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How we’re seeing brands engaging with communities in creative ways

Discover how leading brands around the world are engaging their communities and building brand affinity with Canva.

The prolific rise of social media has created a unique opportunity for brands to connect and engage with audiences at any given moment. We’re all consumers of content in today’s visual economy, where the battleground for our attention is real. With the meteoric rise of platforms like TikTok and Instagram, audiences now expect content to be dynamic, digestible, and compelling enough to share.

In this increasingly visual world, we know that good design and visual communication are key to capturing and engaging both new and existing audiences. So, over the past six months, Canva has partnered with some of the world’s leading brands using the power of visual communication to engage and grow their communities in new and creative ways.

Here’s what we learned and how you can adopt a similar approach to engage your community too:

Tap into sports fandom to build brand affinity

Sport is a global phenomenon connecting billions of people. In today’s digital era, sports fans are no longer defined by geography. The Philadelphia Eagles have fans in every corner of the globe and have built one of the most iconic brands in world sports. During the pre-game presentation of every home game, two Eagles flags and an American flag are proudly held by more than 130 season ticket members and fans, and each person wears a t-shirt gifted to them by the team. In a nod to that tradition, we’re partnering with the Philadelphia Eagles to give fans the chance to design the t-shirts worn by the game-day flag holders throughout the upcoming season.

The Philadelphia Eagles are also enthusiastic users of Canva, embracing our suite of visual communication tools to create game day posters, fan engagement content, and even Zoom backgrounds.

Another sports brand we’re proud to partner with to help engage its fans in unique and innovative ways is Melbourne Victory Football Club. Victory players will don a fresh away jersey this season courtesy of its passionate fans. As the Club’s first Official Design Partner, we gave Victory fans the opportunity to design the Club’s next away kit using the magic of Canva.

Fans could either design the jersey from scratch or access a range of customizable templates. The #DesignOurAway Kit with Canva competition was a roaring success – running for three weeks it saw 650 design entries, attracted nearly 7,000 fan votes, and resulted in over 1.4 million impressions for the Melbourne Victory brand.

The global nature of sport coupled with advances in technology means fans have never been easier to reach while also being more difficult to engage. Sports brands, like every brand, now need to communicate visually to capture the attention and affinity of audiences. Our partnerships with Melbourne Victory and the Philadelphia Eagles show what’s possible when you combine the power of visual communications with an iconic brand and passionate fans.

Empower content creation across all channels

Canva is a tool for creatives and creativity, and empowering our community to unlock their creativity has been our mission from the very beginning. That’s why we were proud to be the Official Design Partner of the 2022 D&AD New Blood Awards which are open to advertising, design, digital and marketing students, recent graduates and emerging creatives worldwide.

More than a quarter of all entrants accessed the New Blood Toolbox, making use of Canva's premium templates, fonts, videos and features to respond to briefs set by some of the world’s leading brands including Audible, BBC, Disney, Duolingo, Netflix and Penguin.

We also partnered with The Webby Awards which honor excellence on the Internet, celebrating the best creative work across websites, video, advertising, media, podcasts, and more. As the Official Design Partner of the 26th Annual Webby Awards show, we worked with the Webby team to create the People's Voice Toolkit, a customizable promotional toolkit that included social assets, digital ads, email assets, podcast badges and more for nominees to share the news of their nomination, inspire their networks to vote, and for those fortunate to win, to celebrate.

Over the two-week voting period, the Toolkit was used to create more than 11,000 individual assets including Instagram tiles, Facebook posts, email headers, and more.

Leading creative agencies including BBDO NY, McCann Worldwide and TBWA all put the Toolkit to use. With so many digital touch points, it’s critical for brands to be able to easily create digestible, compelling and on-brand content across all channels.

The Webbys also used Canva to design all the assets for the prestigious awards show — think web content, social media assets, posters, menus, pull-up banners, and more.

Cut through the noise with compelling content

The digital revolution has fueled a content revolution, illustrated and accelerated by the rapid rise of streaming platforms. With an abundance of streaming services available and new TV shows dropping daily, viewers have more choices than ever before. It also means networks must work harder than ever to capture viewers' interest and attention.

AMC Network’s zombie TV mega-hit The Walking Dead is set to wrap up later this year. The Walking Dead Universe has become one of the largest fan franchises in the world and it continues to expand. To celebrate the series finale, we’re partnering with AMC and inviting fans to put their creativity to the test with a one-of-a-kind fan art competition through The Walking Dead Canva Collection.

A poster from the Walking Dead Canva Collection

We’re inspiring fans to harness the creative power of Canva and create their own Walking Dead-themed social templates and posters. The winning fan art design will be featured at the premiere of the series finale later this year.

In a saturated streaming market, unlocking the creative capabilities of your audience is a proven way to boost engagement and build lasting brand affinity.

Whether it’s creating custom Zoom backgrounds to celebrate your favorite sports team or launching fan-inspired design competitions and social media templates, the opportunities are endless for brands to communicate visually to engage their communities and build affinity. In a booming visual economy, we’re excited to continue partnering with brands all around the world to help them stand out by creating new and exciting community experiences.

To learn more about how you can embrace the power of visual communication to engage and grow your community, drop us a line at strategic-partnerships@canva.com