Black Friday adverts prompt social media buzz, but are TV adverts really driving the conversation?

There are lots of social media conversations prompted by holiday season adverts.The ‘second screen’ is becoming a hugely important concept in both television and marketing. Almost every piece of ‘event television’ is now accompanied with a hashtag and people commenting live on what they are watching. Conversations around the adverts in between are just as active.

This week big American retailers and brands prepared themselves for the post Thanksgiving shopping rush,  the infamous Black Friday. Many ran a selection of television adverts for the holiday season, which were in turn discussed and amplified on social media.

For example, Target sparked a lot of Twitter excitment as they included a One Direction track in their advert. The band is hugely popular on Twitter, their official account has 141,496 followers, and fans who were happy at seeing their favourite band in the advert ended up discussing Target too. The same had happened to Pepsi just days earlier!

Other retailers that feature in the Brand Chatter Chart were Walmart, with 313,000 comments, and Kmart with 41,000 comments. Kmart also received some social hype after actress (and Justine Bieber’s girlfriend,) Selena Gomez visited one of the stores and tweeted about it to her  13 million followers.

However, research by Bluefin Labs’ social TV analytics demonstrated that conversations around brands online are not always as they would want them to be. The number two discussed brand is Starbucks with 715,00 comments. However, much of this is because people were discussing boycotting them due to their tax avoidance, not praising their new ‘The Verisimo’ advert.

Papa John’s received 81,000 comments, but they were not all about pizza. Instead, many mentions were part of people making  a political point, after the company cut employees’ hours ahead of the implementation of President Obama’s healthcare plan.

On a more positive note, video games dominate the holiday season shopping conversation.  Call of Duty Black Ops2 received 2.19m comments, as fans excitedly saw the advert, waited for the game and tweeted reviews.

The other major release, Halo 4, received 345,000 comments. As a knock-on, Playstation was the third most tweeted about, and GameStop was the fourth.

Bluefin Labs created the Brand Chatter chant for Ad Age:

It focuses on trending Twitter commentary for brands and TV’s role in driving those trends. Rankings are based on the increases in Twitter mentions for each brand during the week.