Social media has revolutionized how we interact – and how we shop. Brands are watching closely, and have begun abandoning TV spots for online advertising. And social analytics is the key to its success.
Popeye’s Halts TV Advertising After Online Success
Popeyes originally planned to use a lot of TV advertising to help launch its chicken sandwich this summer, but once the “chicken sandwich war” took off on Twitter, Popeyes sat on the TV commercial it had ready. Two weeks of runaway sales later, the chain had to stop selling the sandwich and replenish supplies.
So when Popeyes prepared to bring it back, TV wasn’t on the menu, said Fernando Machado, global CMO for Burger King and Popeyes, which are owned by Restaurant Brands International.
“Normally we do a lot of TV, a little bit of digital, and really push on launch—here we have the most successful product launch since I started here six years ago, and it involved zero TV advertising,” Mr. Machado told Sahil Patel for CMO Today.
“It was an unusual approach for us, which will help shape other launches in the future,” he said.
Television Ads vs Online ROI
With billions of consumers participating online each day, focusing on the mere millions of television viewers may feel like faulty logic. But those viewing tv shows are a target demographic unto themselves. And having guaranteed eyeballs watching your commercials is enticing. And it should be.
Beyond its somewhat captive audience, another advantage television spots have over online is that it can be harder to skip commercials. Viewers are often emotionally invested in their shows, so they’ll catch at least part of the commercials, even if they attempt to actively ignore them. And these viewers appreciate relevant and engaging offerings.
Outside of that though, online offers advertisers immediate access and the ability to view real-time analytics to change things up if something isn’t resonating. What are the demographics of an audience?
Where are they tuning in from?
What time of day are they most active?
What are they saying about the topic in real-time? How passionately are segments responding?
Are trending terms around the campaign matching expectations? If not, what can be learned from what is being said? And if everything is going as planned, what clues are offered to help keep that momentum going?
Who is talking, specifically – and are they potential brand ambassadors?
How does your brand’s share of voice compare to competitors?
And how has that changed over time? Is it the result of this specific campaign/advertisement, or has it been shifting over time due to other factors? Establishing a baseline ahead of time, around a number of key metrics will help crystallize this picture.
Missing Out on Online Advertising Potential
And that’s where the trouble is, many retailers are not taking full advantage of the insight social analytics offers. As a result, they’re spending lots of money on online activities that are largely meaningless to their brand’s bottom line.
Why? Online is enticing in its own right, particularly in light of viral successes they see others experience. They see influencers like Kylie selling out of $65 hoodies in minutes thanks to an eight-second clip of her singing a phrase. And then Popeye’s is probably the most dramatic brand “win” of late.
Its unexpected – and amazing – “chicken sandwich war” success this year has apparently resulted in the chain redirecting its advertising focus away from TV and toward a purely online approach.
Advertisers this season have taken note of consumers’ reactions to Popeyes, and to Popeyes resulting – and notable – TV snub. And if they haven’t yet, they will be.