Tackling the Hong Kong Sevens

Posted on March 22, 2012 by Comments Off

Many of us are big fans of rugby and with the Hong Kong Sevens coming up, we decided to leverage our proprietary analytics service WE twendz pro® to understand the Twitter influence around the tournament. We monitored the buzz carefully during the weeks prior to it and found that chatter gradually increased as we got closer to the week of the event.

When reviewing the data, we were able to determine that the conversations about USA and England teams were the most prolific on Twitter. They had the highest number of mentions, both in terms of the teams, as well as their individual players. Canada was a close third. Peter Tiberio (USA) presented a contest to win a USA Eagles jersey that earned him the top number of mentions.

At the same time, sponsors HSBC and Cathay Pacific appeared to leverage their association with the event the most, and managed to create chatter on Twitter and influence audiences the most, despite there being 15 supporting brands in total. In the lead up to the international sporting event, we found the Hong Kong Sevens reaching a total potential audience (over 1.25 million to be exact) that would have filled more than 31 stadiums, just with the global Twitter traffic – now imagine combining this with other online and offline platforms?

This has certainly given us a lot of food for thought as we wait in anticipation for the epic rugby battle this weekend.

Hong Kong Sevens Twitter Buzz

When Oscar Met Twitter: Predicting Winners by the Numbers

Posted on February 22, 2012 by 1 Comment

Here at Waggener Edstrom, we’re big movie fans. To get ready for the 84th Academy Awards taking place this Sunday, we used our WE twendz pro® analytics service to examine the conversation on Twitter around the nominees. Twendz pro® revealed that in spite of  lackluster box office performances “The Artist” and “Hugo” were the most talked-about Best Picture nominees on Twitter, but that “The Help” was the ultimate fan favorite, with 82% of tweets evoking positive sentiment.

In the Best Actor contest, Brad Pitt had the largest share of voice but Gary Oldman had the most positive sentiment. Seventeen-time nominee Meryl Streep led the Best Actress contest in share of voice for her work in “The Iron Lady”, and finished second to “The Help’s” Viola Davis in the positive sentiment category.

One of the themes among this year’s Best Picture nominees is historic films. In fact, the only best picture nominee that was not based on past events (fictional or real) was “The Descendants”. Early filmmaking was paid tribute in two of the most talked about films, “The Artist” and “Hugo”. While there are some common themes of old Hollywood, history and loss of a parent, the category is also rich with contrast. The Best Picture category has likely never before contained an almost entirely silent film alongside one about statistics and baseball. We look forward to what will surely be a historic night.


What Twitter Is Saying About Super Bowl XLVI

Posted on February 1, 2012 by 1 Comment

It’s that time of year again, time for folks to bust out their secret family chili recipes, stock their fridges with beer and invite friends and family over to watch the Super Bowl. Many football fans have had their hearts broken already this year with their favorite team out of the playoff picture after a series full of hard-won games. The exceptions are the fans of the New York Giants and the New England Patriots who will battle it out this Sunday in Super Bowl XLVI.  In spite of the fact that both teams are from the northeast, millions of football fans from around the world will be watching in what current trends are predicting will be the most-watched Super Bowl in history. But no matter who plays, some people tune in just to watch the commercials.

We decided to take a look at what football fans are buzzing about on Twitter before the big game. Using our WE twendz pro® analytics service, we examined what was being said about the rematch between the teams of the 2008 Super Bowl. To no one’s surprise there was plenty of buzz around Patriots Quarterback, Tom Brady; one of the most shared links examined his facial expressions. He received more than double the mentions of his New York counterpart Eli Manning. Neither of the superstar quarterbacks actively tweet, but each team has their own star tweeter.

Patriots wide receiver (and Dancing with the Stars alumni) Chad Ochocinco has a huge Twitter following of over three million, while Giants receiver Victor Cruz has a smaller but engaged and growing following of over 100,000. Birdman will surely be watching, as he bet a cool $5 million on the Patriots. Now that takes confidence in your team! Even Ferris Bueller is making an appearance in this year’s game with a new ad for Honda that has everyone talking.

What else are Super Bowl fans talking about out there on twitter?  Find out in the infographic below:

Back in the Saddle Again: SXSW Panel Picker

Posted on August 25, 2011 by Comments Off

Seems like we just unpacked our bags from South by Southwest 2011 but it’s already time to get ready for 2012. The SXSW Panel Picker is up and running. And should you want to cast your vote in support of Waggener Edstrom, there are three panels that you can vote for. Check them out and see if any of them catch your fancy.

Engaging Consumer for Good Through Gaming
Seema Bhende, senior account director, social innovation
Come to this action-oriented panel with industry leaders to dig into the practices (digital and otherwise) that not only impress consumers/individuals but propel them to take action in gaming. We will emphasize the truly actionable/impactful part of consumer engagement around an issue in addition to the social benefit. We will explore all audiences (i.e. not just millennials) including non-traditional and growing segments of moms and boomers while also identifying what actions work/do not work, what causes trigger the most action, and where we see the industry going. Case studies will include recent gaming examples from the Gaming For Change conference and games within Zynga, UN Food Programme, and Half The Sky (Facebook game launches in Feb/March 2012).

What You Should be Measuring in SM
Eric Berto, account executive, Microsoft SWAT
One of the biggest misconceptions of social media is that you can’t measure it. No matter what your business does, social media will meet one of two business goals – save you time or make you money. This panel will discuss how to tie back a measurement back to your business goals with a number of measurement methods ranging from dollars and cents to social-specific metrics like conversation share, SIM score and much more. You will leave this session with new methods of measuring social media for your company or clients and ways to demonstrate a hard business value for your efforts.

Content Matters. You Can’t Bullshit Success
Eric Berto, account executive, Microsoft SWAT
Did you know that if you write a blog post, people will automatically write you checks for millions of dollars. Of course they won’t. The “If you build it, they will come” mantra of social media marketing is bullshit and we’re going to tell you why. Having a plan in place to not only create a compelling storyline by thinking like a reporter but also having a plan to define success by thinking like a social statistician will help your company succeed in telling its story. This session will give you the tools to create compelling stories for your business that will attract not only readers, but buyers as well.

Guess this means I should start packing my suitcase.

The Royal Wedding Guest List Top 10

Posted on April 27, 2011 by 1 Comment

After weeks of speculation about who would be invited to attend the Royal Wedding, the bride and groom released a “selected guest list” which lit up the social universe. Using the methodologies in our Influence Toolkit we monitored online chatter for 24 hours. If the Royal Family based reception seating solely on online influence, this is how it would look. Attention Princesses, Ladies, Earls and Countesses: Make room for the top 10 most influential “elite.”

It’s me. California. I’ve got the stuff.

Posted on October 11, 2010 by Comments Off

 Cheech_and_Chong.jpg cheech and chong image by brittney_elaine0n

I’m just going to get this part out of the way. I’m not a pothead, nor have I historically been a big advocate for smoking weed. Honestly. I’ve never even smoked the stuff. This is a particularly odd thing, because I grew up near Eugene, Oregon – honorary home of the Grateful Dead. I even attended one of their shows (where I quickly scratched “Deadhead” off of my career options list, mainly because I really like dancing to music that has rhythm).  And, throughout my illustrious career in advertising & marketing, I’ve been surrounded by creative types (wink).

The wacky weed is a big topic right now in California, where notables such as Facebook founder Dustin Moskovitz, are making contributions that support Proposition 19, the effort to legalize marijuana in that state.  As a matter of fact, our recent tracking of this issue via WE twendz pro™ (found here) illustrates that Facebook founders are not only influencing movie box office receipts this week – but the amount of interest in this measure. Out of a total of 2,085 measured Tweets, the LA Times blog that covered the second donation to the “Yes” camp by Moskovitz was retweeted 85 times, more than any other missive on the topic.

Our analysis also shows that by and large, sentiment leans toward favoring legalization. Influence is mostly being driven by the larger news organizations such as (Time, yahoo, LATimes) and posts by NORML. Also of interest, is the range of conversations this issue sparks, with not only news organizations and more traditional channels, but with tech executives and political strategists adding their voices to the conversation as well. Engagement (Our weighted ratio of replies, retweets, questions, links and hashtags) on this topic tops the charts at 10 on a scale that peaks at 10.

To toke or not to toke? Is that the question? Many of us will be curious to hear the outcome of this vote. While some people view marijuana as the drug responsible for the dumbing down of America, many in our culture as well as others (Hello, Amsterdam) see it as an opportunity to disrupt norms and create value for state budgets that can use it to support valuable programs such as schools. So maybe the dumb drug can make more people smart. Perhaps we’ll find out in November.

 Shelley Stevens is VP Global Marketing for Waggener Edstrom Worldwide and previously held an Account Director position at Wieden + Kennedy

Brilliant Revolutionary

Posted on May 7, 2010 by Comments Off

Today, I officially became part of Jamie Oliver’s food revolution. I say officially because I’ve been a big proponent of food reform for several years – and was riveted to Jamie Oliver when I first watched the TV show on ABC. But today I became the 578,806th person to sign his petition to bring healthier foods into our school systems. As a marketer, I’m a sucker for those who get it right and I truly applaud what Jamie Oliver is doing, it’s brilliant – and made even more so because it took someone “not from here” to bring this kind of attention to how unhealthy we are in this country.

lrg_253Jamie Oliver isn’t a revolutionary marketer, but he’s a skilled one. His message is timely. He combines moxie, smarts, talent, humor and most importantly empathy. He understands his constituents and tailors his communication, whether he’s speaking to a 6-year-old or to an audience of TED Conference attendees. He’s encouraging. He has an idea and uses tried-and- true techniques to make it compelling: powerful rhetoric and visual demonstrations. He makes it about YOU, while simultaneously helping you understand why he is uniquely qualified to lead this revolution. He helps you understand the challenges while simultaneously making you believe in the possibility of change. He offers perspective. He is passionate.

Maybe that is the reason that we’ve had quite a bit of chatter about this topic around the office lately. And, since Jamie’s show was coming to an end, we thought it would be interesting to run one of our WE twendz™ pro  dashboards to gauge the sentiment as well as take a look at who was influencing the conversation.

We analyzed over 940 tweets advocating for people to sign Jamie Oliver’s food revolution petition – most of which were positive or supportive in nature. The negative tweets fell into 3 main categories:

1)  imploring the revolution to include the treatment and compensation of public school food industry workers

2) arguing that diet the revolution is advocating isn’t going far enough

3) simply asking the question whether the revolution was working

Curious about who else is joining the revolution? Well, I’m in good company. While a guaranteed accurate number of signees wasn’t clear on Twitter, the latest tweets put the total signees over 400,000 individuals. Tweets mentioned some notable signees: Sting, Heidi Klum, Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Ricky Gervais, P Diddy and Ryan Seacrest. Good company indeed. And, we identified one interesting trend. Nearly 500 of the tracked individuals had an influence ranking of three or higher (our system is based on a 0-5 scale with 5 being the most influential, based on the number of followers a user has along with their rate of engagement). Meaning they were in a public position of some kind, and therefore more influential than average. What can we conclude from this? Buzz is still building and hasn’t yet been fully adopted by the general public – but we expect it will be based on the quality of the current “listened to” people. People such as those TED Conference attendees I mentioned earlier.

If you care about the health of the current generation of youth, and beyond, I encourage you to not only sign Jamie’s petition, but also to view his TED Conference wish presentation.  As Jamie so succinctly states, “If America does it, others will follow. It’s extremely important.”

Shelley Stevens is VP Global Marketing for Waggener Edstrom Worldwide and previously held an Account Director position at Wieden + Kennedy

And the Masters Fan Favorite is …

Posted on April 8, 2010 by 1 Comment

Before I give up this answer, brought to you by WE twendz pro™, let’s talk about sentiment vs. volume.

What we wanted to look at heading into The Masters was how people were talking about 4 favored athletes. We knew there would be a tremendous amount of volume surrounding 1 of the contestants, but would that volume be positive or negative? What about the other contestants? Is anyone on Twitter actually talking about the skills of these athletes, or are they talking about the drama surrounding them?  We gathered data during the week leading up to the competition.

The Masters, one of 4 major championships in professional golf, is arguably the most prestigious tournament on the PGA tour. Thousands of fans flock to Augusta National golf course in Georgia to cheer for their favorites, and to, of course, to be seen.

We observed what the Twittersphere was saying about the golfers and wondered who this year’s fan favorite was.

We all can probably guess who generated the most volume. We counted 21,174 tweets in the last week about this contender. Tiger Woods is 2 victories away from tying the record for the most wins at the Masters, but the tweets weren’t about his ability or his chances of winning; they were about his celebrity. The topics were largely about his marriage, not his performance. The conversations were about his desperate need to reclaim his position as a championship golfer.

Sure, some of the chatter was about his athletic prowess, but the “best golfer in the world,” has a long way to go until he is again remembered for his golf game. Only 141 of more than 21,000 tweets were about his quest for the green jacket and only 66% of those conversations wanted him to win.

The overall sentiment tied to this contestant was clouded by drama, but there were several comments about his “desperate need to reclaim his position as a champion golfer.” There were also questions about his ability to focus and to pull off a win. Not surprisingly, WE twendz pro™ revealed mixed emotions for this contender.

The second most talked-about contestant was Phil Mickelson, with 408 tweets. Phil had some fans cheering for his victory, but most of the conversations were about his pairing (with you-know-who) and about his choice of selecting his wife’s oncologist as his caddy. Although there was little commentary on Phil’s ability to win the Masters, 76% of those who did tweet about his chances were rooting for him.

Surprisingly, last year’s champion, Angel Cabrera received only 34 tweets. Yes, 34. This man won the tournament last year and only 34 people talked about him on Twitter. Only 3% of his fans thought he would win. 

Ernie Els was the third most talked about contestant. 386 people mentioned Els, The 6’3” South African favorite known as “The Big Easy,” in their conversations. People are sentimental about Els, a player seen as a good guy with a long history in golf. There was a little discussion about his choice of caddies, but the majority of people were simply wanting him to win and lauding his performance ability. With 94% of those tweeting about Els cheering him to victory, Ernie Els appears to be the WE twendz pro™ fan favorite on Twitter.

So what does this all mean? We threw out the topic, “Fan Favorite for the Masters Tournament” and measured sentiment around the conversations. We had to do a lot of sifting through the noise to figure out who the fans were pulling for. Hard data and volume were just part of the puzzle; human analysis provided the missing piece.  

21,174 conversations focused on the contestant who has been at the center of a media maelstrom, and the runner-up generated only 408 tweets. Ironically, the person who generated the third highest volume was the clear winner with his fans – Ernie Els.  Although the volume of the conversation surrounding Els wasn’t nearly as high as his competition, the fans who did talk about him did so in an overwhelmingly positive way.

There has been more drama leading up to this tournament than at a Perez Hilton party, but as we cut through the volume and sliced through the noise, it became clear that Ernie Els is darling of the 2010 Masters Golf Tournament.

WE twendz pro Mines Twitter for Oscars Call

Posted on March 8, 2010 by 2 Comments

Using our twendz pro™ service Twitter analysis tool,  Waggener Edstrom Worldwide last week predicted that The Hurt Locker would win the Academy Award® for best picture.  Last night, that prediction came true.

WE twendz pro™ is an influence analytics tool that monitors Twitter conversations and is able to capture user sentiment.  In addition, and more importantly, this tool allows users to sift through the noise and focus on who really matters – the key influencers and what they are saying about certain topics.

“The Hurt Locker” has barely made a ripple at theaters and to say “Avatar” is a blockbuster is a giant understatement, but, the popular vote isn’t what mattered Sunday.  It was counting the influential voices that matter that made the difference.

Other social media measurement tools predicted Avatar would take home the top prize.  What seems to give the WE twendz pro™ system an accuracy advantage is the focus on monitoring key influencers.  Spiral16’s monitoring platform, Spark, for instance, predicted Avatar, but focused only on volume, not sentiment, nor influencers.  This is a great example of how important it is to analyze all aspects of the conversations – volume alone doesn’t necessarily yield a predictable outcome.  WE twendz pro™ uses a formula (sentiment influence + quantitative + qualitative analysis) that can help businesses make informed decisions.  If one of these equations is missing, the analysis isn’t as sound and the crystal ball can grow cloudy.  And sometimes, even if the equation is complete, despite our ongoing quest for accurately predicting the future, we will still fail to read the minds of everyone.

As we continue to fine-tune the use of social media measurement tools, we get closer to being able to accurately predict outcomes.  The Academy Awards® is just an example.  The opportunity exists for organizations to use influence-focused analysis tools to both chart the right strategic course and avoid unfortunate pitfalls. Isn’t this a real time gauge of consumer sentiment?  What an exciting adventure!  We are just scratching the surface of what social media measurement might mean for the future of, well, just about everything.

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