The moxt exciting brands of 2016

This is a post from PRISM’s Social Army – regular briefings on topics aligned to our business or close to our hearts. Today’s entry is from Simon Hanley from PRISM’s London office. 


While 2016 has largely been a year to forget, there has been plenty to talk about when it comes to brands. New companies have shaken up the status quo, while established brands have adapted to remain at the forefront.

First off, a brand I’ve always been a fan of – Nike. One of its recent videos ‘Da Da Ding’ is one of the best brand films of 2016, not only because of its slick production, but also its powerful message of female empowerment in India. The visual manifesto is a clear reminder of just how strong the power of sport is in women’s lives.

Also exciting for the brand is the return of Tiger Woods, an era-defining athlete who changed the world of golf. His attention has shifted back to his beloved nine-iron and we can remember him again for his talent, not tabloid gossip and rumours of scantily clad ladies of the night. If you’re a fan of sport, his return to the first tee of Augusta National is a day to look forward to (April 6th 2017, if you want to get it in the diary). You can bet Nike is pumped about it.

Another beautifully shot video was Corona’s ‘The Flow’, created for its ‘This Is Living’ campaign, which reminds viewers to get outside and enjoy life. I think if I were to start this whole ‘life’ thing again, I’d train to be a pro-surfer. Imagine travelling the world and discovering the most tranquil beaches on a daily basis, flying down 10-foot waves and capping things off with a cold Corona topped with a slice of lime during an idyllic sunset. You can almost taste it, right? Well, this video series shows exactly that. Perfection.

Corona’s founder Antonino Fernández, who passed away this year at the ripe old age of 99, left a large portion of his fortune to the residents of his quiet hometown in Spain. What a guy! There’s been some speculation about the veracity of the story, but until I see proof of otherwise, I’ll remember Antonino as a legend.

Finally, a brand that has taken huge strides this year is Snapchat. When the app launched in 2011 I wasn’t convinced. I thought it was just an excuse for the cretins of this world to share indecent pictures of themselves in the knowledge that they would be deleted after 10 seconds of viewing.

But Snapchat’s rise has been phenomenal, especially among those aged 12-24. The brand claims 150 million daily active users, of which 64% are aged 12-24. This usage equates to 10 billion daily video views! The stats are ridiculous. I imagine the stratospheric growth is largely due to advancements within the platform, the messaging function, the (sometimes) hilarious filters and the content-sharing opportunity for some of the most reputable media brands in the world – like the Daily Mail and the Sun… (that was sarcasm…).

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Next comes the arrival of Snap Inc’s Spectacles – sunglasses with an integrated camera that allows you to record 10-second video clips, which are then shared via the app. Another fad or the next must-have piece of wearable tech? I think it won’t be a huge surprise to see youngsters wearing the glasses at a sporting spectacle or a music festival next summer. Watch this space.


Simon Hanley 

November 13, 2016