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Growing Social Brand Movements: An Analysis

 

We wanted to better understand how big movements get. From the Obama presidential campaigns to the global environmental initiative, Earth Hour, to high-profile brand programs like Pepsi Refresh, we benchmarked “how big is big.”  We also wanted to better understand the comparative level of engagement as measured by social actions (everything from tweets to shares to posts to views). Each of these actions reflect a higher degree of engagement from passives and while each can not be considered of equal value, we believe they can be assessed for broad comparative purposes.

A Sample of the Findings

Entertainment Phenomena, Political, Social and Brand Movements, fall into a descending order of magnitude.

Entertainment phenomena, like Justin Bieber and Gangnam Style, earn more than a billion social actions. Political campaigns, like the U.S. Presidential race garner hundreds of millions of social actions. Social and Brand Movements fall below these levels, often earning between five to ten million social actions.

View and download the white paper for the complete analysis.

When a Brand Asks for a Movement

From time to time, brand marketers want to explore what it would take to create a “movement” of some type or other around a product brand, corporate brand or issue.

Inspired by the traction that social and political movements are able to gain via the internet and social technologies, they would like to spark something big. Movements are causes that take off in some way. They become driven by the community and the activity far exceeds the investment put in by the organizer. Even popular content and memes like Harlem Shake and Gangnam Style have movement-like qualities. They seem to grow explosively with little to no management. While this is far different than a movement for a cause, it is an interesting benchmark.

Sometimes the brand desire to go “movement” is right-minded, often not. Driving movements behind product brands is hard. Often it smacks of being inauthentic or just plain selfish. A brand like TOMS Shoes’ might be an exception but I am not sure it qualifies as a movement so much as a brand with a social mission. Driving movements around brand-related issues (e.g., water conservation for a coffee brand) can be just plain hard work. It takes investment, adept behavioral economics and certainly a cause people can rally behind. Triggering mass support and action is an art and science, not to mention, a bit of luck.

Check out the white paper to see how different movements stack up and what are the winning qualities of movements that “go big.”

Building Social Movements for Brands from Social@Ogilvy