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Published August 21st 2017

The Trump Effect: How Has Leaving Trump’s Manufacturing Council Affected the Brands?

Last week a slew of CEOs left Trump's manufacturing council. What did this news do for the sentiment of their respective brands? We have the data.

Well, it was another week of fire, brimstone and the worst of humanity. These are the stories you couldn’t escape on social if you tried.

From August 13 to August 15, Merck was mentioned more than 344,000 times online, and the reason for those mentions was the departure of the company’s CEO from Trump’s American Manufacturing Council.

Merck wasn’t the only company to leave the council. Strap in. Let’s find out how it went down.

The Trump Effect in action

Intel and Under Armour, who left quietly later on the 14th, have been mentioned 116,000 times (Intel) and 130,000 times (UA) online within the same time period.

You can see how brand mentions soared as news of each CEOs’ departure went public.

*Chart @ 10% sample

Merck’s mentions peaked on the 14th within the hour of 11am EST with more than 38,000 online mentions. The reason behind these mentions were reaction’s to Trump’s tweet that singled-out Merck’s CEO Kenneth Frazier, as well as the morning news cycle.

Under Armour peaked at 9pm EST the same day with over 27,000 online mentions, and Intel at 11pm EST with over 25,000 online mentions.

It certainly appears to be a strategic maneuver from Kevin Plank and Brian Krzanich to announce their departure later in the evening when people are looking to relax and stray away from news updates.

I’d guess that they hoped their departures wouldn’t garner as much attention later at night, and it’s commonly witnessed on social media that backlash is greatest for the first deviation away from the expected.

Merck’s sentiment is the most negative within the timeframe as 62.9% of all categorized mentions are negative.

These mentions were driven by Trump’s ​criticism on Twitter of Frazier, and how Merck provides “ripoff drugs,” but it is extremely notable that many, many mentions in Merck’s conversation are aimed at Trump for only criticizing Merck and Frazier while other CEOs have also left.


Intel’s conversation is 88.6% positive, and Under Armour’s is 89.4% positive.

In fact, when we take a look at the most used hashtags in the combined conversations of all three companies, #ImpeachTrump is the most used with more than 33 million impressions.

​*Chart @ 10% sample

The online mentions around each company’s CEO closely mirrors the results of their companies.

Kenneth Frazier saw the most online mentions since August 13 with more than 160,000. Kevin Plank only accumulated around 42,000 mentions, and Brian Krzanich accrued even fewer at over 22,000 mentions.

Again, the CEO hour-by-hour mentions mirror the conversations of the companies they lead.

Frazier saw more than 23,000 online mentions on the 14th within the hour of 11am EST. Plank only registered over 10,000 during 9pm EST, and Krzanich saw even less with 5,400 within the 11pm EST hour.

Again, the social conversations around each CEO looks like their companies, but are more positive. Krzanich’s is 96% positive and Plank’s is 94.8% positive.

Frazier’s discussion is 56.9% negative, but again, this is due to the fact that people are criticizing Trump for singling Frazier out in a tweet.

You can see this data in the news in Business Insider, Digiday and The Baltimore Sun – among others.

The firing of Bannon

Moving right along to the end of the week, we must address the resignation or removal (depending on who you believe) of Steve Bannon from the White House.

Last week Steve Bannon had been mentioned more than 267,000 times online (as of 1:58pm EST on Friday). The most mentions accumulated on Friday with more than 80,000 (again, as of 1:58pm EST) – this absolutely grew.

As of the time of this data grab, the percent-change in daily mentions of Steve Bannon between Thursday and Friday was greater than 187% (as of 1:58pm EST).

You can see how more than 57,000 mentions (as of 1:58pm EST) accrued within the 1pm EST hour.

Bannon hasn’t had a positive conversation over the course of the past week as his sentiment-categorized mentions were 78% negative.

When we look at the conversation sentiment on a day-by-day basis, we see that Friday – with the news of his firing – is actually his second-most positive day of the past week at 70% negative.

News of Bannon’s removal took over his conversation.

Those are the massive topics from last week. Here’s to hoping for a nice, cheery post for next week.

If you’re a journalist, and would like to request bespoke data around, well anything, please contact Kellan at Catch you next week.

If you’d care for any real-time data around any/all breaking news, please feel free to contact us by emailing Kellan at

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Crimson Hexagon has merged with Brandwatch. You’re in the right place!

From May 8th, all Crimson Hexagon products are now on the Brandwatch website. You’ll find them under ‘Products’ in the navigation. If you’re an existing customer and you want to know more, your account manager will be happy to help.