NASCAR Wins Big From Pepsi Viral Video

Measuring How Social Media Impacts Brand Affinity Across Networks

Viral videos are a big win for brands. And so it is no surprise that Pepsi’s positive sentiment on social media increased exponentially after a video showing Jeff Gordon pranking a car salesman went viral with over 32.1 million views on the Pepsi YouTube channel alone. The video is a Pepsi Max advertisement featuring a celebrity in disguise, this time starring NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

Since the viral video stars NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon, we wonder whether a Pepsi commercial posted on YouTube affects conversations about NASCAR and commercials? Would NASCAR expect to see an increase in positive sentiment about their brand, race events, and commercials during races as a result of Jeff Gordon’s Pepsi commercial? What are the drivers of opinion?
Crimson Hexagon’s ForSight™ social media analysis gives advertisers (like Pepsi) and content providers (like NASCAR) the ability to track how commercials affect not only the brand being advertised, but also the network or program that airs the commercial.
In this ForSight platform graph of the 2013 NASCAR racing season, we see an expected increase in social media conversation about NASCAR during races, with the largest spike at the Daytona 500 (A).
Pepsi and NASCAR Win Big from Viral video
While an increase in social media conversation about NASCAR during races is not surprising, a second large spike in conversations about NASCAR occurred when the Jeff Gordon Pepsi commercial posted to YouTube. This is unexpected, especially since there is no reference to NASCAR in the commercial (B).
In addition to a change of volume concerning NASCAR, driven by the Pepsi commercial on YouTube, we see a change in opinion and drivers of opinion as well.
Conversations around Pepsi and NASCA from viral video
Using Crimson Hexagon’s ForSight platform we are able to determine the the themes driving — no pun intended — the net sentiment changes about NASCAR commercials. Prior to the posting of the Jeff Gordon Pepsi commercial on Youtube (February 16-March 9), 34% of the conversation concerning commercials and NASCAR was positive. After Pepsi’s commercial aired (on March 10), we see an increase of positive sentiment by 91% (A). Pepsi NASCAR commercials saw the needle move from 2% to 51% positive sentiment from before the Youtube commercial to after it went viral (B).
Prior to the posting of the Pepsi commercial, the most frequent complaint about commercials and NASCAR was that there were too many commercials during the race. After the Jeff Gordon Pepsi commercial went live on Youtube, that negative complaint decreased by 63% (D), bringing the overall negative sentiment about NASCAR and commercials down by 58% (C).
One would expect Pepsi to benefit from this commercial going viral. What’s surprising is how much NASCAR’s net sentiment increased due to this commercial. But the real question is:

Do Pepsi and NASCAR know this?

If Pepsi knows that their own commercials positively affect the content providers that air their commercials, they have a powerful piece of data that they can use to negotiate future contracts. On the other hand, if NASCAR understands how advertisement campaigns — during races or touching the brand in some way, like the Jeff Gordon Pepsi commercial —  positively or negatively affect their audiences’ opinions, they can use that data to more effectively measure the effectiveness of commercials, and in turn, use that information to price commercials accordingly.

Click here if you would like more information about how you can use Crimson Hexagon’s ForSight platform to analyze your ad campaign, industry space, or creative strategy.

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