THAT Protein World ad: Impact on social media six weeks on

Volume trend from 2015-04-12 to 2015-05-12 (1)Leaving the rights and wrongs of the Protein World point of view to one side, social analytics allows us to begin to predict the real “health” (£££) of the Protein World brand.

Putting aside the question of whether this is good or bad PR, the pure virility of the campaign is what every brand strives for.  So six weeks after its explosion on social media, a result of the controversial London tube ad campaign, is the protein supplement brand building on its new found audience? Or has it already been drowned by the ever increasing sea of social content? 

A look at the volume of posts (see graph above) about Protein World from Twitter, Facebook, blogs and forums shows clearly when the “boom” took place. But perhaps we should take these volumes with a pinch of salt?

Are they not merely ‘vanity’ metrics, filled with a mix of support and a lot of noise that Protein World is not particularly bothered about? – After all, they made it quite clear what they thought of their critics.


By pin pointing the social data from different parts of Protein World’s marketing funnel, we can leverage the analysis of social data before, during and after the event to gain a better idea of the effect the adverts’ media storm has had on the brands longer term financial performance.

Top of the funnel awareness

It seems clear that many more people are aware of the brand now than had been before the advertisement.  Below we can analyse the share of voice on social platforms between nine protein supplements pre, during and post campaign. The data sources are Twitter, Facebook, blogs and forums and any contribution made by any of the brands monitored has been taken out of the analysis, allowing us to focus solely on the voice of the consumer.

The view of the landscape between the 9 brands two weeks before the Protein World ad, 8th April to 22nd April, shows that the social market is led by Muscle Pharm and Protein World.

Share of voice comparison from 2015-04-08 to 2015-04-22

Unsurprisingly, the share dramatically shifts toward Protein World during the brand’s ad campaign.

Share of voice comparison from 2015-04-23 to 2015-05-07

A final look and we can see that in the aftermath of the social storm (from May 8th to May 22nd) Protein World’s consumer share of voice on social platforms returned to a level similar that it had before the whirlwind caused by the ad.

It would have been asking a lot of Protein World in order for it to maintain an 85% share of the protein supplement social voice throughout May.  But one could question, just purely looking at this data, whether Protein World has done enough on social to engage with its new found fans?

Share of voice comparison from 2015-05-08 to 2015-05-22

Bottom of the funnel

By training social analytics tools to categorise social posts that express consumer intent to purchase, it is possible to gain these invaluable insights in a very short time.  It’s also possible to dive further into this social data to measure customer acquisition – those who have bought the product for the first time as a result of the advertisement campaign.

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We see the conversation volumes of customers intending to buy the product spike tremendously during the campaign, a sign of the brand acquiring new customers or increasing the loyalty of current ones.

Daily Opinion analysis trend from 2015-04-08 to 2015-05-22

Success or failure?

It will be a failure if Protein World doesn’t capitalise on the momentum of brand awareness and newfound fans on social media that the campaign generated just a few weeks ago.

The absolute key here is that its strategy on social will take time and will require constant reinforcement. This is where marketing on social differs from traditional advertising. The “beach ready” body and its brand message on the wall of the London tube station will come and go, but the same body and message is always present on social and it is up to the marketing team to consistently reinforce this in the correct way.

Depending on the objective of the marketing strategy – brand awareness, building loyalty, driving sales – we can now identify relevant social data in order to quantify the qualitative consumer conversations, thus allowing us to measure the performance against our strategy goals.

Guy Purchase, content creator, Crimson Hexagon