Case Study

Publicis x YouScan

Using visual listening to extract insights



Sponsorships and marketing strategies are the driving force behind sports brands today. Understanding how they work is key to discovering what consumers need and how they behave towards their products. They're a way to get a realistic view of the audience turnout for each sport, what kind of engagement different sponsorship activities bring to their competitors, and whether there is any strong association between sports audiences and sports brands. Publicis stepped up to the plate to help a major sports brand decide if including sports sponsorship activities in their marketing strategies.


For this research, Publicis teamed up with YouScan – a social media intelligence platform with image recognition capabilities. Its visual insight technology allows users to analyze visual brand mentions and obtain advanced analytics thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning. The platform identifies more than 1,000 scenes, objects, and activities along with demographic information to provide brands with in-depth analytics.

Using YouScan, Publicis analyzed 1.9 million images, targeting Twitter as one of the main sources with more than 150k images (mentions). Twitter is special because customers share their  unbiased opinions,  life moments, feedback and thoughts with the Twitter community, helping brands receive a comprehensive overview of consumer behavior. 

The agency used visual data as a foundation for this research and collected images featuring Nike, Adidas, Puma and Reebok logos in the US, UK, and Canada (coming from accounts with disclosed geo-location) over a two-month period (May-June 2022). 

From there, YouScan’s analysis showed that around 22% of the mentions did not contain a word or hashtag with the brand and only contained a visual representation – including the brand logo or the brand name spelled somewhere in the visual (text recognition).


Publicis’ research using YouScan allowed a major sports brand to identify its strategy for 2023 sponsorship activities, receiving detailed analytics on the number of unique images, engagement, and distribution that each of their competitors has in major sports. 

After analyzing 1.9M images, more than 150k on Twitter, 462M engagements and 901k authors, YouScan’s’ top five findings of the research were: 

  • Nike’s logo appeared in publications about different types of sports significantly more frequently than other brands (77.2%).

    Nike is the brand that generates the highest engagement (38.9M). 

  • Football (soccer) generates the most engagement for almost all sports brands (Nike, Adidas, Puma), making it the most effective sponsorship activity in terms of visibility. 

  • The top logo on helmets was Nike (84%). Adidas appeared on shorts (22%) and shirts (32%).

  • The number of men featured (86.3%) significantly outnumbers the number of women (13.7%), so it hints at a potential CSR problem and an opportunity at the same time.

This is a great example of how analyzing consumer opinions, discovering actionable insights and managing brand reputation can keep brands relevant in daily trend discussions while putting the customer experience at the heart of the business.


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