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Good for Gillette. It doesn’t really matter if you love or hate the message, taking a stand and putting your brand equity on the line is a hard, risky decision, yet Gillette did it.

In recent examples, Nike of course just did very well from the same approach, as did Patagonia (“The President Stole Your Land”), AirBnB (#WeAccept) and Heineken (“World’s Apart”). Perhaps this is the time we will remember that brands really started standing for something?

But wow Gillette, this one really has people fired up! We did an analysis of the emotions and feelings being expressed online and came up with some interesting insights, built from what proved to be a 15,000% increase in conversations around their brand!

In the 90 days prior to the campaign, the top emotions were:

  • Love: 21%
  • Desire: 13%
  • Success: 13%
  • Excitement: 11%
  • Happiness: 10%

After the campaign:

  • Desire: 18%
  • Offense: 10%
  • Love: 7%
  • Anger: 7%
  • Fear: 6%

(If you’re not familiar with how we generate data, have a quick read of “Why We Must All Have a LOVE / HATE Relationship With Targeting Data:

I’m not particularly surprised by ‘offense’. Everyone takes offense about everything online right now, but such a spike in ‘fear’ is perhaps the best supporting evidence that Gillette was right to highlight this particular cause in the first place.



October was a massive month for video game sales with three of the biggest titles of 2018 dropped over the course of a few weeks. With Bethesda’s Fallout 76 launching in mid-November can we expect another weekend blockbuster and maybe even another record setting sales figure? Let’s see what the data says.


For context we should look back at 2018 to this point. Early in the year Ubisoft’s Far Cry 5 (released in March) was touted as having the biggest opening weekend of the year at around $310 million dollars in retail sales until another of Ubisoft’s hit series, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, reported record breaking weekend sales in early October. Ubisoft hasn’t published sales figures for this title, so we will have to assume the dollar amount exceeds $310 million.


We don’t have to assume when we are talking about the next blockbuster game of October, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Activision reports that they pulled in over $500 million during its three-day launch weekend.


While that sounds like a ridiculous figure to beat, Rockstar Games did that just two weeks later with Red Dead Redemption 2. The smash hit of 2018 (so far) pulled in over $725 million during its launch weekend. That is a massive number and falls just behind Rockstar’s own Grand Theft Auto V ($800M) and Bethesda’s Fallout 4 ($750M) which earned their record numbers in their first 24 hours following launch.


In order for publishers to make that kind of money, video games must be crossing the line between cult fandom towards mainstream popularity, similarly to what we’ve seen with feature films. At Networked Insights, we have been using social conversation to predict box office success for years, but now we are turning to consumers to see what we can expect in the video game world.


If we look at the conversation volume of the three games above that launched in October, we see a total of over a million consumer conversations in the thirty days prior to their respective launches. The share of volume of those three looks like this:


Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: 19%

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4: 35%

Red Dead Redemption 2: 46%


When we took a look at their record weekend sales figures and calculate a similar share of volume, we see the following:


Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: 21%

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4: 32%

Red Dead Redemption 2: 47%


The similarity in their ratios can be very telling and is comparable to what we’ve learned from the world of film. Consumer conversation prior to launch can be a useful indicator of potential sales success and an excellent way to benchmark the progress of a campaign.


Now let’s look at what we can expect with Fallout 76 launching on November 14th. In the 30 days leading up to its launch this particular title has 63% more conversation volume than Red Dead Redemption 2.

63% more than $725 million would certainly be a record-breaking figure. Now, we can’t be sure that these figures will translate to a billion-plus dollar weekend but it’s a strong indicator of consumer interest and consumer interest often equals consumer dollars.


Fallout does have to contend with a Wednesday release date compared to the above titles which launched on a Friday, but it is interesting to note that the $750 million dollar 24-hour launch of Fallout 4 happened on a Tuesday.


As video games start to surpass all other entertainment titles as the most valuable of all time, it will be interesting to see if consumer interest has more room to grow.





Strong emotions lead to strong actions, making emotional analysis an intriguing capability in digital marketing.

In the run-up to the 2016 Presidential election, like most good data companies, Networked Insights wanted to make a prediction on the outcome to demonstrate their capability. And just like other tech companies (and the pollsters as it turned out!), they were getting readings that jumped back and forth by the hour. It was too close to call and the data was very inconsistent.

Networked Insights specific capability in this area is conversational data analysis. Simply put, that means they look at what is said online from which they can determine the intent, emotions, and sentiments behind those statements. When you have an election that is particularly useful because what someone writes is akin to an unprompted confession — unlike the pollsters who have to ask the question ‘who are you voting for’, Networked Insights learns it without asking, therefore getting a more honest insight.

Still, though, 6 weeks to go, the data would not reveal who the ultimate winner was going to be — until the data science team hit on a fascinating idea — to look at negative emotions, not positive. Whilst the LIKEABILITY and LOVE to both Clinton and Trump were too similar to make accurate predictions from, the strength of DISLIKE and HATE was polarizing, and 6 weeks out from election day, they were later proven to have accurately called 49 out of 50 states.

For marketers, strong emotions as a signal of intent might just be the next big thing, and for us marketers, the good news is that there is a crazy amount of emotion projected online, and therefore scaleable data for most targeting criteria.

It’s surprising to me that in 2018 brands and agencies are still forced to work with targeting data that has no real science behind it — ‘auto intender’ segments are often based on one visit to a car auction site, or ‘home buyers’ from being tagged on a property site, even if they are just looking at the value of their own home.

With emotions, we have a much more immediate message.

 signals that competing Cable companies and streaming services should be engaging that individual.

 should get realtors, furnishing stores and mortgage advisors frothing at the mouth.

So far Networked Insights (under the umbrella of has been able to match emotions to a wide range of intents. Once a need is identified the data science team will produce customized segments, and upload them to the DMP or DSP of your choice for easy activation.

Every one of you reading this that runs digital marketing programs has a data need that has gone unmet. Try them. The team is very consultative and available on



Whether they want to or not, some of the world’s biggest brands have recently stumbled into politically charged social conversations.

Our research report takes a look at the data behind the brand boycott hype, using millions of online conversations, classified 25,000 ways across 50 different emotions to gather an accurate, holistic view of the issue.