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Athletic Interest has some of the best thumbnails in the sports niche.

Simple, effective and always on brand.

This thumbnail is one of their best.

Let me explain…

Social Hacking

It’s worth starting here.

This thumbnail is full of social hacks.

Firstly, the footballers - 3 of the biggest (most recognisable) players in the world.

Ronaldo, Mbappe, Neymar.

If you have any interest in football, you’ll recognise them.

And secondly, Nike - one of the biggest (most recognisable) brands in the world.

All of these are very clear in the thumbnail and the target audience is instantly going to recognise them.

But a good social hack isn’t just about including something recognisable - it’s about framing it in a way that is going to be interesting (and clickable) to the target audience.

Which this thumbnail also does extremely well.

Social hacking is one of the best thumbnail tactics you can use.



The thumbnail uses really clever image selection to leverage separate expressions that work together to create a single situation.

By using shots of Ronaldo and Mbappe laughing, and Neymar looking confused, it creates a conflict that needs explaining.

The Nike logos and text are also playing into this - providing slightly more context about the idea and emphasising Neymar being left out.

Get creative with how you visually capture what your idea is about.

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All of this combined makes you curious and need answers.

It creates questions you need answering (which is perfectly captured in the title - Why Nike Doesn't Want Neymar).

The title and thumbnail show what is remarkable about the idea - which is good enough to make a lot of people want to click.

Make titles and thumbnails that work together to get the click.

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Want more?

These techniques (along with plenty more) are all explained in the Digital Bundle.


The Bundle is everything you need to make effective thumbnails and includes:

1. Digital Book

82 pages explaining exactly how to make effective thumbnails.

2. Thumbnail Worksheet

Outlines how to turn your ideas into clickable concepts.

3. Thumbnail Checklist

Check every title and thumbnail do what they need to do.

Interested? Check it out.

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