Can “social buzz”—the amount of social mentions generated by news, entertainment, or sports—really be a good predictor of the success of key pop culture events? The answer is yes, according to Adobe Digital Index (ADI) data, based on previous social tracking of major events, including Super Bowl advertising and box-office returns.
So the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences might want to note that this year’s Oscar social buzz suggests that Leonardo DiCaprio may finally take home an Academy Award for his starring role in “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
Leveraging Adobe Social technology, the analysis of 1.8 million social mentions—on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, blogs, Reddit, Disqus, and YouTube—found that DiCaprio has 20 times more Oscar-related social media buzz than any other “Best Actor” nominee. DiCaprio has averaged more than 14,000 mentions a day over the past month and has accumulated a total of 575,000 Oscar-related mentions between Jan. 17 and Feb. 26. In comparison, Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club”) has racked up about 29,000 mentions during that same period.
Savvy marketers are tapping into this kind of social buzz to identify peaks in online chatter around brand news, product announcements, campaigns, and more—and then responding accordingly. “Social is the new water cooler,” said Ann Lewnes, chief marketing officer at Adobe. “Adobe Digital Index has accurately predicted box-office success and Super Bowl ad favorites. Brands should be actively using social buzz to predict the preferences of their customers.”
Blanchett Vs. Streep
As for the Oscar social buzz around “Best Actress,” Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”) is in the lead, with Meryl Streep (“Osage County”) running a close second. Blanchett has accumulated almost 54,000 Oscar-related mentions in the past month, while Streep has been mentioned 35,000 times.
In the “Best Supporting Actress” category, ADI found that Jennifer Lawrence (“American Hustle”) has 13 times more Oscar-related social media buzz than any other nominee, netting 149,000 mentions from Jan. 17 to Feb. 26. In comparison, Lupita Nyong'o, nominated for her role in “12 Years a Slave,” comes in at a distant second, with roughly 12,000 mentions.
Steve McQueen has stolen the social buzz spotlight in the “Best Director” category for his helming of “12 Years A Slave”—but that film doesn’t appear to be the frontrunner for movie of the year. The social buzz for “Best Picture” is highest for "Gravity,” which has been mentioned roughly 70,000 times in the past month; “12 Years a Slave” has totaled about 58,000 mentions. This one is, perhaps, still too close to call, according to ADI.
In general, ADI is finding that the 86th Academy Awards are a hot topic in the social spheres, and overall sentiment is positive. Oscar social media buzz peaked with nominee announcements on Jan. 17, and is starting to pick up steam again as we get closer to the awards show, this Sunday, March 2. This reinforces that social activity has peaks and valleys, explained ADI analyst Joe Martin. For brands to take advantage of this digital phenomenon, they need to know when these peaks occur.
The Oscars isn’t the first time that the ADI team has analyzed social buzz around a major event. Just a few weeks ago, ADI tracked buzz around the Super Bowl, which indicated that the game would have a record audience and surging social activity. Social buzz proved right: Super Bowl-related social activity during the game showed a 7x pop.
In the world of cinema, ADI has already shown that social buzz is a spot-on predictor of movie profitability. ADI correctly predicted that “Ender’s Game” and “Delivery Man” would be box-office failures, while “Thor: The Dark World,” “Anchorman 2,” and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” would become money-makers.
Note: ADI research is based on the analysis of select, anonymous, and aggregated data from more than 5,000 companies worldwide that use the Adobe Marketing Cloud solutions. Social mention data was gathered using Adobe Social and sourced from publicly available records.
About Adobe Digital Insights
Adobe Digital Insights publishes research on digital marketing and other topics of interest to senior marketing and e-commerce executives across industries. Research is based on the analysis of select, anonymous, and aggregated data from more than 5,000 companies worldwide that use the Adobe Digital Marketing Cloud to obtain real-time data and analysis of activity on websites, social media, and advertising.
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