March Madness concluded in an epic fashion. No doubt, UNC’s near-comeback and Villanova’s buzzer beater to claim the national title will be on highlight reels for years to come. So far, Kris Jenkins’ winning shot has been replayed on TV more than 7,000 times. This year’s national championship epitomized the thrill of March Madness and proved why sports must be watched live.
Today, live viewing is further heightened by Facebook and Twitter which allow us to participate in the communal experiences that shape the fabric of society. Reflecting the emotional sentiment of the game, it was the final seconds of game that roused conversations in the social sphere. There were more than a quarter of a million engagements across Facebook and Twitter during the final moments of the game. Even the pros couldn’t contain their excitement.
To see how the exhilarating moments of March Madness helped brands connect with their consumers, we picked the top advertisers to compete head-to-head in our Brand Madness tournament. Look back at our previous impact reports to see the 16 teams that made the bracket and how Enterprise, Cadillac, Audi, and LG became the Brand Madness Final Four.
In the semifinal round of the tournament, Enterprise knocked off Cadillac defeating its second automaker in the tournament. Both Enterprise and Cadillac utilized a single minute of TV advertising time during the Final Four broadcasts, but Enterprise achieved higher social metrics than the luxury carmaker across everything except for sentiment.
LG defeated Audi to face Enterprise in the final matchup. Though Audi ran 1.5 minutes of TV ads during the Final Four to LG’s half minute, Audi couldn’t match LG’s social engagements, social index, or engagement lift. LG has earned the highest score in each round making it a formidable matchup in the Brand Madness Final.
In the final matchup between Enterprise and LG, two Official NCAA Corporate Partners, LG proved to be too much for Enterprise, ending the #16 seed’s run. LG reportedly took advantage of all the screens it could during March Madness, including Snapchat, which could have been a key to its domination during the tournament. Over the championship game, the consumer electronics brand generated 194,863 social engagements, achieved a 901 social index, 36.2x engagement lift and 94% positive sentiment.
Enterprise will have to settle for second place despite a strong tournament showing and narrowly making it into the bracket as the #16 seed. During the NCAA Championship period, Enterprise achieved 23,563 social engagements, an engagement lift 26.7x its baseline, a social index of 359 and 85% sentiment, with just 30 seconds of TV advertising during the NCAA Final.
Our social data also reveals that LG had a stronger connection to the Villanova Wildcats than the Tar Heels. People who engaged with Villanova across Facebook and Twitter were 61.5% more likely to engage with LG than Enterprise. The opposite was true for UNC. Tar Heels fans were 66.7% more likely to engage with Enterprise than LG.
While advertisers don’t have to square off in a tournament setting like college basketball teams, they do face fierce competition and a fragmented media landscape which makes it more challenging to connect with consumers. Removing silos, connecting data, and synchronizing messages across screens can help brands gain better insights to reach the right person, with the right message, in the right place, at the right time.