4C research report: Heineken, England team are early leaders in RWC social engagement
Data science company 4C has revealed the results of its Rugby World Cup tracking on social media providing insight into the behaviour of 1.5 billion unique social media users across 250,000 interest categories, 50,000 brands, 6,000 TV programmes and 41 languages. Additional data was analysed through 4C’s Teletrax global TV monitoring network, which monitors more than 2,100 channels in 76 countries.
Having compared data from before the beginning of the competition against that of the opening 28 fixtures of the group stage, 4C found that Heineken generated the most growth in social media audience among official tournament sponsors with 122,775 new engagers, a lift of 653%. Meanwhile, host nation England saw the highest amount of unique engagers on Facebook and Twitter among participating countries with 521,633, a lift of 388%. Uruguay, France, and Ireland also stand out with their early tournament progress after recording the largest percentage lifts in terms of social engagement out of all 20 participating nations.
The results were very different on television coverage of the tournament in the UK, where the tournament is being hosted. Land Rover, one of the official tournament worldwide media partners, led the TV advertisement table in terms of gross aired minutes (105 minutes), closely followed by SSE (83 minutes), the official sponsor of the tournament coverage on ITV.
Key findings of the 4C study include:
– Beverages are the leaders in social engagement, with Coca-Cola and Heineken reaching the highest numbers of total engagements (146,909 and 146,785 respectively); Heineken had the most unique engagers with 122,775.
– Among official worldwide sponsors/partners, only three brands secured social engagement lifts; Heineken, MasterCard and Emirates each recorded lifts of 653%, 56% and 8% respectively.
– Although Heineken is well-placed on social, its TV efforts have been limited with only 23 minutes airing time, ranking fifth amongst all UK advertisers in the FMCG category.
– With over 600 ad occurrences and close to 2 hours on air, Land Rover is more present on TV than the self-promotional spots for the Rugby World Cup event itself (84 minutes), making it a clear stand out on that medium.
– Following closely behind the automotive brand was the official TV coverage sponsor SSE, a UK-based utility company (83 minutes), the technology giant Microsoft (74 minutes) and betting companies William Hill (56 minutes) bet365 and Betway (both 54 minutes).
– SSE delivered a strong integrated advertising campaign leveraging TV and social, ranking third in air time and resulting in a 2537% engagement lift on social media.
– England fans demonstrated both strong support and huge disappointment with the host nation being knocked out; on social it received 521,633 unique engagers and a percentage engagement lift of 388%.
– New Zealand scooped the second place on the social podium with 483,044 unique engagers and a social engagement percentage lift of 102%.
– Australia came in third, drawing 472,614 unique engagers and achieving 225% lift in social engagements, an outpouring of which came when they defeated England (206,584).
– Japan, a strong challenger on social and in the tournament, recorded the fourth highest number of unique engagers (357,415), with a percentage engagement lift of 307%. The Asian contender stunned the sporting world by defeating South Africa during the opening weekend of the tournament.
-Uruguay (750%), France (504%), and Ireland (451%) also stood out during the period with the highest percentage lifts in terms of social engagement, though Uruguay had the lowest number of total social engagements among the participating teams (19,028).
Andy Nobbs, SVP, Global TV analytics sales and EMEA activation, 4C Insights, comments: “4C’s data highlights that the Rugby World Cup has yet to deliver a clear overall winner among its sponsors and official partners in terms of a combined TV and social campaign. The only brand to successfully illustrate the potential of such integration has been SSE, a non-tournament sponsor, who ranked third in the TV ad table and increased its number of unique engagers by over 2500%. By leveraging TV’s enormous reach and the strong personalization value of social, SSE already has a head start on the other sponsors, and it will be interesting to see whether it emerges as the tournament winner at the end of the month.”