The 100 most visible brands

The 2018 Brand Visibility Report

We analyzed 250 million images online to find which brand was pictured the most.

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2018’s top 100 brands

Brandwatch’s world-leading Image Insights product can discover any logo in any picture. We’ve used this technology to search through images shared online to find which logo appears the most.

“Brandwatch’s report gives fascinating insights into the hidden world of visual marketing on the social web.” – Matt Navarra, Director of Social Media, The Next Web

Here are the 100 brands that are pictured most on Twitter and Instagram:

Rank Brand Avg. Unique Images Per Month
1 Adidas 6,664,170
2 Nike 5,134,017
3 Google 3,888,432
4 Emirates 2,841,215
5 Puma 2,719,715
6 Coca-Cola 2,534,527
7 Starbucks 2,294,695
8 McDonald's 2,015,792
9 Disney 2,000,062
10 Apple 1,964,235
11 BBC 1,679,105
12 Amazon 1,539,975
13 Under Armour 1,448,845
14 Louis Vuitton 1,391,390
15 Facebook 1,362,390
16 Samsung 1,141,287
17 AT&T 1,097,590
18 Marvel 996,337
19 Standard Chartered 928,752
20 Toyota 899,657
21 Intel 505,595
22 Mercedes-Benz 505,150
23 BBVA 498,240
24 Pepsi 496,230
25 ANA 478,507
26 Vans 473,040
27 T-Mobile 463,237
28 Sky 460,135
29 Vodafone 449,675
30 KFC 444,015
31 Hyundai 422,550
32 Huawei 409,837
33 Reebok 391,072
34 Microsoft 371,005
35 Honda 352,315
36 Kia 348,770
37 Nissan 325,735
38 Heineken 313,792
39 Uber 303,567
40 Levi's 284,685
41 BMW 264,402
42 Nutella 252,650
43 Walmart 250,600
44 Corona 236,075
45 L'Oreal 233,392
46 Nestle 198,215
47 Budweiser 171,582
48 Domino's 157,777
49 Dell 148,497
50 IKEA 147,712
51 FedEx 135,735
52 Allianz 134,695
53 Snickers 129,257
54 Verizon 127,725
55 Carlsberg 127,690
56 Smirnoff 120,152
57 Burberry 113,867
58 Subway 111,030
59 Wells Fargo 109,915
60 Virgin 107,907
61 Delta 94,535
62 Johnson & Johnson 87,512
63 Carrefour 87,290
64 Pantene 84,340
65 Ubisoft 81,175
66 Kellogg's 80,192
67 Nescafe 80,147
68 Toys R Us 78,942
69 The Home Depot 75,177
70 BNP Paribas 74,055
71 Dove 72,640
72 Tesco 72,332
73 Pringles 71,165
74 Marlboro 67,930
75 American Express 65,407
76 Moet & Chandon 64,892
77 Swarovski 57,155
78 Ben & Jerry's 56,795
79 Caterpillar 54,020
80 Bank of America 52,062
81 Oracle 50,185
82 Renault 48,167
83 3M 45,242
84 Penguin Books 44,555
85 BT 44,377
86 Michelin 43,485
87 Universal Pictures 41,597
88 Cisco 39,010
89 Land Rover 37,820
90 P&G 37,460
91 US Bank 37,382
92 American Airlines 36,737
93 Unilever 34,247
94 Pfizer 32,950
95 Siemens 31,220
96 Comcast 27,040
97 ASOS 26,487
98 Hilton Hotels 26,137
99 Bosch 25,542
100 Tory Burch 23,962

“Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” couldn’t be more apt today.  On social media, we live in a world of images rather than words, being able to analyse photos as a brand is a critical today.

But this isn’t just for B2C brands, the report clearly see this impacts B2B, influencer marketing, as well as avoiding PR disasters such as brand misuse, fraud detection and discovering harmful brand associations.” –Tim Hughes, Co-Founder and CEO, Digital Leadership Associates

Adidas leads the way. It’s pictured in over 6.5 million unique images every single month.

To put that into context, that’s 154 new images every minute, or a three new images every seconds.

Take a look at some of the most shared images Adidas appeared in (click right or left to scroll, see engagement stats below):

411,129 likes on Instagram
119,294 likes on Instagram
8,342 retweets and 4,994,608 impressions on Twitter
5,034 retweets and 15,144,637 impressions on Twitter

2018’s top brands adjusted for revenue

By looking purely at image volume, we sometimes miss smaller brands, with smaller budgets, who might be over-performing.

To discover these outliers, we collected revenue data for each company from the last available year (either 2016 or 2017).

The following list ranks 20 brands by the amount of images generated for every dollar of revenue. Essentially, the brands at the top generate more images for every dollar of revenue they collect – more bang for their buck.

Rank Brand Revenue Avg. Images Per Year Revenue Per Image
1 Puma $5.04 billion 32,636,580 $154
2 Under Armour $3.90 billion 17,386,140 $224
3 Adidas $23.72 billion 79,970,040 $296
4 BBC $6.86 billion 20,149,260 $340
5 Vans $2.5 billion 5,676,480 $440
6 Nike $34 billion 61,608,204 $551
7 Louis Vuitton $9.9 billion 16,696,680 $592
8 Starbucks $22.2 billion 27,536,340 $806
9 Subway $1.11 billion 1,332,360 $833
10 McDonald's $24.6 billion 24,189,504 $1,016
11 Coca-Cola $35.4 billion 30,414,324 $1,163
12 Standard Chartered $14.4 billion 11,145,024 $1,292
13 Levi's $4.5 billion 3,416,220 $1,317
14 Domino's $2.79 billion 1,893,324 $1,473
15 Uber $6.5 billion 3,642,804 $1,784
16 Disney $55.1 billion 24,000,744 $2,295
17 Google $109 billion 46,661,184 $2,335
18 Facebook $40.6 billion 16,348,680 $2,483
19 Burberry $3.55 billion 1,366,404 $2,598
20 Sky $18.3 billion 5,521,620 $3,322

Puma, Under Armor, BBC, Vans and Louis Vuitton, come out favorably, generating high volumes of images online despite relatively small revenues.

It suggests these brands get more out of advertising, sponsorships and social than some larger brands like Coca-Cola or Microsoft. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • The BBC watermarks everything. If its content goes viral, so does the brand, even if “BBC” isn’t mentioned in text.
  • Vans has found success targeting growing markets. In fact, since Dec 2017 the volume of Vans images shared in Asia grew by 20%, and by 62% in South America.
  • Louis Vuitton seems to have benefited from a high-performing influencer strategy. 12% of images containing the logo are shared by authors with over 10,000 followers. Only eight other brands gather more influencer shares.

What’s also apparent is how well sports apparel brands perform. Clearly sponsorship investments generate considerable visibility on Twitter and Instagram. But, who comes out on top?

To understand this, let’s focus on a tournament that garners considerable investment from sport sponsors – European Football.

The best ROI in football sponsorship

Focusing on three of the largest sponsors – Adidas, Nike, and Puma – we’ve attempted to understand which sponsorship generates the best ROI.

We’ve collected the total number of images each sponsor generates for each of the clubs they sponsor. Then, we’ve divided the number of images generated with the amount paid for the sponsorship.

This reveals exactly how much each sponsor paid per image:

Club - Sponsor Images Per Year Spend Per Year Cost Per Image
Leicester - Puma 1,465,575 £1,000,000 £0.68
Arsenal - Puma 14,781,495 £34,000,000 £2.30
Manchester United - Adidas 16,848,255 £75,000,000 £4.45
Manchester City - Nike 3,180,975 £15,000,000 £4.71
Roma - Nike 629,550 £3,500,000 £5.55
PSG - Nike 3,349,260 £19,000,000 £5.67
AC Milan - Adidas 2,026,185 £19,000,000 £9.37
Real Madrid - Adidas 8,946,765 £85,000,000 £9.50
Tottenham - Nike 3,047,565 £30,000,000 £9.84
Chelsea - Nike 5,424,285 £60,000,000 £11
Newcastle - Puma 390,945 £5,000,000 £12
Juventus - Adidas 1,536,960 £20,000,000 £13
Barcelona - Nike 8,031,240 £140,000,000 £17
Bayern Munich - Adidas 3,531,240 £65,000,000 £18
Inter Milan - Nike 199,785 £15,000,000 £75

Puma performs incredibly in this analysis with its clubs appearing first and second. On average, across all monitored sponsorships, Puma have a much cheaper cost per image:

  • Puma = £2.40 cost per image
  • Adidas = £8.02 cost per image
  • Nike = £11.83 cost per image

This is an impressive result. Especially when you consider that this data just monitors unique images. Shares, likes, comments and other engagement metrics would dramatically increase total reach.

One of the reasons for Puma’s success is where it positions the logo. Unlike other brands, Puma also places the logo on sleeves: 

No other kit sponsor does this and it appears to greatly increase visibility.

“We’ve long known than images have social currency. This Brandwatch reports shows that images also deliver real currency for the 100 most visible brands online.”  Drew Neisser, Founder & CEO at Renegade

Sports apparel brands invest in sponsorships that greatly increase visibility online, but how does it compare with other industries?

“What strikes me about the results is that the brands who appear in images fall into several buckets, with two industries/sectors taking 2/3 of the mentions among the top 10. 

It’s clearly a pay to play game and you had better choose your football team with care.” Minter Dial, Speaker, Storyteller, Author 

10 most photographed industries

By grouping each brand by industry, we’re able to determine which industries are pictured the most online.

Top 10 Industries

Rank Industry Avg. Images Per Brand Per Month Top Brand
1 Sports Apparel 3,019,031 Adidas
2 Technology 1,056,310 Google
3 Entertainment 799,427 Disney
4 Retail 417,778 Starbucks
5 Aviation 373,670 Emirates
6 Food and Bev 360,937 Coca-Cola
7 Automotive 307,441 Toyota
8 Telecoms 267,848 AT&T
9 Fashion 267,116 Louis Vuittion
10 Alcohol 142,264 Heineken

“Seeing the brand visibility study from Brandwatch left me thinking one thing: Holy crap have we been missing so much in reporting brand exposure and awareness up until now!

Social listening has always had certain strengths and weaknesses, but seeing the shear volume of posts, some brands probably see a 50% or more lift in reach and awareness now that there’s a tool out there to recognize their imagery online in addition to mentions of them in text.” –  Jason Falls, social analyst and strategist, Cornett

Imagery changes dramatically based on the industry a brand is in.

In the carousel below, you can see some of the most shared images in each industry (click right or left to scroll, see engagement stats below):

Sports Apparel

13,862 retweets and 10,520,740 impressions on Twitter

Technology

720,260 likes on Instagram

Entertainment

9,519 retweets and 7,004,020 impressions on Twitter

Retail

7,893 retweets and 6,467,881 impressions on Twitter

Aviation

1,204,791 likes on Instagram

“We constantly promote how important images are as part of a successful social media strategy, but up until now its been really hard to look at the brand impact of this part of social. Brandwatch’s new image monitoring is a great solution, and its really interesting to see how well it works in both B2B and B2C markets” – Daniel Rowles, CEO, Target Internet 

Top 5 positive and negative brands

We’ve analyzed the text in the posts that accompany each image. Using sentiment analysis, Image Insights is able to determine which posts are positive or negative.

Looking across 300 brands, we’ve identified the brands with the highest percentage of positive and negative text mentions (scroll right):

Most positive brands

Most negative brands

For clarity, high propensity of negative images doesn’t necessarily mean the negativity is directed at the brand. It could just mean the brand is included in an image that is being talked about negatively, for example this negative tweet containing the Standard Chartered logo.

That said, FedEx’s association with the NRA has generated a swell of online abuse. Since December 2017 the volume of negative images containing the FedEx logo has grown by 185%.

To add some context, here are two positive and negative images of Burberry and FedEx.

7 most photographed brands by gender

Using Brandwatch Analytics’ automated demographics, we were able to see the percentage of images shared by men and women.

The two charts below reveal which brands have the highest proportions of male and female conversation (scroll right):

Brands pictured most by men

Brands pictured most by women

Dell, Carlsberg, and Standard Chartered generate the highest volumes of images from male authors, mainly due to sponsorships of male-dominated sports.

Burberry, Boots, and Primark see the vast majority of content coming from female authors, partly due to influencer engagement from models and YouTube vloggers.

Scroll through the images below to see examples:

“Social media of today is no longer defined by text but by image and video. Visual recognition technology allows brands to unearth what is being said about them on platforms where company names and company hashtags aren’t always being used.

It is the key to not only proactively respond to those talking about them to encourage more brand advocacy, but also a way to discover more authentic user-generated content and potential influencers that can be leveraged by the brand for exponential results.” Neal Schaffer, Founder, PDCA Social 

10 most pictured brands by influencers

Looking at Twitter data, we’ve analyzed every image shared by authors with over 10,000 followers.

Comparing this with the total volume of images shared allowed us to determine the percentage of images, for each brand, shared by those with over 10,000 followers.

Here are the brands with the highest percentage of influencer engagement:

Rank Brand Percentage of images from authors with over 10,000 followers
1 US Bank 28%
2 Wells Fargo 25%
3 USAA 23%
4 Whirlpool 16%
5 Virgin 15%
6 Dove 14%
7 Pantene 14%
8 Amazon 14%
9 Louis Vuitton 12%
10 Nike 11%

Let’s explore some examples of influencers engaging with these brands:

Whirlpool influencer @Cutties_Cats

Dove influencer @Morewless

Pantene influencer @GabbiPosts

Fraud detection

You probably noticed that three banks appeared top of the influencer list.

We assumed this was due to a high-performing influencer strategy. It wasn’t.

In reality, the brands have appeared in pictures shared by fraudulent individuals who claim they can make their followers thousands of dollars.

These images are so prominent, they’ve propelled the three banks to first, second and third on our influencer chart. Here are some examples of their posts:

317 retweets and 8,806,815 impressions on Twitter
212 retweets and 5,991,252 impression on Twitter
18 retweets and 406,125 impression on Twitter

Top logos by location

Globally, Adidas is pictured in the most images online.

We wanted to know if its dominance holds true across the globe, or if different regions gave prominence to different brands.

The following visualizations show the most photographed brands (by volume) in countries across the world.

Europe 🇪🇺

  • Adidas leads the way, pictured most in 29 of the 51 countries monitored.
  • Nike comes in second, photographed most in Poland and Portugal (perhaps because Nike sponsor the football national teams).
  • Interesting outliers include Mercedes-Benz, Vodafone and BBC, who are pictured most in Germany, Turkey and the United Kingdom respectively.

United States 🇺🇸

  • Interestingly Nike beat Adidas in the US, pictured most in 29 of the 50 states.
  • Google comes in third (behind Nike and Adidas), mentioned most in Colorado, Columbia, Maine, Minnesota, Vermont and Wyoming.
  • Interestingly AT&T is pictured most in Alaska and Starbucks is pictured most in Hawaii.

South America 🌎

  • Adidas comes out on top again, pictured most in seven countries including Brazil, Chile and Peru.
  • BBVA is the most pictured brand in Argentina, while Coca-Cola is pictured more than any other logo in Paraguay.
  • In Uruguay, Puma is photographed most, perhaps due to its national football team sponsorship.

“Visual recognition technology offers a unique view into how brands fit into consumers lives.  You could argue that the lack of text description about brands when logos are identifiable visually shows that brands are not front and centre of consumer thinking. 

The beauty of understanding how brands are consumed and how they fit into daily life is the ideal insight to create campaigns that better appeal to customers.” Dr Jillian Ney, Digital Behavioural Scientist

Summary

Using Brandwatch’s best-in-breed logo detection technology, we’ve analyzed brand visibility online. We now understand:

  • How often each brand is photographed online 📸
  • The most visible brands by location 🌎
  • Which brands are pictured most by influencers 💁
  • The sentiment attached to each brand’s images 😡
  • And the 100 most visible brands online 💯

Every image included in this report contained a brand’s logo, but hardly any included a mention of the brand in the tweet or post. On average only 20% of images contain a written references.

This means without image detection, you miss 80% of the images your logo is included in.

Brand visibility for your brand

Although this report was created using data from the world’s largest brands, smaller organizations still find value from image data online.

Hundreds of companies from a range of industries have used Brandwatch Image Insights to overcome key business challenges:

  • Truly understanding sponsorship performance
  • Seeing customers use your products and services
  • Benchmarking your visibility alongside competitors
  • Uncovering logo misuse
  • Discovering harmful brand associations
  • Spotting new influencers online
  • And for capturing every online reference of your brand

Find out more

Brandwatch Image Insights (the technology behind this report) is available to demo at no cost.

Press the button below to schedule a demo.

Methodology

Scope

For this report, our goal was to discover the 100 brands that were pictured most online. This would provide social benchmarks that could help inform any organization or industry using or invested in social media. In order to achieve this, we analyzed 300 separate logos and 100 million images within a four-month time period from Dec 1st, 2017 – April 1st, 2018.

Brandwatch Analysis

Sentiment: Sentiment is evaluated using natural language processing (NLP) techniques. Brandwatch’s NLP algorithm is among the industry’s more conservative, aiming to qualify sentiment only when a certain confidence level is breached.

Gender, Interests & Profession: Gender, Interests, & Profession are evaluated learning user account or profile information as well as machine-learning techniques.

Rules & Categories: Brandwatch’s Rules, which rely on Boolean logic, allow users to separate specific conversations into specific categories. Rules can be understood as “Queries within Queries.”

Logo Detection: Brandwatch uses an adaptive learning engine to uncover logos within an image. The technology searches for a myriad of attributes to find every type of logo placement, including curved, blurred, small and partially covered detections.

Sampling: A statistically accurate 10% sample was used to collect the data. This sample was extrapolated by 10x in the report to give an accurate estimate on what the full coverage would be.

Brand Selection

The Brand Visibility Report analyzed 300 logos in total. The 300 logos were selected through two processes. First, we examined revenue and output lists, industry literature, and social data to compile a list, then we cross-referenced with well-known brand ranks like the Fortune 500, the Interbrand Best Global Brands, and the Social Outlook Report. 

Once those companies and agencies were collected, we ranked organizations according to the volume of images they were pictured in on both Twitter and Instagram. We then identified the top 100 brands and conducted additional analysis.

Sources

All revenue data was collected from annual reports or P&L statements from the last available full year. For example this annual statement from Adidas. Collecting kit manufacturing sponsorship data from European clubs was far more difficult. There’s no single source of truth available, so we were forced to gather data from a number of aggregating news articles like this. For context, we only monitored clubs if they were sponsored by Adidas, Nike, or Puma and if we could find the finances behind the sponsorship.

For that reason, Swansea is not included (as it is sponsored by Joma) and Borussia Dortmund is not included (as we couldn’t identify the sponsorship cost).

Comparison to 2017

Astute readers may have noticed differences in data volumes between the 2018 Brand Visibility Report and the 2017 edition. Specifically, in our 2017 the top brand – McDonald’s – generated an average of 900,000 images per month. This year, Adidas generate over 6 million. So, why the difference?

There’s two key reasons. The first is the increase in the volume of images published online. On average, the amount of images shared online increases by 50% each year. This partly explains our increased volume. The seconds reason is due to Brandwatch’s data collection. Over the last 12 months we’ve dramatically increased the volume of data we crawl and the frequency we crawl. This has subsequently increased the total volume of images collected.