Can Social Intelligence Help Save the Impulse Purchase?

As retail space melts steadily but surely into cyberspace, the age of the cash register is wearing thin.

While the cynic bemoans digital transformation for eliminating every remaining vestige of human connection from everyday life, contemporary parents may never experience the vengeful stare of a toddler pointing threateningly towards the shining row of candy bars beside the cash register. Maybe that’s some consolation.

That is of course if the controversial company Bodega, that could delay online shopping’s apparently inevitable monopoly, doesn’t judge candy bars as a prime item in your local area, placing them even closer to childrens’ line of sight.

Back to the problem of the cash register. The rise of the self-checkout and, more importantly, e-commerce, present real issues for companies that depend on last-minute impulse purchases. Where consumers might be tempted by a candy bar or a pack of gum in a momentary lapse of diet discipline while waiting in line or browsing the aisles, re-creating these unplanned purchases in online environments is proving challenging.

This is all very bad timing for a gum industry things Millennials are killing).

Time to get creative

Frank Jimenez of The Hershey Company discussed the problem surrounding self-checkouts distracting consumers from impulse purchase opportunities experimenting with VR that could see Hershey’s products appear in people’s living rooms.

One of the biggest issues for candy and gum companies with buying groceries online is search – it seems that without the glimmering distractions of supermarket aisles we’re more likely to make healthy, planned decisions as we browse for items online. The Hershey Company team hatched a plan, collaborating with a grocery to create an online “seasonal aisle”:

Instead of searching for products on the chain’s website, visitors could browse an online aisle that was organized by theme, such as Easter, and because there were no physical limitations, refrigerated and shelf-stable items could sit side by side. The result was that shoppers discovered items they wouldn’t have necessarily searched for and basket size was three times higher than usual, translating to more sales

DIGIDAY

While doing your grocery shopping while wearing a VR headset might be a way off, these trials on different levels of futuristic-ness are necessary for a company looking to compete in the changing times ahead.

Deferred vs. Instant gratification

/>The problem with online purchases is that, until we have super speedy drones ready to deliver candy to the door or window of the person afflicted with “sweet tooth”, cravings that can be satisfied with a dollar or less still require the user to leave the house to get their quick fix.

It’s a hard life.

The definition of an impulse purchase is buying something you didn’t plan to before as the result of whim or impulse. Craving sugar or being hungry might be one of those impulses, but equally seeing an offer so good one can’t refuse is another.

Combining these using the digital miracles of the day could see candy brands’ impulse purchases rise again.

Can social data help save the impulse purchase?

Candy companies know that as humans we are weak and when we see candy bars in the store we tend to be more inclined towards buying candy bars. This is why VR or AR could be a great way to get candy bars front of mind – but maybe they don’t need to go so far.

Previously, getting candy bars in front of us hashad its limits – either in store, on TV ads, on billboards or in the newspaper. Social media gives so many more opportunities, particularly with food.

Not only can ads be targeted at massive audiences, marketers can be smart about the timing and placement.

For example, earlier this year we found out when New Yorkers were most in need of pizza. Ads with special pizza offers between 4pm and 10pm ET are probably going to do better than ones at 6am.

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Why not find out when people are most vocal about their candy cravings – or better yet send offers directly to the people complaining about candy cravings at the exact point they’re craving them.

Bulky bars

An ad at the time of the candy craving could boost the chance of a sale, but doubling it up with a great deal could be even better. An experiment promoting larger volumes of candy sale could make for interesting results.

The gratification is still deferred, but candy craving won’t be a problem for another few months! Interest in bulk buying appears to have grown in recent years and could be particularly interesting to student or family households with multiple occupants to share the candy with.

Also, an outrageous bulk buy is definitely share-worthy and once the candy fan opens their box full of treats and snaps a picture you can track the exposure using Image Insights.

Extra sweet ideas: Add-ons

Getting candy fast without leaving the house is no easy feat. A single candy bar delivery service probably isn’t something the likes of Deliveroo and Uber Eats are going to take up any time soon (at least without one heavy price tag). Instead, adding candy bars as add-ons to larger purchases like call-out food or alcohol deliveries could be a way to boost sales from those looking for a cheap dessert or hangover cure. This might require deals with particular chains, but if you’re feeling hungry and ordering junk food online you’re probably more likely to be inclined to add a Mars Bar than if you were ordering any other item.

Sending sweet treats as an add-on could give candy companies another impulsive boost. Balloon and flower services often offer the sender the option to send their recipient a little bag of candy. If the same kind of offer could be extended to image postcard sending services like Touch Note (in which you create a postcard from a photo on your phone), candy could be flying all over the place (postal fees allowing).

The future could be candy coated

There’s no candy coating the current situation with reduced opportunities for impulse purchases in store, but with some extra creativity there’s room to recreate them online.

Are you a journalist looking to cover our data? Email react@brandwatch.com if you’ve got any further questions/requests. 

And don’t forget to follow us @BW_React for our latest research!


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Burrito Buzz: Can Social Data Help Chipotle Regain Popularity?

Every Chipotle lover remembers the old days of waiting in long lines, sometimes out the door, dying to sink their teeth into a burrito (and MORE than willing to pay extra for guac).

But it’s no secret Chipotle’s popularity has been going downhill; between E. coli and Norovirus outbreaks, rodent sightings, and stock prices plummeting, it seems like this Mexican food chain can’t catch a break.

I will always be a loyal Chipotle customer. There’s a location approximately 100 steps from the Brandwatch New York office, and the employees there see a lot of me. But the line is never out the door anymore, not even close. I couldn’t help but wonder what insight social data could provide on this brand’s perception – so I decided to do some research.

I’m going to go over how the conversation has changed over time, the key topics emerging in the discussion, and then deep dive into one of Chipotle’s biggest audiences to see how their marketing strategy could be altered to fit their needs.

How much has Chipotle’s popularity decreased over time?

Well, according to social data available through Brandwatch’s Unlimited Historical Data, a trend line of social conversations dating back to May 2014 shows a steady decline in social media mentions of the burrito giant over time. Peaking at 250K mentions in May 2014, Chipotle garnered only 110K mentions in August, 2017. That is quite a difference.

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Okay. So we know the buzz has died down a bit. But there’s still a considerable number of consumer conversations that Chipotle can listen to. Let’s dig deeper.

How do people feel about Chipotle?

Let’s take a look at the past two months and leverage some sentiment analysis.

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In late June and early July, there was generally more positive than negative conversation. Then in late July, there was a surge in negative conversation.

Key topics in the negative conversation at that time included Chipotle shares falling and rodents falling from the ceiling in a Dallas Chipotle restaurant. Not good.

Here’s what the negative conversation looked like over that whole time frame. Much of it surrounded people getting sick.

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What are the main talking points?

Now we know which issues are driving the negative conversation, but are these topics making a big splash overall?

I used Brandwatch Analytics to measure and compare the most popular conversation topics I extracted from the data.

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Unsurprisingly, I found that food safety issues are dominating the wider social chatter around Chipotle. Queso and coupons are also common points of discussion. (Chips and guac are so 2015.)

Then I asked, do different demographics care about different things?

I used Twitter demographic data to break these buckets of conversation down by gender.

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My findings suggest that women are more concerned with coupon offerings and food safety, while men are more interested in Queso. It trumped any health hazards for this tweeter, and nearly 6,000 re-tweeters agreed.

Sounds like Chipotle is winning back some love! But it may take more than Queso to get them back on top.

So far, we’ve investigated the historical shift in social popularity, analyzed sentiment drivers, zoomed in on key conversation topics, and considered how audience gender plays into these areas of focus.

Understanding the individual Chipotle consumer at a deeper level

Let’s switch gears a bit and tap into Brandwatch Audiences. Audiences does what it sounds like. It helps you find people and group them into an audience based on whatever criteria you like, and then study and compare them.

I started with a simple search in Audiences: Individual Twitter users, located in the United States, who follow the @ChipotleTweets handle. I came up with 268,000 individuals to listen to.

I found that 52% of the audience is classified as female. That does not seem very significant at first, but when you take into account that only around 47% of the total Twitter audience in the US is female, you realize the metric has more meaning.

In addition, 23% of the audience is classified as having an interest in “Family/Parenting.” That’s 64% more likely than the average person on Twitter.

Interestingly, only 13% of the Chipotle followers are students. That’s almost 20% less likely than the average Twitter user. As such, the chain might consider gearing its marketing efforts more towards parents than this demographic, especially for Twitter Ads.

Let’s take a look at common “About Me” terms (Twitter Bio) used by our Audience.

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“Mom” jumps out to me immediately.

Mothers are clearly a large demographic of Chipotle’s followers. Our earlier research told us that females are more likely to discuss food safety and coupons. It follows that the chain should offer coupons like BOGO deals and free chips to keep the moms coming back.

But the brand needs to figure out how to assure these moms that the Norovirus and E Coli outbreaks are over. How can Chipotle regain their trust?

Connecting with “Chipotle Moms”

/>Let’s create a new Audience and call it “Chipotle Moms.”

Now we have a group of 12,000 individual, active Tweeters identifying as moms with a brand affiliation towards Chipotle.

Additionally, we know they are likely to discuss safety issues and promotional campaigns associated with the company. But what else does this group talk and care about?

Using Brandwatch Analytics to listen to these individual’s conversations, I gathered some interesting details about the group.

For example, there was a high level of engagement with “The Toy Insider,” a resource used to find, review, and win toys and gifts for kids. And an influential handle among this audience was @MomTrends, a popular blog offering trends and tips.

CNN was the most mentioned news source among this audience, with more than 1,000 mentions over the past month (including @CNN replies, shares, @Mentions, and Retweets). Interestingly, CNN has published three articles mentioning Chipotle in the past month.

One was about Queso, and two were about the Dallas location closing due to a rodent sighting.

Some other common topics/hashtags posted by this audience include coffee, horoscopes, Game of Thrones, and #Travel. A common interest was sharing recipes across Pinterest and blogs. Further segmentation of the conversation by food-related mentions showed tons of discussion around “slow cookers,” desserts, breakfast, and grocery shopping.

Now we know some of the other things that “Chipotle Moms” care about!

How could Chipotle use this information?

That’s a question for their marketing department, but I’ll throw a few ideas out there:

How about a new cellphone game with fun horoscope quizzes that lets you redeem points for BOGO deals? Maybe you could save up points for toys (with a high safety rating of course)? Maybe a free family vacation as the grand prize?

Summertime Mexican-style cold brew at your nearest Chipotle location?

Breakfast burritos? They could be a big win for this demographic.

Dedicate some ad spend to Game of Thrones?

Advertise on recipe forums, or hold a recipe contest for a temporary dessert? (Rumor has it the chain is adding churros to the menu; way to go Chipotle – the Moms will be happy!)

I’m not sure how insightful the slow cooker conversation is, but in marketing, wording can make all the difference. “Slow cooked pork carnitas” has a nice ring to it.

Grocery shopping is another interesting one. Should Chipotle be offering branded products at your local grocery stores? Panera, one of Chipotle’s biggest competitors due to the similar higher end fast food vibe, has been doing it for years. If I saw Chipotle salad dressing, Pico de Gallo, or guacamole in the grocery store, I would probably jump for joy.

Let’s wrap it up

A little social monitoring can go a long way.

If your brand perception is declining, it is imperative to understand the public perception and make connections with consumers if you want to turn it around.

People have a lot to say about your brand – you should listen.

Are you a journalist looking to cover our data? Email us at react@brandwatch.com for more information and requests.


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Don’t @ Me: Reasons Why Twitter Threads Are Great

So much has been written about Twitter threads of late that it’s as if a new social media platform with many thousands of users has hit the internet by surprise, ripe for thinkpieces on their merits and downfalls.

this critical article, they’re “like being on a soapbox and having 10 megaphones lined up single-file in front of your mouth.” Also that those who converse within Twitter threads are “fart sniffers”.

In a more sympathetic analysis, The Verge likens Twitter Threads to poetry.

Despite their admittedly numerous limitations, I personally think Twitter threads are brilliant.

They enable the writer to string together a whole narrative – one that spans an emotive five minutes or a carefully curated year. You can tell a story with a couple of words, no doubt, but a Twitter thread gives you the space to say so much more, with so much illustration and deliberate pacing.

All without directing your readers’ attention away from the platform, with the loading times, pop-ups and other distractions on a site that so often send them heading for the close button. (I’ll get to the problems with that, but first the good things).

The rise of Twitter threads

Twitter threads aren’t exactly new, but there’s been a huge amount of hype around them lately.

Along with Google Trends data, we searched for mentions of Twitter threads on Twitter over the last few months. There’s been an obvious increase in commentary surrounding them, as well as retweets and threads themselves.

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The potential for masterful storytelling

The Twitter thread can be used by established wordsmiths and storytelling amateurs alike for big impact.

In the wake of the Parsons Green bomb attack last week, history writer Mike Stuchbery used a Twitter thread to school pessimists on the many things Londoners had survived.

The length, the illustration and the scale of hardship incorporated into the thread wouldn’t have half the impact a single tweet might.

Here’s an example of a post from someone who at the time of writing calls themself “yeehaw girl”.

Yeehaw Girl set Twitter alight when she revived a years-old theory that Avril Lavigne had died early in her career and that a lookalilke had taken her place. If the Twitter thread is the new medium it is often lauded as, think of this blog-theory-turned-twitter-thread as Stephen-King-Novel-Turned-Blockbuster. Just with less money involved.

This thread, like the theory, is huge and detailed, compiling text, video and image “evidence” for the theory and it got an enormous amount of engagement – even if a lot of it was highly skeptical.

We actually covered this post and provided data around the theory it described in another blog post (one that continues to bring in thousands of searchers for “Is Avril Lavigne dead?” on Google) – check it out here.

Here’s another brilliant example – this time of the horror genre.

Adam Ellis documented events in his apparently haunted house using a Twitter thread in August.

As someone who can’t watch the beginning of the ‘It’ movie trailer without crying into my couch, I found this thread genuinely terrifying. Scrolling slowly further down, finding images that (non-conclusively, of course) document the haunting was something akin to watching a horror movie through increasingly small cracks between fingers. For me, it was one of the most impactful uses of a Twitter thread out I’d ever seen – perhaps because it lost me sleep.

Threads are for engagement, not for selling

Twitter threads are a way to get everything out there in one go without sending people to a site where they might need to search the page for the relevant information.

Laying all your content out on your Twitter feed as opposed to just teasing it might sound like madness, but it works for some. Now This don’t have any content on their website, opting to bring you all the relevant information straight to your newsfeed.

Threads offer this option – get all your content out there, get everyone commenting.

We’ve been experimenting with Twitter threads on various React blogs over the last few months. Their contents have been some of the top-retweeted content of ours on Twitter in the time period, and we get plenty of engagement from them in the form of quoted tweets and comments.

Our plan has been to tell the outline of the story of a blog post, and link to it at the end in the hope that we’ll start a conversation with our followers and theirs and that the true data fans who want more on the methodology or to learn more about Brandwatch will reach the bottom and click.

It’s kind of like an extended teaser tweet. Sometimes insights like the ones we create aren’t so interesting in isolation, and threads allow us show how they fit together.

By putting everything out there (or at least a large chunk of it) you aren’t exactly pressing people to click through. Threading doesn’t necessarily pay, so you’ve got to be clear about what you want from them.

Why didn’t we thread this blog post?

While I was writing this I became aware of the irony of writing a blog post about the merits of threading that would inevitably be posted to social, pulling our busy followers onto the site instead of just handing them all the information in a lengthy thread.

Well, maybe you’ll find it again on our Twitter feed soon 👀

Are you a journalist looking to use our data? Want to repurpose this blog post? Email us at react@brandwatch.com with questions or requests.


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SHOCK DATA: Thousands React to Mario’s Nipples in Super Mario Odyssey Promotion

The world needs light hearted stories at the moment. That’s why one of the biggest trends on social this week saw people rally around Super Mario’s nipples.

The revelation came when Nintendo released sixth top-mentioned game at E3 this year, with shots featuring a shirtless Mario frolicking on the beach.

Mario’s nipples have never been seen before, and they caused quite the stir.

The talk of Twitter: Mario’s Nipples

We tracked 27,250 mentions of Mario alongside terms like “shirtless”, “topless” or “nipples” etc. over the 13th and 14th of August when the hype was its strongest.

Mentions peaked at around 4,000 per hour when the news spread around social around 6pm ET on Wednesday.

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The conversation was one of surprise – the nipple revelation challenged what people had previously thought about Mario. Many expressed surprise at his lack of chest hair.

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#NintendoDirect, a platform on which Nintendo makes announcements and the place where the nipples were first seen, made up a sizeable chunk.

The gender breakdown, perhaps surprisingly, was as follows:

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The big questions

Getting into some of the verbatum questions Mario’s nipples bought up, there are some fairly fascinating notes.

For example, nipples aren’t necessarily compulsory on all Nintendo’s human-like characters. Based on Link’s anatomy one might have reasonably assumed Mario would live sans-nipple also. How wrong we were.

And it wasn’t just his nipples that made people think. The tattoo on his arm, visible in a previous ad, is no longer there! Maybe it was a temporary tattoo.

Some speculated that the changes in Mario’s life – leaving his profession as a plumber and showing off his beach body – were signs that Nintendo might be leading up to an even more shocking revelation. Only time will tell.

Samit Sarkar of Polygon had some sensible input.

But, of course, there was no shortage of WTF mentions.


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Moving on swiftly… This is a Mario game for 2017

Beyond a refreshing stance on #FreeTheNipple, Nintendo’s new Mario game has some funky features that cater to a 2017 audience.

/>Back in the day, you’d plug a chunky cartridge into your NES and sit with a horribly uncomfortable controller as close to the TV as possible, navigating a 2D Mario through a familiar world of mushrooms and pipes.

That’s not to say it was an unpleasant experience – it was great fun! But Super Mario Odyssey is definitely a game for today’s hyper-connected, social media dependent world.

Not only is Mario now shiny and 3D, he seems to have moved on with his life. He might still be trying to win back Princess Peach from Bowser (who is apparently marrying her…?) but he’s no longer a plumber, and he’s travelling the world with little regard for what people think of his beach bod. Good for you, Mario.

Nintendo have created a varied set of playing spaces for gamers to explore, and it’ll be interesting to see how Mario interacts with his new environments. Also, they’ve introduced a vertical screenshot mode where players can share their Mario shots on his adventures with friends on their smartphones.

Basically, Super Mario Odyssey is a prime meme creation tool.

Super Mario Odyssey was crafted with image sharing in mind. That’s why Mario does adorable things, can take on an assortment of shapes and will explore an array of vast worlds. We want to share our favorite moments from games with others online … and Super Mario Odyssey’s Snapshot Mode is proof that even developers and publishers like Nintendo are taking note of the way our gameplay styles are changing.

JULIA ALEXANDER, POLYGON

If you’re a journalist and are interested in receiving updates on the data, email us at react@brandwatch.com to be added to our E3 morning briefing list.


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Apple Event Data: The iPhone 8, The iPhone X, The Apple Watch Series 3 & ANIMOJIS

Tim Cook and friends took to the stage in the Steve Jobs Theater yesterday to announce Apple’s latest offerings – offerings he hoped that Steve would be proud of.

Amongst them were the iPhone 8, the hotly anticipated (and leaky) iPhone X, the Apple Watch Series 3 and 4K Apple TV.

Apple Events are always a huge deal on social media – we know, we’ve tracked a few of them. So the Brandwatch React team couldn’t wait to share our latest Apple Event data.

Apple Event Data: Top Line

We searched for mentions of Apple Event (or #AppleEvent or the word Apple or iPhone near “announce”, “present”, “keynote” etc) across social media during the live stream. What did we find? 438,449 mentions between 10am and 12pm PDT. Nice job Timmy C.

Of those many thousands, here are the highlights along the way.

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It was interesting to see the smaller details and products make splashes – for example, the fact that Apple has taken over Rolex to become the world’s “top watch”, or the Air Power charging pad that reduces the number of annoying wires and plugs that continually toil the multi-Apple product wielding person. It’s a hard life.

The products on show

The pacing of this Apple Event meant that each major product had its time to shine. We took a look at mentions of each of the major announcements.

Unsurprisingly, iPhone X (or “iPhone 10”) came out on top. This phone is billed by Apple as the future of smartphones. Second, predictably, was the iPhone 8.

We should note that the non-existent iPhone 9 got a solid 3,207 mentions.

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The Apple Watch Series 3 conversation was dominated by the revelation that the watches would have cellular built in. An impressive live demonstration with a woman named Diedre trying not to fall off a paddle boat on a lake while chatting on her Apple Watch gave this part of the event particular flair.

Apple TV wasn’t hugely successful in rallying support on social compared to the other products, but that’s not to say the presentation wasn’t incredibly shiny.

Retail Space

The first segment of the Apple Event was dedicated to Apple’s physical spaces – namely the new Apple Park in which the Steve Jobs Theater was built, as well as Apple’s physical stores. Wait, not stores. “Town Squares.”

While the reaction was a little cringey, the Town Square model is a bold move. As e-commerce continues to create a cheaper and more convenient alternative for retailers and consumers, Apple are investing deeply in customer experience in physical locations.

An authentic, personal (and dare I say Instagrammable) experience is what millennials are said to be crying out for, and that appears to be what Apple is going for. Apple will also be opening up a visitor centre at the multi-billion dollar Apple Park shortly.

The Town Square is a nice idea, of course, but whether they will truly be welcoming to all, and whether they will prove profitable, is yet to be seen.


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Animojis

This blog post wouldn’t be complete without a brief discussion of Animojis. While not a major product, we tracked nearly 10,000 mentions of the announcement in the two hour slot.

Animojis allow users to animate their favorite emojis using their own faces, sending stills or videos in messages.

When you think about it it’s not really that inventive, but as my attention began to turn to the upcoming episode of Bake Off it was animojis that won me back. I’m not sure if that says more about Apple’s incredible new feature or me.

Are you a journalist looking to cover our data? Drop us an email at react@brandwatch.com for more information.


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PewDiePie: The Latest Controversy, in Social Data

PewDiePie is in the news again after broadcasting more offensive content.

/>The highest paid YouTuber on Earth, who nets millions from his shouty gaming videos, caused a backlash over the weekend after using a racial slur during a live stream.

While playing a first person shooter, the YouTube star (real name Felix Kjellberg) began a verbal outburst that included calling his opponent a “f*cking n*****” correcting himself to “f*cking asshole”, adding: “I didn’t mean it in a bad way.”

It’s not the first time Kjellberg’s offensive content has landed him in hot water – so far this year he has already lost partnerships with Disney and YouTube over antisemitism and Nazi imagery in his videos.

His latest controversy comes just a couple of weeks after the Youtuber said he’d stop making jokes about Nazis.

Reaction

Unsurprisingly, reaction to the incident was huge. Searching for mentions of PewDiePie across social media we found 8,600 on Saturday 9th of September (the day before) and 88,375 mentions on Sunday 10th of September as outrage peaked (a 928% increase).

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And looking at sentiment-categorized tweets, negative sentiment soared on Sunday.

Here are the top hashtags used surrounding the YouTuber after the incident.

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Brands fighting back

PewDiePie has an enormous following (he is the human with the most YouTube subscribers in the world) and his live streams and videos give publicity to all sorts of games.

Kjellberg’s repeated transgressions are uncomfortable for developers who’s games are being broadcast to millions, winning them plenty of eyeballs that could belong to customers, while a sometimes offensive commentary from the YouTuber runs over the top.

Sean Vanaman, developer of the game Firewatch that is featured on PewDiePie’s channel, has taken a stand and is encouraging other developers to follow suit. He launched a scathing Twitter thread.

Whether or not developers will be successful in pulling footage from their games from PewDiePie’s channel is unclear, but if he is cut off by larger gaming companies he could see his resources (including his follower count and revenue stream) could shrink dramatically in the coming years.

Have we seen the end of PewDiePie? The next few days will tell.

Are you a journalist looking to cover our data? We have plenty more. Email us react@brandwatch.com for more information


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Beyond Angry Birds: What’s Next For Rovio Entertainment? And Can Data Help?

Rovio Entertainment is on fire at the moment (in a good way).

The Finnish company that bought us the game Angry Birds – once the most downloaded mobile game in history – is planning an IPO that could value it at $2 billion.

Of course, the mobile game isn’t their only revenue source. Last year, alongside the sale of a whole range of Angry Birds merchandise, The Angry Birds Movie hit the silver screen, bringing in around $350m. Not bad.

With big money in the bank, the makers of The Angry Birds Movie are making their next move. Coming 2019, it’s The Angry Birds Movie 2.

But will Angry Birds be enough to keep the company afloat in the longer term?

Why Rovio Entertainment need to go beyond Angry Birds

You might not have played Angry Birds since you first tried it (and maybe you’ve never played it), and it’s certainly true that other games like Candy Crush and Clash of Clans have stolen its thunder a little over the years. In fact, interest in Angry Birds appears to have been trending slowly downwards as time goes on.

When we searched for tweeted mentions of Angry Birds using Brandwatch’s UHD, we noticed a similar story. Peaks when big events happen (like the release of The Angry Birds Movie), but a general decline in interest.

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With interest in Angry Birds beginning to dwindle, what’s Rovio to do next?

That’s really the question for the market around this I.P.O.: To what extent do we believe the company can exploit its existing intellectual property, and to what extent can it go again and deliver another big hit?

WILL MCINNES, BRANDWATCH CMO, QUOTED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

Getting to know the Angry Birds audience

For often such simple pleasures, the gaming market is complicated.

Mobile gaming is perceived as very different to traditional ‘gaming’, on an Xbox or PC (even if, in some cases, they spend the same amount of time and money playing).

While Angry Birds started out by charging a single fee for players to get access and play through the levels, Angry Birds 2 opted for a free-to-play system with in-app purchases. This kind of model differs from the blockbuster games you might buy for your PS4 where you pay a flat fee for the basic game and aren’t generally required to pay more to play the game enjoyably, successfully and, if you’re a big fan, obsessively.

Meanwhile, mobile games tend to be designed for quick play that can be done on the bus or in a waiting room – a round could last just a few seconds – as opposed to the biggest console games which tend to require a lot more attention and lengthier play periods.

While there’s plenty of crossover, the gaming world is colloquially broken into two groups: Hardcore gamers (who play console/PC games) and casuals (who play mobile games like Angry Birds).

If you were a gaming company looking for your next big idea, you might look to the gamer community to try to find out what they’re craving – the trouble is, there are different types of gamer with different expectations.

Using Brandwatch Audiences, we’re able to compare people who tweet about or follow Angry Birds with self-identified gamers. Here are popular bio keywords in both audiences, both similar sizes (660k authors and 670k authors were analyzed, respectively).

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As you can see in the bio keywords, there’s some similarity and some difference.

Gamers are into YouTube and gaming channels and Xboxes and PCs. Angry Birds fans have a much more varied taste – they’re into sport, design, formula 1 and movies.

A look at professions shows Angry Birds followers are more likely than the general gaming community to be teachers, while gamers are more likely than Angry Birds fans to be students – which is surprising given that Angry Birds has such a child-friendly interface. They’re fairly different audiences.

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Examining gender breakdowns, Angry Birds followers and tweeters are a much more balanced group than gamers – essentially, they’re a bit more representative of the general population.

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How might the creators of Angry Birds use this information?

They know that Angry Birds has the power to appeal to a huge range of people, and given its success they’d do well to go for mass appeal once again. Angry Birds has seen various iterations that address the interests of Angry Birds followers over the years – specifically relating to sport and movies – you can buy ‘Angry Birds Star Wars’ and ‘Angry Birds Go’ (which involves racing Angry Birds in cars) on the App Store. Perhaps it’s time for Rovio Entertainment to take these interests into consideration but build on them without the help of their feathered friends.

They needn’t have to play to an audience that’s growing up – it looks like grown ups are more than happy to fling colorful birds at green pigs on their smartphones – but while Angry Birds might still be a money-maker, they, like everything else, won’t last forever.

If Rovio Entertainment are to go beyond Angry Birds, listening to the casual gaming market and what it’s craving is the way to go. And that’s where social intelligence comes in.

Are you a journalist looking to cover our data? We have plenty more. Email us at react@brandwatch.com for more information


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Food Influencers: The Biggest Food Trends of 2017

Food has always been a social thing that brings people together, but with the advent of the internet and, more specifically, online food influencers, the ways in which we experience food and all its possibilities have changed.

Breaking bread with a new world of food influencers

Gone are the days of scribbling down recipes as they’re described on the radio or television – everything is available online after the show (if you even bother to watch the show in the first place). If you fancy making cookies, Google offers speedy results that can be tailored to what’s actually in your cupboard as opposed to flicking through your dusty old cookbooks – books that we could see the death of soon.

The rise of the internet as an authority on food preparation has changed perceptions on culinary expertise. While Fanny Cradock once ruled the airwaves by passing on traditional recipes and tips, power to influence food trends has become more democratized online.

Tasty’s hot plate that syncs to their online videos takes off this holiday season.

Perhaps the most fascinating new-world food influencers are the dedicated #foodies – self-styled lifestyle gurus that broadcast their food (and often beauty and travel) choices online to their followers. The most popular online personalities that dish out recipes and tips are able to influence vast swathes of listeners and scrollers, often presenting images of aspiration and health or, on the other hand, heart-clogging indulgence. And, much like the huge organizations like Tasty and AllRecipes, these individual food influencers stand to gain financially, too – whether that’s through ads on their blogs and videos or paid sponsorships in their content.

Online food influencers are far more reachable than TV personalities and branded content. They can respond directly to comments and the often DIY-style nature of their content (filming vlogs from the couch, posting images of food prepared in their own kitchens) can give a much more personable feel. Their ‘real-ness’ is what makes them appealing to their many followers who take inspiration from them.

It is these influencers that the Brandwatch React team decided to take a look at. What can they tell us about the dietary trends of 2017?

Who are these food influencers?

We used Brandwatch Audiences to look specifically at self-identifying food bloggers and food vloggers by analyzing words in their Twitter bios.

We found that gender-categorized authors skewed female (76% female, 21% male), finding that words like ‘Mom’ and ‘Wife’ were also prominent in bios.

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Meanwhile, the food bloggers were more likely than the average tweeter to have an interest in travel, photography, video, beauty, health, fitness and books (as well as food, obviously).

Here’s a look at the top five most influential food bloggers on our list. Please note that Audiences is not updated instantly so some follower/tweet counts may be slightly different on their live page.

Name Twitter handle Follower count Influencer score
Tiffany Bendayan @LivingSMoments 90.7k 81
Stefani Tolson @mommye 70.5k 81
Chris Rauschnot @24k 53.8k 73
EasycookingwithMolly @EasyCookin2012 5.4k 73
Eileen Kelly @everyday_eileen 9.3k 72

 

As you can see, follower count isn’t everything when it comes to measuring influence.


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What’s on the menu?

With an idea of what the food influencers in our dataset looked like, we wanted to know what kind of food they were talking about. We took the handles of 450 of the biggest self-identifying food bloggers and then tracked 796,028 of their tweets between 1 January and 31 August 2017 using Brandwatch Analytics.

To identify the most common food-types, we filtered the tweets by food-related terms like “yum”, “delicious” etc and used the topic cloud component for each two week and month period from January through to August, identifying foods that were trending during those times. Then we used the mentions and search component to find instances of those foods (in plural and singular) within the whole conversation.

Below are all of the food types we identified that had more than 1,000 mentions from the food influencers (including mentions in retweets, replies and regular tweets).

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We were a little disappointed at how bland the top few mentions were – of course cheese, chocolate and chicken would be in the top-mentioned words since they’re so common (although for those concerned about the prominence of clean eating diets, perhaps the calorific entries are encouraging).

Things get more exciting moving further down the list, finding foods like tacos, shrimp, cream cheese, jalapeños, cinnamon and pumpkin – not all of these are necessarily “in season”, and not all are necessarily traditional “trendy” foods.


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Vegans are taking over

Last year we conducted a similar analysis to this, and measured how popular gluten free, vegan and vegetarian diets were in relation to each other within food influencer’s conversations.

Last year gluten-free food was most popular. This year, it’s vegan.

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Of course, this doesn’t mean that more people are practicing vegans than vegetarians or gluten free people, but it does suggest that going vegan is the “trendiest” diet of the three this year.

Hungry for the $$$

Like we said before, there’s definitely money (or at least free stuff) in being an influential foodie voice on the internet.

Our 450 influencers were definitely no stranger to ads and sponsorships – when we measured the top used hashtags in tweets (excluding replies and retweets), #ad made it into the top five.

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Becoming a food influencer sounds pretty sweet to me. Of course, it’s always important to make clear when a post is sponsored (read below for more on all the drama that surrounds that).


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Brands must be careful

Having new recipes pop up on our social feeds might help broaden our horizons and expose us to new and interesting ideas, but a healthy dose of skepticism is always required. After all, having a million followers is no substitute for being a qualified nutritionist.

“There’s so many people out there without the appropriate qualifications, pretty and slim wellness bloggers who have thousands of Instagram followers who hang onto their every word, who are giving advice based on no evidence at all,” Fiona Hunter, a qualified consultant nutritionist, told themselves are struggling with eating disorders while their social feeds display all the signs of a happy, healthy lifestyle.

Brands ought to be very careful about sponsoring food influencers solely based on their follower count, ensuring if they are condoning certain lifestyle choices that they are not dangerous. While accounts dedicated to healthy breakfasts or extreme desserts might make great influencers to work with, someone who consistently plugs punishing diets as a routine could be an irresponsible choice, no matter what your product is.

Are you a journalist looking to cover our data? Email us at react@brandwatch.com for more information. And don’t forget to follow us @BW_React for our latest research!


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Hurricane Harvey, Joel Osteen, and a Social Storm of Disappointment

Last week saw Hurricane Harvey and the devastation it wrought on the greater Houston area dominate the headlines.

This was the proper place for the media to concentrate last week. I, however, won’t take you on a journey of the ins and outs of this social discussion. It was a natural disaster that I don’t want to, even marginally, capitalize on.

The conversation was very large, and very bad. That’s my analysis. People lost everything, and those social posts are heart-wrenching.

In an attempt to maintain relevancy, I will look at how pastor Joel Osteen was talked about last week, as he found himself quite intricately entwined to Harvey’s conversation.

For those of you unfamiliar – – Joel Osteen is a pastor with Lakewood Church in Houston.

This church is massive. It’s fair to call it a mega-church. Reports stated that it holds more than 1,600 seats.

Outrage mounted as social media learned that the doors of Lakewood Church were shuttered to Houston residents rendered homeless by the storm.

Now that the scene has been set, Joel Osteen was mentioned more than 1 million times online last week (as of the writing of this post), and many of these mentions criticized Osteen for not allowing stranded people into Lakewood Church.

Joel Osteen mentions by day

Tuesday, August 29, saw nearly 450,000 mentions alone. The sentiment within Osteen’s categorized mentions for the week are overall 59.1% negative.

Looking at sentiment on a day-by-day basis shows how Osteen’s discussion fared with the arrival of Harvey, and the downward spiral it took as people expected Osteen to help his neighbors.

Joel Osteen sentiment

Osteen’s online sentiment dipped as low as 72% negative on the 30th.


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It’s important to state that Osteen did open Lakewood to people fleeing the rising waters, but the internet doesn’t recognize this act, after it had been demanded, as “good enough.”

You can see that even after Osteen started providing shelter in Lakewood people only wanted to talk about how Lakewood stood empty for a days as people were scrambling to find shelter and survive.

Joel Osteen topics

Sometimes you simply can’t shift poor public opinion

Here is the lesson to be learned, as you can see the “bad PR” topic in the latter days of Osteen’s conversation.

You will not receive the same amount of attention for doing the right thing. JJ Watt, a professional (American) football player, raised over $14 million (as of this post’s writing) for relief efforts. The press Watt has received is nothing compared to the press Osteen has seen.

When you are perceived as being a person of celebrity and means, the public will look to you to lead by example.

This isn’t an earth-shattering revelation, but you’ll never get the recognition for being as good as people think you are.

However, if you disappoint people, that disappointment will swell, and it sticks like glue.

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


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Game of Thrones Season 7 Data: Five Fun Social Media facts to Round-up the Season

We tracked 6.9 million social media mentions of Game of Thrones across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram from episode one to seven. Game of Thrones Season 7 data doesn’t come better than this.

We’ve broken the data down in all kinds of ways this season, and we thought we’d present it in a digestible way, so here come five fun facts.

Game of Thrones Season 7 data: Five fun facts

1. Women tweeted A LOT this season

We’re unsure what drove women to tweet more, especially given that this genre of TV show might traditionally be regarded as a target for male audiences, but we’ve noticed throughout the season that they’ve been more inclined to live-tweet the individual episodes.

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There wasn’t a huge difference in what men and women tweeted about, either – both tweeted the same two characters the most (coming up) in the same way, although men tweeted more about the Night King while women tweeted more about Arya.

Either way, the data shows that it’s a TV show for everyone. Except maybe children. Definitely not for children.

2. The biggest episode wasn’t the last episode

Looking at social media mentions during air time, it was episode six, not seven (the finale) that got the most.

We found this curious, since episode six was the one that was leaked by HBO Spain, so was more readily available for naughty spoiler-fearing viewers to stream in advance of the official air date.

Our theory is that people may have watched it in advance and during the official airing, thus giving them more brain space on the second viewing to live tweet it. Also, there were some huge, huge moments. More on that later.

 

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3. The biggest character (in mentions, not size) was Daenerys

This may not be a surprise to the army of Dany lovers on the internet. She’s certainly had an eventful season, from agreeing to fight the White Walker army, to confronting Queen Cersei face to face to having incestuous relations with her nephew…

Speaking of her nephew, the much-loved Jon Snow was second on the list of top-mentioned characters this season.

His sort-of sisters, Arya and Sansa also made the list, while the Night King also made a predictable appearance at number four.

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Perhaps the most shocking thing about the list is who’s not on there. Where’s Tyrion? Where’s Cersei? The Lannisters made no real splash.


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4. Drogon is the biggest dragon on social and in the show

But Viserion, the now zombie dragon, is catching up to him with 41% of the dragon-related mentions.

Perhaps being the least mentioned dragon isn’t such a bad thing, since it involves not getting shot by a giant spear like the other two, but poor old Rhaegal doesn’t have much going for him on social media at the moment. Perhaps his presence will be more prominent in season 8.

 

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5. The top three biggest moments of the season are from the very beginning and the very end.

We examined the mention volumes per minute for each episode of the season so far.

3. 4,000 mentions in a single minute: Viserion brings the wall down in the season finale, clearing a path for the White Walker army.

2. 4,200 mentions in a single minute: Arya poisons the remainder of House Frey in the opening episode of the season.

1. 6,080 mentions in a single minute: The Night King has Viserion the dragon dragged from the frozen lake. He wakes up to become part of the White Walker army, boosting their power enormously.


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Want MORE Game of Thrones Season 7 data?

You can check out each episode’s social data run down here:

  • Episode One: Dragonstone
  • Episode Two: Stormborn
  • Episode Three: The Queen’s Justice
  • Episode Four: Spoils of War
  • Episode Five: Eastwatch
  • Episode Six: Beyond the Wall
  • Episode Seven: The Dragon & The Wolf

Our coverage of Game of Thrones data spans years, and we have a huge archive of season and episode specific data over at react.brandwatch.com/gameofthrones. Our wavey data visualisations will also be covering season 7 as it goes on. (Note: You may notice some subtle differences in how the viz looks to how the charts in blogs do – we’re using slightly different methods of tracking character mentions).

You can also take a look at our Game of Thrones infographic that we released ahead of season 7 alongside Dr. Jillian Ney. It analyzes a million Reddit posts to find the most loved, overrated and underrated characters and more.

Still want more? You can download our case study on how Brandwatch helped DDB and Sky inspire New Zealanders who had previously dismissed the show to get excited about the upcoming season.

If you’re a journalist looking to cover our data email us at react@brandwatch.com for more information


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