Measuring Brand Sentiment in Realtime: NetBase Analyzes Dr. Pepper’s Man-Friendly Campaigns

America’s “most misunderstood soft drink,” Dr. Pepper, had a social media image problem in 2011 after its “Not for Women” Dr. Pepper Ten campaign offended some consumers with its perceived misogynistic messaging. A year and a half later, the beverage brand tweaked the message a bit, coming out with a less anti-women and a more pro-men ad for the 10 calorie beverage called “No Man’s Land.”

How did Dr. Pepper manage to turn sentiment around and convince consumers it wasn’t a sexist soda manufacturer?

Social intelligence firm NetBase used Dr. Pepper as a case study to examine its new campaign management system (Insight Composer) which offers managers a realtime “social intelligence” report on the emotional climate of their campaigns. The data tracking is used to respond to negative and positive impressions in realtime, resulting in more of an ongoing conversation based on real responses.

Dr Pepper sentiment analysis via NetBase
Dr. Pepper sentiment analysis before “No Man’s Land” campaign [NetBase report]
In addition to charting “likes,” comments, and shares from brand-related conversations, Insight Composer uses a natural language processing engine (NLP) to parse out “positive” and “negative” emotions from the reactions. Those emotional reactions are then visualized in a “word cloud,” giving brands a glimpse into how followers and detractors perceive the campaign.

All information is charted in a sentiment and passion analysis graph, where the ratio of positive vs. negative responses to a social media campaign can be compared with the varying levels of influence that your campaign’s critics and supporters have (think Klout score, follower count). Knowing what is being said – and not said – allows campaign managers to budget appropriately as they determine what to emphasize in further marketing efforts.

Action verbs and adjectives are also accounted for. In a word cloud analysis of how people felt about the brand, Dr. Pepper was considered “nasty” following their “men only” controversial campaign.  Then, after the recent and more successful “No Man’s Land” campaign, the popular action verb of choice accompanying Dr. Pepper mentions was “drink.”

Of course, analyzing sentiment is tricky and not an exact science. In the above example, words such as “die” and “crap” might be placed into the negative category, while the overall tone of the tweet is more joking/positive.  In general, however, sentiment analysis can help social media managers inform their team about what’s working in a given campaign.

Is your brand looking for the right tool to track and respond – in real time – to the more emotional reactions from both followers and critics surrounding a current campaign?  How are you tracking consumer sentiment around your brand?

  • Real time analysis tools – especially the NLP parser Jake – are pretty darn fascinating. It comes down to listening, discerning, engaging, and improving. 4 simple steps to build a new brand image or to tweak your old brand image. Wonderful post Jake, thanks for the share :)

    • Jake Schnaidt

      Thanks for the comment, Ryan. It should be interesting to watch the NLP parser get more and more sophisticated, and see how all that data can be used to make social marketing that much more efficient for advertisers, and closer to what targeted consumers want to hear (in terms of speech patterns). I’m still holding out for an algorithm that can pinpoint sarcasm – at which point I’ll probably have to resign from the internet.

      • Won’t happen for a long time, @jakeschnaidt:disqus . Sarcasm may in fact be the final frontier that machines (and many humans) aspire yet fail to reach.

  • Anna Dent

    Great post and an example of how sentiment analysis can be utilised to improve advertising effectiveness. I wonder if Dr Pepper also tracked and analysed their competitor’s conversation around advertising, for insights into the hows and whys around other soft drinks campaigns? :)

    • I’m sure they would have done so, Anna. These types of analytics tools are great for measuring mindshare or comparing the nature of the conversation around competitive brands.

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  • Proxax

    Don’t be shy!

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