Effective Campaigns Are Made of More than Engagement Numbers

Analyzing the latest series of short films and commercials in the Guinness “Made of More” Campaign

Stout: strong and thick, brave and determined. In many ways the latest iteration of Guinness ads and short films for Guinness’s “Made of More” campaign goes hand-in-hand with the brand and the the very idea behind Guinness beer—made of stronger stuff. The ads, featuring Ruby players Gareth Thomas and Ashwin Willemse, tackle the players’ struggles with leading double lives (Gareth identifying as a gay man and Willemse being born into a gang), ultimately landing on catharsis and the transformative power of being a part of a team. The ads are poignant and stunning (despite the fact that we’re watching a beer commercial) and have garnered praise from the advertising community, Adweek featuring them as Ad of the Day: “The pacing and proportions are absolutely right, and the spots never feel sentimental or contrived.
But do audiences agree? And better yet, what kind of audience are these ads engaging and can we get to the nuanced reaction of fans to these ads?
word cloud for guinness rugby campaign
Isolating Specific Marketing Efforts
Since airing on September 7th ahead of the Rugby World Cup, we can see that the “Made of More” ads generated 7,383 to date on Twitter, with a potential 30 million total impressions made. This number is significantly lower than previous ads in the “Made of More” campaign, such as the wheelchair basketball ad debuting in September 2013, which was a phenomenal success, gaining overwhelmingly positive response at 89% and amassing 37,609 posts within the month of airing. However, we can see that the Rugby ads generated even more positive sentiment—measuring at 94%. And yet, engagement metrics don’t tell the whole story. They don’t tell what consumers truly think and feel about the ads.
Who’s Your Audience and What Are They Responding to?
Looking to consumers’ identified interests outside of the immediate conversation, we can get insights into who these consumers are and what is attracting them to a particular campaign. The AffinitiesTM graphic below illustrates how these consumers are unique from other Twitter users.
We can see in the dense clustering of interests on the left, that this series of ads is resonating with a more specialized and unique audience. The ads are resonating with people interested in the nationalities of Welsh player Gareth Thomas and South African Player Ashwin Willemse, appearing in more than 1,000 times more interested in Welsh Language, 59 times more interest in Wales, and ten times more interest in South Africa and Cape Town.
Additionally, we can see audiences are responding to the stories of the ads—the ads drawing engagement from audiences who are interested in the themes of gay identity and gay rights. The audience is eight times more interested in LGBT and 13 times more interested in Same Sex Marriage.

Furthermore, we can see response for the ads due to interests in Creativity, Filmmakers, Digital Media, and Advertising. This suggests that this segment of the audience appreciates the ads in themselves as creative pieces. A large driver of this interest is Adweek’s interest in the ads, naming them Ad of the Day, which we can see picked up in discussion by other members of the advertising community.

Furthermore, the ads can be seen to be successful in appealing to the Rugby World Cup audience, as seen in highly specifically regional affinities as well as a more than 1,000 times greater interest in English rugby team the London Wasps.
Tracking Impact
Taking topics and categories of the discussion, we can track and discover where audience points of interest peak and how they evolve over the campaign. With the graphic below, we can see that Gareth Thomas is driving discussion, peaking early and mostly maintaining volume over other topics of discussion.
And while this series of ads has not generated as much volume of conversation for Guinness, we can still see that it does not disappoint for the brand.
Daily Basic sentiment trend from 2015-09-07 to 2015-09-28
Looking at general brand conversation for the timeframe of the campaign, we can see there is a corresponding increase in brand discussion after the launch of the ads. Additionally, top hashtags and mentions illustrate that the campaign is translating to brand discussion.
So while spikes in conversation are a good place to start in monitoring reception to ads, stopping there misses an opportunity at a more holistic understanding of the success of ads and audience response to them. Armed with the power of detailed audience affinity insights and drivers of conversation, brands and agencies can learn what aspects of their campaigns resonated and with which consumer groups, allowing them to walk away with actionable insights for future strategy.
For a deep-dive look at audience insights surrounding positive messaging campaigns, read our case study analyzing reception to women’s empowerment campaigns from four leading brands.

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