Media Metrics Highlight Reel for March Madness

By Thought Leaders Archives
Cover image for  article: Media Metrics Highlight Reel for March Madness

Through Advanced Advertising we can all learn a lot about the impact of action and ads alike on fan engagement during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Game. While the North Carolina Tar Heels won the game and redemption, they also won the battle for social media engagement. According to 4C Insights, the Tar Heels generated over 1.7 million social engagements the day they claimed their 6th championship trophy (see chart below). I was first introduced to 4C Insights at the Broadcasting & Cable/Multichannel News Advanced Advertising Conference in New York City a couple of weeks ago. Chief Product Officer Anupam Gupta shared that the next phase of 4C’s technology is aimed at providing solutions for multi-screen convergence of audiences including linear TV. 4C already captures social media and TV-synced ads across display, search, social and video. 

This new SaaS Advanced Advertising technology allows brands, agencies and media owners to identify their most valuable audiences and improve media plan effectiveness across channels.

I was intrigued and wanted to see how this data would be used in actuality and they offered to share their March Madness results. To keep it simple we focused on the Championship Game. Imagine the possibilities as this is just a snapshot -- from one company -- of the type of insights Advanced Advertising can deliver.

Championship Game Highlights

Bud Light wins. 4C analyzed how social engagement (number of likes, shares, retweets, sentiment, etc.) on Twitter and Facebook changed in the two minutes after an ad ran on TV, providing a proxy for how ads impacted each brand. The full analysis is in the graphic below. Highlights include:

  • Bud Light had the most successful Championship ad. The brand might have spent the least on ads, but it was the most effective. They saw a 24,782% increase in their TV social lift right after the ad ran.
  • On the other hand, Coca-Cola was the highest ad spender, running 12 ads and more than five minutes of ad time, but saw one of the least impacts on social engagement.
  • Volkswagen, Buick, DirecTV and Hardees saw significant social engagement lifts after their March Madness ads were aired.

UNC’s win was the buzziest moment on social.  The final moment highlights were rebroadcast more than 800 times and drove more than 150,000 March Madness engagements.

Twitter served as the social network MVP.  Twitter was the social platform of choice for NCAA fans, seeing more than one millionengagements compared to Facebook’s 718,435 engagements.

Team engagements were neck-and-neck.  Similar to the score of the Championship Game, UNC and Gonzaga saw similar levels of engagement on social, with UNC seeing the most engagements throughout the entire tournament.

  • UNCgarnered 546,660 engagements on social
  • Gonzagasaw 324,727 engagements on social

Social engagements throughout the championship game remained tight with 11 ties and 12 lead changes until the final minute when North Carolina managed to hold off the Zags. Neither team took a significant edge in terms of social engagement until the end when Isaiah Hicks put North Carolina ahead by 3. The final moment highlights were rebroadcast more than 800 times and drove more than 150,000 engagements. 

As you can see below, while social engagement didn’t reveal the ups and downs of the game, social sentiment did.

While Advanced Advertising is still in its early stages, the benefits of extending metrics beyond traditional demos and aggregating results cross-platform are indisputable.  Janet Balis, Leader of the Strategy/Customer Consulting Practice for the Media & Entertainment Industry at EY posited that scale is the key to unlock the power of advanced advertising; she challenged her panel to declare when will scale become a reality.  I would argue that day is just an extra point away.

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