Disney+ Surges from Last to First in Offline Conversation Amid Pandemic

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Nivea and Colgate, Also Gain Offline; H-E-B and Publix Gain in Social Media; HGTV Gains Online and Offline

The impact of the 2020 pandemic is being strongly felt in online and offline consumer conversations as consumer priorities and interests have shifted. Entertainment, and particularly streaming services, are among brands benefiting the most, consistent with earlier reports from Engagement Labs. The TotalSocial rankings are based on a combination of metrics including how much conversation brands earn, how positive, whether consumers are sharing brand content, and how well the brand is connecting with the most influential consumers.

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The top brand for offline conversation in March – May (the “Covid quarter”) is Disney+, which zoomed from last place to first since before its November 2019 launch. HGTV also rose remarkably, from 300th to 9th in 12 months, reflecting much more time for watching television, and interest in home improvement among people stuck at home. Indeed, HGTV is the only brand to appear in both the online and offline TotalSocial Top Ten, having risen from 23rd to 6th online.

In online conversations, the Food Network moved up to first place, thanks to increased interest in home cooking during the pandemic, as reflected in more positive conversations about the brand online. Media and entertainment brands perform particularly well online, capturing eight of the top ten positions, with big gains for HGTV, Spotify, and the NFL.

Offline Brand Leaders

Change vs 2019

1. Disney+

+410

2. Amazon/Prime

-1

3. Nivea

+58

4. Netflix

+8

5. Adidas

+15

6. Colgate

+38

7. Chick-fil-A

+33

8. Dove Men+Care

+3

9. HGTV

+291

10. Samsung

+20

Source: Engagement Labs TotalSocial March-May 2020 versus March-May 2019

Online Brand Leaders

Change vs 2019

1. Food Network

+1

2. Apple

+1

3. Spotify

+12

4. NFL

+5

5. WWE

-4

6. HGTV

+17

7. Netflix

-2

8. H-E-B

+47

9. Twitter

-5

10. Publix

+15

Source: Engagement Labs TotalSocial March-May 2020 versus March-May 2019

Notably absent from the Top Ten lists versus a year ago are Trivago, Audi, and USAA offline, and Disney World online. Declining interest in travel and automobiles during the pandemic explain these declines.

Why Disney+ Leads and Bests the Other Streaming Competitors

Although Netflix and Amazon earn enormous conversation volume, Disney+ outshines them on the TotalSocial ranker for March to May 2020 due to Disney+ having a more favorable positive-to-negative conversation ratio, and due to the high share of people talking about the brand being socially-connected influencers.

“I can’t think of another brand that literally went from zero to number-one so fast,” said Engagement Labs CEO Ed Keller of Disney+. “The combination of a great brand, a successful holiday season release, and then a pandemic keeping people at home has provided the perfect storm for Disney+ plus to succeed in the streaming marketplace. It’s also notable that while the social media conversation curve quickly flattened for Disney+, the offline curve has plateaued at 40 million conversations per week,” Mr. Keller said. “Online and offline conversation trends frequently diverge, which is why it’s important for marketers to measure both conversation channels.”

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Personal Care and Retail Gain

Not all the brands gaining conversation in 2020 are flashy entertainment brands. After Disney+, the biggest offline improvement is for Nivea, which jumped 159th to 3rd on the list, and Colgate which jumped from 43rd to 6th. Online, big gains were registered for drugstore and grocery retailers H-E-B and Publix. These brands are benefiting from consumers’ increased focus on consumer staples, and limited retail options, during the COVID-19 crisis.

For the same reason, we saw some stunning gains for a wide variety of household and personal care brands that did not rise high enough to break into the Top Ten, including Campbell’s (+215 places), Degree (+169), Crest (+223), and Bayer (+224) offline; and Dial (+214), Gerber (+217), Downey (+180), Bounty (+67), Glade (+110), and Charmin (+172) online.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has reshuffled consumer conversations, in line with changing lifestyles. In fifteen years of tracking, we’ve never seen so much change in such a short time,” Mr. Keller said.

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