgw
— Tanishq (@TanishqJewelry) August 19, 2016
The budget hotel chain claimed to have an OYO room everywhere, even while Pokemon hunters looked around for Pokestops,
— OYO (@oyorooms) August 1, 2016
The cab and auto hailing app showcased its various rides on offer weaving in the Pokemon Go rage.
There's enough for everyone! Catch 'em all on your app. pic.twitter.com/ZgqLW9YvwV
— Ola (@Olacabs) July 25, 2016
When the superhero movie ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice,’ rolled out, the world was abuzz with choosing sides. For milk flavouring straw brand Sipahh, this was also about taking sides.
Choose wisely. pic.twitter.com/jmJ45Ppxo8
— Sipahh India (@sipahhindia) May 5, 2016
Godrej Security Solutions
The maker of security solutions found a cool brand connect to catch thugs, using Pokémon Go to lure them.
— Godrej Security (@godrejsecure) July 16, 2016
When outdoors was more appealing to go catch Pokemon, the free classifieds site found the perfect visual to promote its QuikrDoorstep service.
— Quikr (@Quikr) July 13, 2016
Animal Planet India
The channel dedicated to bond us to the animal world, brilliantly connected Pokemania with pet lovers.
The home and car fragrances maker banked on the demonetization wave, nice rendition of the concept of ‘change’ and the pun used.
— Godrej aer (@godrejaer) November 9, 2016
It also made an interesting Pokemon pitch for its online shopping link.
— Godrej aer (@godrejaer) August 2, 2016
The mattress maker really got witty in this visual capturing the aftermath of demonetization.
— Kurlon Limited (@KurlonLimited) November 9, 2016
There’s a Kurlemon on your bed, if only you can catch him.
— Kurlon Limited (@KurlonLimited) July 25, 2016
Parking lots are favourite spots for Pokemon monsters. the automaker made a fine connect in this creative.
— Volkswagen India (@volkswagenindia) July 15, 2016
The cab hailing company made a smart Pokemon pitch for its carpool services.
— Meru Cabs (@MeruCabs) July 14, 2016
Tata Coffee Grande
The coffee brand is happy to catch the most prized Pokemon.
— Tata Coffee Grand (@tatacoffeegrand) August 4, 2016
Demonetization caught all black money hoarders unawares, the coffee maker caught the spirit in this creative.
Only black coffee is allowed pic.twitter.com/coI6Eq7IzH
— Tata Coffee Grand (@tatacoffeegrand) November 9, 2016
Trending topics on the social web, if capitalized upon, can be a big win. For forward-thinking brands looking to connect with Gen-Y, these real time connections made via a quick piece of visual content are often the only way to stand out from the clutter. Brand managers need to be on their toes along with the design team to catch the trend and make it the brand’s big moment.
We are happy to have witnessed 2016’s big moments as well as the growing number of Indian brands that have been quick with real time content this year.