Over the last weekend, 3 out of the 4 number 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament fell. The result goes to show how much needs to come together for athletes and coaches in the right place and at just the right moment for a team to advance to the Final Four.

Brands face a similar challenge when they’re seeking to engage the right target audience with the right message, in the right place, at the right time. To do so, brands must evaluate their stat sheets to put together the ideal lineup of messaging, talent, production, placement, and budget to win over consumers. Social data can be a powerful for determining how to get the most out of each of these elements.

Using 4C’s Advertising Analytics to measure consumer response through our social affinity database and Teletrax TV monitoring, we’re evaluating which brands are getting the most bang for their buck during the tournament. We selected and seeded the Sweet Sixteen brands based on total TV advertising time during the 64 and 32 team rounds. Now, we’re scoring each brand based on social performance across engagement (32.5%), social index (32.5%), engagement lift (25%), and sentiment (10%) from their TV advertising.


Like this year’s NCAA tournament, 4C Brand Madness is rife with upsets. The biggest bracket buster, #16 Enterprise eliminated #1 AT&T in the first round. AT&T doubled Enterprise’s 56,193 social engagements during the Sweet Sixteen games. But, Enterprise achieved a higher social index, 515, and engagement lift, 65.0x, with a fifth of the TV advertising minutes. The high impact amongst the March Madness audience demonstrates that consumers responded well to Enterprise’s initiatives.

#2 Buick was also knocked off by Burger King who performed better across social engagements and social index, utilizing just 5.5 TV advertising minutes to Buick’s 15 minutes.

True to the unpredictable spirit of March Madness, the #3 seed Geico was also upset. Though Geico and competitor LG each purchased 5 minutes of TV advertising time during the Sweet Sixteen, the consumer electronics brand bested the insurer across all metrics and earned the highest score out of all the advertisers.

In the second round, the Brand Madness Elite Eight tipped off with an Auto-Renter vs. Auto-Maker duel. Enterprise continued its streak by defeating GMC and scoring well in social engagements and engagement lift. The victory advanced Enterprise to the Final Four, where it will face Cadillac, who achieved narrow wins over BMW and Taco Bell.

Also making the Final Four is Audi, who will be facing LG. Audi comes in with the most TV advertising time from any of the advertisers in the Elite 8 and strong performance in social engagements and social index. But, the German automaker will see if it can match up against LG, the advertiser who has set the bar for the most points scored in each round.

In addition to evaluating consumer response to advertising, social data is beneficial for quantifying consumer emotion during key moments throughout March Madness.


From Thursday through Sunday, there were over 3.7 million March Madness engagements across Facebook and Twitter. Far and above, the most impactful moment was Syracuse’s improbable comeback to take down #1 seed Virginia. The moment generated more excitement than Villanova’s upset of Kansas, the top team in the tournament, and when basketball dynasties North Carolina and Indiana squared off.

How far Syracuse’s Orangemen can make it is the story college basketball fans will be paying attention to over the next week. And how far the Cinderella advertisers will make it in 4C Brand Madness is what we’ll be keeping an eye on.