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Familiar, Timely, and Novel Images Win Fans’ Hearts on Facebook

How can brands break through the noise on Facebook and serve up images that spark mass response?

Looking at the top Facebook video and photo posts by engagement (comments, shares, and Likes) for the Interbrand 100 in Q3 2014, we noticed some classic marketing tactics at work: either please, inform, or wow people.

Familiar, Timely, and Novel Images Win Fans’ Hearts on Facebook

Michael, our marketing data analyst, dug into our Q3 2014 Facebook data on the Interbrand’s Top 100 Global Brands and pulled out the 20 top image posts by percentage of fans who engaged with that content. He excluded high-engagement posts with only links or with no link and no image.

The images are all attractive and make an effort to connect with readers. But, these winners from the cream-of-the-marketing-crop break down into three classic marketing angles you can use, too: familiar, timely, or novel.


Winners in the familiar category were Jack Daniel’s, Corona, and IKEA. Their images had both pleasant and aspirational themes, the kind that make you say, “Right on. Me, too!”

Jack Daniel’s hit home for its fans by painting “Jack” as a trusted friend and companion – even the cause of a love affair for the ladies. Did the fans agree? They did, by the thousands. The ladies really chimed in, with comments like, “He’s the only man I can depend on,” and “Jack’s my very first love.”


Corona’s image below was so appealing and familiar that it sparked hundreds of user pics, where Corona fans took pictures of Corona beers at beaches, on boats, and at parties around the world and posted them as comments.


IKEA took people home, literally, to the beautiful world created with help from the Swedish retailer. Two of their three winning posts referred to back-to-school, but the majority of comments pointed out the fact that IKEA fans love IKEA and improving their homes, any time of year.



Kia Motor Sports and Citibank relied on the popularity of specific events going on last summer: the World Cup and driving around minivans full of kids on summer break.

Kia produced four of the five top images for engagement by focusing on the biggest party of the summer, the World Cup.

Their custom art always included an update from the latest games, a background image from the World Cup, the hashtag #KiaWorldCup, and a Kia car, front and center.

The posts had people pumped up for various reasons. Some fans loved the good news about their team while, in the post below, people just really liked the car. Either way, Kia sparked hundreds of thousands of engagements on Facebook, appealing to the international World Cup crowd.


Citibank had the biggest hit of the whole summer by combining timely with the familiar. Have you ever seen the ice cream slide right off the stick and onto the ground or onto a car seat on a hot, summer day? Apparently, a lot of us have.

The post below from Citibank had parents sharing their own tricks for keeping kids and cars clean during the hottest months of the year. Notice the prominent use of a hashtag here, much like Kia’s posts. Citibank stuck with the already-loved hashtag calling out winning moments, both sarcastically and not, #wellplayed.



Prepare to be amazed. Nintendo, Gillette, and Cartier all dazzled their audiences by producing unusual, beautiful, and clever images. 

On September 10, Nintendo gave fans a preview of their Nintendo 3DS XL system. The new product with the retro look had fans so excited that one told Nintendo to, “shut up and take my money.”


Gillette had the one video in the top images list. It highlighted its new “flexball” technology by having extra-flexible razors move like fingers and play a piano. It’s tough to explain. See the video below.

Sentiment was mixed on the post regarding the cost of the razors, but they apparently work well and this video received lots of compliments for its cool factor. Also, Gillette did a great job of responding to comments, thus increasing engagement.


The final, and very classy entrant, in the top images collection was Cartier. Think jungle, think allure, think elegance. The beautiful image of a panther made of watch parts placed Cartier in the number seven slot. The text with the image offered a link to a video that now has more than 15 million views. Cartier chose to not embed the video but let the image cause a stir on its own.


Cartier’s other winning post highlighted their panther collection again. The brand has a very international audience, with comments written in multiple languages. One comment includes the very fair question, “How much?” Cartier, being classy like it is, doesn’t respond to that comment or any others. That’s such a luxury brand move.


What Can You Do That’s Familiar, Timely, or Novel?

As we head into 2015, what do these wins from the masters of marketing inspire you to try? What can you bring to people that makes them say, “Me, too,” or “Wow”? Or, perhaps you can share in the mood of the moment. Let us know what you’ve tried and how it worked in the comments below.


Bridget Quigg

Hello, fellow Marketeers. My job at Simply Measured is to tell Kevin and Lucy how awesome they are at running the blog. Because, they are.

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