Just as competitive as the college teams vying to win the National Championship are the advertisers jockeying to take advantage of an audience engaged with the most multi-screen, three-week-long event. Using 4C’s platform, we put brands head-to-head in our bracket to find out which advertiser’s sponsorship was resilient enough to win the Brand Madness tournament.

Spoilers bigger than the Kentucky upset are ahead, so we recommend you look back at the Brand Madness Sweet Sixteen and Final Four first.

Making the Big Dance

The Brand Madness Final Four didn’t disappoint. A mere point determined the brands that were sent dancing versus the ones that were sent home.

AT&T was the first to advance, knocking off Samsung 72 to 71. Though Samsung achieved higher engagement volume than AT&T, the Telco brand defeated Samsung across every other metric, including important affinity.  AT&T’s superior affinity means people who interacted with AT&T on Facebook and Twitter were more connected to, and more likely to interact with the March Madness event, than those who engaged with Samsung.


In the other matchup, Nationwide narrowly held off Target to win 62 to 61. Again, affinity was influential and the determinant that propelled Nationwide to the final. Nationwide’s percentage of people engaged with their brand and March Madness was just over three times that of Target’s.


AT&T Takes Home the Hardware

Despite No. 4 Nationwide initially receiving a higher seeding going into the championship, No. 6 AT&T appeared to be the favorite. AT&T’s campaign featuring basketball legends was resonating as indicated by AT&T’s consistent scores throughout the tournament versus Nationwide’s declining ones.

In fact, Nationwide was no match for AT&T. Prevailing with a seventeen point victory, AT&T defeated Nationwide on every metric. Most impressive is AT&T’s affinity lift of 3.9 – a substantiate, nearly four-fold increase in the percentage of people engaged with AT&T and March Madness during championship game compared to the baseline period before the event.


Advertisers surely won’t gauge a campaign’s success through a brand bracket anytime soon. However, the elements like affinity, affinity lift, engagement, and sentiment that went into the score are absolutely imperative to understanding consumer behavior and brand sponsorship performance. Less biased data from Facebook and Twitter combined data science acumen provides advertisers more effective ways for driving their brand forward.