- In the two minutes following its NCAA men’s basketball tournament March Madness TV spots from March 14-19, Sherwin-Williams had an average 1,521% lift in social media engagement and 89% positive sentiment, according to an analysis from 4C Insights made available to Marketing Dive. Hanes saw an 867% lift (68% positive sentiment) following its ads, Powerade had a 342% boost (63% positive sentiment), Fruit of the Loom had a 322% lift (with 86% positive sentiment) and Humana had a 320% lift (83% positive sentiment).
- Among the official NCAA sponsors with the most mentions, likes, comments and retweets from March 11-19 compared to March 2-10, Capital One had a 2,573% lift, Unilever experienced 1,665%, Intel had a 1,232% lift, Northwestern Mutual had a 1,050% lift and Reese’s had 973%.
- Wendy’s led the social engagement for top restaurant affinities for the tournament with 30,749 social media engagements and an affinity index of 450, which refers to people who engage with the tournament and how much more likely they are to engage with the brand compared to the average population. Moe’s had 4,244 engagements and a brand affinity index of 186, and P.F. Chang’s had 2,429 social media engagement with an affinity index of 291.
While digital ad spend is projected to reach an all-time high in 2018 and account for 50% of total ad sales in 2018, according to new Magna data, the 4C study highlights how multi-channel campaigns that include TV spots are likely to drive the most engagement in some instances. Many brands are realizing that a multi-channel campaign can be the best way to reach sports fans. Wendy’s leading the way on engagement isn’t surprising, as the brand launched an interactive bracket on social media urging fans to choose #TeamFresh and download the fast food chain’s app to receive exclusive offers during March madness.
Television has a significant impact on social media brand engagement, and one out of every five social media brand engagements are driven by TV advertising, according to separate 4C research. TV ads during premium programming, like March Madness, drive a 4.5x higher brand engagement on social media compared to non-premium programming.
Cyclical sports TV events usually generate buzz on social media, despite overall declining live TV viewership. According to the Magna research, national linear TV ad sales were projected to be flat in the coming year. But, fans continue to engage with sports content online. Watch time for sports highlights on YouTube increased 80% over the past year, according to Google data. Sports fans also increasingly use multiple screens at once. Eighty percent say they use a computer or smartphone to check player stats and scores and live chat with other fans while watching live sports.