- Pillsbury was ranked the most "talkworthy" brand online following its 48th Annual Pillsbury Bakeoff, according to the results of Engagement Labs' Total Social Brand Awards for Brand Sharing made available to Marketing Dive. Pillsbury widely promoted the event, returning last year after a hiatus, on its social media and digital channels.
- Engagement Labs' rankings analyzed 500 brands across a number of categories and are based on how much people are sharing or talking about a brand's marketing online via social media and offline via face-to-face conversations. Puma took the top spot for offline marketing thanks to ambassador-centric campaigns featuring celebrities with large followings, including Selena Gomez, Big Sean and Rihanna.
- PlayStation, which saw a sales increase of its consoles and games in 2017, ranked No. 2 in online "talkworthiness," and Arby's took the third spot following a revamped marketing strategy and targeting of niche audiences. For offline, Geico and Priceline.com were ranked second and third, respectively. Geico's gecko mascot helped the brand drive engagement and Priceline has recently increased its advertising, including through TV. Aveeno, Crystal Light and Crush were the top three least talkworthy marketing campaigns online; Mountain Dew, Sunkist and Hormel were the least talkworthy offline.
Engagement Labs' findings underpin the growing importance of digital and social media marketing, not just for generating buzz and engagement online, but also in the real world thanks to positive word-of-mouth. Marketers continue to increase their spending on digital marketing, which is projected to account for half of total ad sales in 2018 — hitting that benchmark a year earlier than expected — per recent estimates from Magna. However, creating a highly "talkworthy" campaign isn't always easy, even as these efforts drive 19% of all consumer sales, according to Engagement Labs.
"Interestingly, the brands that ranked in the bottom three for the least talkworthy marketing aren't entirely inactive in their marketing efforts," Ed Keller, CEO of Engagement Labs, said in a statement. "It is clear that brands such as Aveeno are failing to create a connection with consumers online, due to a lack of sharable content on its social media and digital channels."
Pillsbury and Puma were obviously able to tap into that element of shareability, through a fan bake-off contest and high celebrity star wattage, respectively. Arby's, which recently readjusted its marketing strategy, frequently posts on social media about niche and nerdy subjects like video games and anime, which might've helped it distinguish itself in a crowded fast-food category. Such efforts can help brands cut through the clutter, as today's consumers are bombarded with marketing messages, with some being exposed to up to 10,000 per day, according to the American Marketing Association.
Attention spans are also shrinking, and people have a tendency to switch between screens and platforms several times a day. Even brands with strong marketing campaigns aren't always able to create a connection with users across channels. For example, Hormel, ranked as one of the least "talkworthy" brands, has an active TV campaign, but consumers don't feel compelled to boost that message online or offline, the study found.