The Method Behind the Madness

It’s that magical time of year yet again! The snow is starting to melt, the sun hangs in the sky for a few extra hours in the evening, and folks across the country are ready to fill out their brackets. Whether you’re rooting for the Cinderella team or pulling for the powerhouse, March Madness brings excitement to any sports fan. While many have their eyes on raking in the bucks from the office pool, big brands are looking to punch their ticket while winning the eyes of the audience.
With 68 teams vying for the 2015 NCAA Championship title, games stretch from March 17th to April 6th and ad spend will easily surpass the billion-dollar mark. The average spectator is pouring over this past season’s stat sheets to make the perfect picks, but what can brands and agencies do to have a successful run in the tournament?

Social Media is the largest source of unsolicited consumer insight and it’s invaluable when trying to resonate with an audience. Crimson Hexagon’s ForSight Platform not only breaks down the social conversation around campaigns, we can dive into the parallel interests of the audience and explore unique communities.
Let’s take a look at Axe and their “Nothing Beats an Astronaut” Campaign. Granted the campaign launched in 2013, but the March Madness TV spot was a slam-dunk and a prime example of ad dollars well spent. It incorporated one of the most iconic shots in NCAA tournament history, added a hilarious twist and promoted the campaign’s associated contest to visit space. When looking at Affinities™, we can benchmark consumer interests related to a general conversation like March Madness against a brand like Axe.
March Madness Affinities Analysis
We see the predictable interest segments aligned with the March Madness discussion on the left like SportsCenter, Basketball, Colleges and Universities, but what may be surprising is the interests on the Axe side of the analysis. Segments like being Being a Mom, Food Network, and Parenting show that moms are keeping an eye out for deals on Axe products. This could be an opportunity to incorporate those moms out there in the crowd in the next campaign!
It is great to see the interests mapped out between conversations, but the deeper value is being able to jump into the segments individually. We can see precisely what excites distinctive groups of people. If we want to look at the College Basketball segment, we see the multimedia, retweets, hashtags and more that are trending within the segment. From a content creation perspective, emulating top performers is always a strong game plan.
March Madness Segment Insights
We also see the influencers within the College Basketball segment. Selecting the right voices and influence in a campaign can be quite the battle, but with Segment Insights, identifying the key players is simple. SportsCenter carries a big stick in the world of college basketball, but we also see analysts, coaches and teams that are shaping conversations. While there are five thousand segments that are available for analysis, Custom Segments allow you to unlock the insights of your own communities of interest. These can be created for unique brands or groups of people.
Nobody knows which teams will bust the brackets this year, but with Crimson Hexagon, getting insights into campaigns and audiences can help craft the winning strategy for any brand or agency. Good luck with your picks, and with any luck, you’ll have the office bragging rights when the Madness is over!
For additional insights into the consumer response after LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony returned to their home turf, read through our case study.

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