The Power of Advertisments: Social Media Research Calls Out Nivea
January 17, 2012 | Comments Off
Baby, it’s cold outside!
Though the holiday season is over and we are no longer singing Christmas songs, baby, it’s still cold outside. Dry skin, chapped lips, cracked hands are all common occurrences during the winter so this is the perfect time to review the performance of a few skincare brands over the last year.
For three popular brands, Aveeno, Nivea and Olay, we gathered hundreds of thousands of opinions from across the social media space. We then plotted the percentage of verbatims that were positive over a time span from January 2011 to December 2011. The trend lines are quite positive and reasonably stable across the entire year. In most cases, at least 40% of all verbatims were positive and Olay consistently led the pack.
But wait! What is the drastic drop Nivea saw in August when the percentage of comments that were positive dropped from about 44% down to 32%? It certainly wasn’t a seasonal trend as neither Aveeno nor Olay experienced a similar change. What happened in August to set the social media space on fire?
When we dive into the data, two popular topics bubbled to the top – advertisements and racism. Indeed, people were talking about a specific Nivea advertisement and they were furious.
Many perceived the advertising image to be racist, and comments and opinions rolled in from polls, tweets, online newspapers and all other forms of social media. Here are a few (masked) verbatims taken from social media:
- “Is this ad also offensive to anyone else out there????”
- “The ad has to be trashed. I’m not buying a NIVEA product as long as this terrible ad is on the air.”
- “I don’t know who the f*** their advertising team is, but they dropped the ball big time”
- “Won’t be using Nivea aftershave anymore. Let’s see how they do WITHOUT my UN-CIVILED DOLLARS”
Indeed, if we track sentiment daily in August, we can see the precise day when the advertisement caused the stir – August 18. And, we can see the precise day when Nivea issued an apology – August 19, the day sentiment reached its lowest point and began the long climb back up.
Both of the above charts illustrate the sometimes short attention span of consumers. After an apology from Nivea, consumers quickly forgave them and forgot about the ad. Sentiment returned to normal fluctuations.
Perhaps it’s the power of an apology, but it’s more likely the power of a strong brand that pulled them through.
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