The annual Eurovision Song Contest, in all its light-hearted frivolity, is serious business for businesses. With 42 entries, an estimated 200 million viewers and numerous international and local sponsors, Edelman Amsterdam has looked at which conversations, topics and brands resonated with online audiences. The grand final was broadcasted live in 46 countries including China, Australia and USA and over 1,300 journalists from 80 countries covered the event.
Using Edelman Intelligence’s Command Centre, we analyzed the exposure and engagement level of sponsors. We analysed 6,942,038 data points from May 7 until May 15 2017, pulling in online content from across the globe.
Our goal was to understand how value was derived from their investment, and what opportunities there might be to extend this through a deeper comprehension of what earned the fans’ attention. Namely, we wanted to understand which campaigns, content and channels best resonate with this diverse audience. We have learned a lot. Here are a few remarkable findings:
1) The brand that trumped all others when it comes to online engagement was not an official sponsor
2) Dynamic switching between social platforms is imperative for brands to have impact
3) Beauty, fashion and lifestyle brands were noticeably missing as sponsors of this massive event
4) Eurovision represents one of the largest, online, public conversations in the world, which is arguably unleveraged by major brands
5) Online conversations don’t predict winners (and they don’t have too)
Read on below to learn more.
1. KNOW WHEN TO SWITCH SOCIAL NETWORKS
The right platform before, during and post event depends on the content being created, the audience in question and their mindset at the time. Instagram literally sets the stage before and after the event but during the grand finale Twitter’s engagement level peaked (3.49 times higher). The day after the finale things when back to normal as engagement on Instagram returned to ‘12 points’ status, and was 1.95 times higher than Twitter. So, be prepared to switch on the spot.
Twitter is ideal for instant, event-related commentary, banter and exchange: a fertile territory for relevant brands. For pre and post-event engagement and discussion however, Instagram is key. Instagram documented the road to Eurovision, showcasing fan and artist engagement with many brands (few of which were official sponsors).
2. ONLINE CONVERSATIONS DIDN’T PREDICT THE WINNER
The United Kingdom generated the most online conversations but ended up 15th during the night. Six out of 10 countries with the highest audience engagement before the final went on to secure a place in the coveted top ten. Clearly this shows that social media engagement data has a long way to go before it replaces traditional experts, but it already suggests there is value in using this data to determine where to invest sponsorship/influencer marketing budget.
3. SPONSORS THAT CREATE EUROVISION-RELATED CONTENT SCORE BETTER
Yeah, that’s an open door. But what we know and what we do, in the face of busy schedules and tight budgets, does not always line up. Some sponsors did not create sufficient interesting content to unlock the value of their sponsorship. The five global sponsors gained a share of voice of 0.0079% of total coverage out of 6.9M conversations generated around Eurovision from both social and online media.
Out of the total mentions, Osram had the highest scores in terms of engagement, thanks to a cross-platform, offline and online audience engagement campaign: Osram Light Voting Campaign. It allowed fans around the world to illuminate the landmarks of Kiev while their favourite singers perform by choosing the colour of their choice through an interactive app and live webcam.
4. HIJACKING THE MOON
In general, content published by non-sponsors brands was user generated content, sharing their Eurovision experience with their favourite brands or using a product to refer to the contestant or the event itself, whereas sponsored content tended to be limited to press zones, backdrops and other secondary views.
From a sponsor perspective the most fascinating thing that happened was the DreamWorks logo moment. Nathan Trent, the Austrian contestant, sang in a big moon which resembles the DreamWorks logo. That sparked an online conversation in which many argue he was the actual boy from the logo itself: his performance was the reenactment of the Dreamworks logo in musical form. Perhaps we could call this a case of life imitating art? Of course, in the end, Nathan was not the boy from the logo – but that didn’t stop the conversation.
This shows the importance of acknowledging that hijacking from non-sponsors can come from the most unexpected source but also the importance for all brands to dynamically monitor social media in real-time during key events, in order to leverage priceless opportunities such as this DreamWorks moment. Dreamworks’ logo exposure was 33 times higher than that of any official sponsor. Essentially, DreamWorks (unknowingly) hijacked the biggest entertainment show on earth. How much more could they have achieved with the right amplification and right content, delivered in real-time?
5. BEAUTY, FASHION & LIFESTYLE BRANDS: MISSING IN ACTION
Maybe the most startling fact is that this year, an event that is so synonymous with style, cosmetics, beauty and fashion lacked sponsors and online conversations in exactly that area. This year, there were no relevant official lifestyle brands in relation to the Eurovision Song Contest. The biggest lifestyle related content, that we found, was a user generated tweet about the contestant from Greece with a tube of toothpaste. In a competition of big hair, bold makeup and high glamour, this seems to be quite a miss.
With potential online reach of 4,121,583,097 online impressions during the grand finale alone, a defined happy-go-lucky audience and a specific time slot, it’s not hard to imagine what fun and relevant impact brands could make.
An example of user generated non-sponsor content
Exploring the conversations, content and channels which dominated share of voice during Eurovision can teach us many lessons. Most of all, it shows the role of data and analytics when it comes to the war for attention. At Edelman Amsterdam, we believe that this is a war which brands can win. Want to find out more? We would love to start a conversation.
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Steve Heywood, Chief Client Officer