• The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

    A brief study on the Olympic Games

    The closing ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games took place on 8 August, an edition that has undoubtedly been marked by the current circumstances, but also by the weight of great moments and a large and active conversation on social networks.

    Thanks to social listening, we can measure those topics that have generated more negative or positive sentiment, those that have generated more interactions and mentions and how the audience has generally perceived the Olympic Games and its highlights.

    In this small general study, we have chosen to focus on the social network most focused on conversation, Twitter, to understand the real impact of many of the highlights of these Olympic Games. However, we have included general data from other networks in order to provide an overall picture.

    A unique kind of Games

    It is clear to everyone that the Games were a bit different. The pandemic has forced them to be held in 2021 instead of 2020, they have had no public, which entails losses for Japan, and yet they have been a games with a great presence in networks.

    Tokyo 2020 was also the first edition to feature competitions such as karate, rock climbing and skateboarding, ushering in an era in which the host country can define some of the competitions and dispense with others.

    Representation Matters

    Visibility in the face of discrimination, LGTBIQ+, the importance of mental health, etc. was undoubtedly one of the strongest points of these games, generating a very high level of conversation but also of great quality, thanks to the debates provided.

    The importance of talking about and raising awareness of these issues is incredibly well represented by the spike in conversation about mental health following the temporary withdrawal from the games of US favourite Simone Biles.

    The conversation about mental health generated a number of mentions, both negative and positive, which had an impact on the media, who echoed how pressure affects the mental health not only of elite athletes, but also of professionals and especially, considering the current social and economic situation, and how it affects young people.

    It is therefore remarkable that the term “mental health” is undoubtedly one of the most used terms at international level in relation to the Tokyo 2020 games. Moreover, in the graph below it is clear that 90% of the most used expressions are related to mental health and young women, especially young women of colour.

    Top most used keywords during the Olympic Games – connected to trends

    However, as mentioned above, mental health has not been the only key focus of these games. LGBT+ visibility was another of the most talked about, and celebrated, themes of the Tokyo games.

    When it comes to the LGBTIQ+ community in the world of Olympic sports, one of the most prominent voices is undoubtedly Tom Daley, the British trampoline jumper who has always been outspoken about his sexuality and vocal about discrimination against the group.

    His powerful statement “I am a gay man and also an Olympic champion ” has resonated strongly for all that it represents.

    Tom Daley after winning the gold medal

    In this sense, there have also been negative voices, especially when talking about trans athletes. However, many others showed their support for the trans community in general and the more knowledgeable ones reminded the masses that one of the medical measurements taken at the games is testosterone level test.

    In addition, there has been non-binary representation at these games, something that has also been criticised negatively by those who criticised transgender participation. However, what really stands out is the naturalness and positive visibility that this represents for millions of people.

    Non-binary representation at the Olympics by Quinn, a member of the Canadian team.

    The youngest Olympic Games

    Tokyo 2020 has also been marked by the number of competitors under the age of 18. Particularly noteworthy is the recently added skateboarding competition, where the podiums have been occupied by some of the youngest athletes in history.

    Rayssa Leal, Momiji Nishiya, Sky Brown, … There are many names of young athletes who have left their mark by their resilience, their sportsmanship, their professionalism and their camaraderie towards the representatives of other countries.

    Rayssa Leal cuando se hizo viral y ahora, como competidora olímpica (en translation)

    Olympians, the new influencers

    At the Olympic Games, contemporary fans are not only cheering on their country’s athletes, but also their influencers and social media stars. US Paralympic athlete Hunter Woodhall has 2.6 million followers on TikTok, US volleyball player April Ross is on the Cameo platform, and Tom Daley has documented his trip to Tokyo, where he just won a gold medal, for his 900,000 YouTube subscribers.

    Many athletes have gained international fans thanks to being discovered globally during the games, gaining thousands of followers overnight.

    Karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing – all sports that resonate with a younger demographic – certainly helped drive traffic to TikTok. The women’s street skating podium winners were aged 13, 13 and 16, and the silver medallist, Brazil’s Rayssa Leal, has 3.4 million followers on TikTok, half of her 6.5 million followers on Instagram. 

    Filipina skateboarder Margielyn Didal posted a photo alongside Tony Hawk, widely regarded as the greatest skateboarder of all time, in which she added to Hawk’s running joke that people often failed to identify him in public places. When his post was interpreted by many as Didal not being able to recognise Hawk, Tony himself had to explain that it was all a joke.

    Erik Shoji, an American volleyball player, gained attention with food reviews on TikTok and tours from the athletes’ village, along with behind-the-scenes looks at the athlete’s experience. She didn’t take social media seriously until she opened a YouTube channel last year while battling COVID. 

    Australian canoeist Jessica Fox, on the other hand, rather than becoming famous for winning gold in canoe slalom or bronze in kayak slalom, rose to fame by posting a video on TikTok of someone using a condom to repair the nose of her boat. 

    Even the official Olympics profile has skyrocketed with more than three billion views of videos related to his #OlympicSpirit challenge. What’s more, the official TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Weibo accounts generated 3.7 billion interactions, reaching a combined total of 75 million followers.

    Millennials, GenZ, visibility and good vibes

    Another of the highlights is undoubtedly the good atmosphere, something that many have pointed out, the general good relationship between athletes, the gestures of solidarity, and the celebrations as friends of other people’s triumphs.

    The decision to share the gold medal between Qatar and Italy in the men’s high jump, the American swimmers celebrating the gold medal and world record of South African Schoenmaker as their own. There are many displays of sportsmanship and genuine camaraderie to be found at these games.

    Celebrating Schoenmaker’s world record

    Popular culture and the favourite shows of many have also made their way into the competitions. It is certainly a point that shows that the new generations are not afraid to show their passions and give a fun touch to the competition.

    Fans of “Avatar: the last airbender” were undoubtedly the most commented on, with the show having a very striking representation in both windsurfing and synchronised swimming, thanks to the representatives from both the Netherlands and the Mexican team.

    Kiran Badloe decided to decorate his hair with the characteristic blue arrow of the airbenders, the wind masters from the animated series Avatar, showing that the wind was on his side in the competition. Indeed it was, considering he won the gold medal in the RS:X category.

    Kiran Badloe showing his airbender style on Instagram

    Mexico’s synchronised swimming duo were not far behind, with swimmers Nuria Diosdado and Natalia Jimenez representing the four nations from the series in their costumes and routine, generating a huge buzz online.

    Another popular moment was the Sailor Moon-inspired rhythmic gymnastics routine and costume of the Uzbekistan team.

    The funniest trends

    Not all the moments at the Olympics are what can be described as wholesome, there have been new and returning memes, such as the face of the trampoline jumpers, which is now a classic.

    Within this, two points in particular have undoubtedly stood out, one that would explain the rise in followers of some of the athletes and another that shows why it is necessary to have empathy when talking about competition.

    Of the first, we can highlight how different countries have found the appeal of some of their competitors, awakening their interest in other locations, neighbouring or distant, which will surely end up defining their future trips, as soon as they can become real.

    One example is that of Spanish karateka Damian Quintero, who after his participation in the Olympics has reached 149,000 followers, filling his posts with comments in different languages. The athlete has aroused passions especially in Japan, gaining thousands of fans from that country.

    A new japanese fan showin her enthusiasm about spanish athlete Damian Quintero

    On the other side is Novak Djokovic. The Serb was asked about the pressure when competing, something that many related to Simone Biles’ temporary absence from the games, and he responded that pressure is positive and that you have to learn to manage it… only to have an outburst of anger days later during the match in which he was playing for the bronze medal.

    These unfortunate comments, in which he was referring to himself and not to the American, unleashed a barrage of memes on social networks.

    One example of Djokovic memes

    But this was not the only popular meme, Australian coach Dean Boxall’s celebration also went viral, as well as many other moments, here are some of them:

    Dean Boxall celebrating australian triumph

     

    Other of the most popular topics and memes

     

    Another of the most popular memes, to say the only thing in which someone can identify with an Olympic athlete. In this case, myopia.

    Data-driven research on the history of the Olympic Games

    Do you want to know more about data research and trends through the study of data? Our colleagues at SHARE Creative, one of the agencies part of the Samy ecosystem, have created an interesting article based on data extracted from the history of the Olympic Games, where you can see a bit more about how we work with this kind of information.

    You can take a look at it here. You can find out which countries have the most medals, in which sports a country clearly dominates, where the medallists with the most medals come from and much more, as an example of our data expertise.

    Want to learn more about our work?

    If you want to know more about how our innovation team works and why we are professionals in data and social listening you can contact us here.

     

    Fuentes: Social Listening realizado a través de Synthesio, Market Insider, USA Today, Twitter, GimmeSport, The Star
  • Spark Ads on TikTok

    TikTok is trying new things. As news broke in the media that the platform was testing a Snapchat-like concept for stories, the platform unveiled Spark Ads.

    The global launch of this new form of advertising will allow brands to grow through real connections with the user community, elevating and sharing relevant native content.

    What is Spark Ads?

    According to TikTok for Business, this new type of ads is: “a new native-like ad display format. Brands will be able to promote their own organic videos and/or amplify creators’ content in an immersive, full-screen, auto-playing native video format.” 

    These videos will be able to be placed as In-Feed or TopView ads in the “For You” feed, among user-generated content. 

    With its launch, the platform aims to create a unique solution for brands to consolidate their presence in a natural and unobtrusive way. Spark Ads is based on the idea of starting conversations and aims to increase interactions between brands, creators and the community.

    How does it work?

    They are a native advertising format that allows you to run ads using your own TikTok account or a content creator’s account with their permission.

    Within the TikTok Ads Manager, Spark Ads only allow the following targets and products: 

    • Auction Ads: Reach, video views, engagement (Beta), traffic, conversion and app install targets.
    • Booking Ads: Reach and Frequency (Beta)

    If we talk about how Spark Ads look, we are talking about organic videos belonging to an existing TikTok account (commercial, creator or normal user). 

    In terms of specifications, there are no creative restrictions whatsoever in terms of video appearance, resolution, file type, etcetera. Basically, as long as the video is already published, it can be a Spark Ad.

    What can you do with Spark Ads?

    This ads allow brands to amplify existing organic videos that match their campaign objectives. Brands can now leverage creative content and connect with creators to help them bring their products and services to life. 

    In this sense, brands looking to build a strong content strategy can amplify original creative videos through Spark Ads.

    In addition, they can also increase community engagement with Duo-enabled features, making it easier to create more creative stories.

    Spark Ads enables brands to create more lasting and authentic connections in the community, while delivering sustainable and impactful business value. 

    With them, brands can track trending content and support other great campaigns. To acquire first-party data, TikTok uses pixels, though users must opt-in on iOS.

    What are the benefits of this kind of ads?

    There are several points highlighted by the platform that show the value of Spark Ads.

    It is a sort of hybrid format between ads and organic content that helps brands to be perceived as native and authentic TikTok brands thanks to its 100% native in-feed format and to the fact that it provides a better experience, generating greater trust through real accounts, with all the benefits that this entails.

    Not only that, but TikTok points out that Spark Ads can generate lasting marketing impact. These ads drive traffic to a profile rather than a landing page, generating long-lasting connections and being a starting point for creating communities and building culture within the platform.

    According to data provided by TikTok, with Spark Ads (if we are talking about the auction mode), we see a notable increase in performance in:

    • Video viewability metrics: 58% increase in 2-second VTR, 66% increase in 6-second VTR and 30% increase in video play rate compared to nother kind of ads. 
    • Engagement metrics (Beta): 170% increase in % of paid comments, 100% increase in % of engagement and 222% increase in % of likes compared to non-Spark ads. 
    • Conversion metrics: 42% increase in immediate CVR compared to non-Spark ads. 
    • Cost metrics: 35% decrease in 2-second CPV, 39% decrease in 6-second CPV compared to non-Spark ads. 

    Want to learn more about how to create an engaging, natural and organic strategy for your brand?

    SamyRoad is part of Samy Alliance, where we are experts in digital marketing, offering 360 solutions that are tailored to our clients’ needs.

    If you need help or want more information, don’t hesitate to contact us.

  • Podcast and Marketing

    The podcast is here to stay. Increasingly embraced by well-known figures and professional media, this type of content is making the leap to anonymous individuals and also to large brands and agencies seeking to generate engagement in a non-invasive and qualitative way.

    Who said that radio was an endangered medium? Like others, the audio-only format has evolved, transforming and adapting to new user needs. According to a study conducted by the specialised platform Discovery Pods, 82.4% of podcast fans listen more than seven hours a week and 59% say they spend more time listening to podcasts than on social networks.

    A podcast can accompany the user on a journey, while commuting or travelling to the other side of the world, while working or doing some kind of chores, or simply in their free time. And this is also useful for brands, especially because it is sought-after content that is consumed with a very high degree of interest, something that is in short supply in the age of the attention economy and dual screens.

    Whether creating a podcast as branded content or simply advertising on one, companies can benefit from this rising trend. What’s more, 55.6% of respondents say they have purchased a product after hearing about it on a podcast. 

    This type of content can be found on multiple platforms, notably Spotify and Audible (Amazon), with paid, freemium or free formats. All of them offer content of all types and topics, creating the possibility of reaching more general or specific targets.

    According to Statista data, in 2019, the top 5 podcasts with the highest revenue were, at an international level: The Joe Rogan Experience, hosted by Joe Rogan himself, comedian and former athlete, My Favorite Murder, belonging to the popular True Crime theme, The Dave Ramsey Show, a Morning Daily Show, Armchair Expert, hosted by actor Dax Shepard, a talk show with a touch of comedy, and The Bill Simmons Podcast, with content focused on basketball.

    Coffee break and podcast

    Why is it important to consider the podcast when creating a digital marketing strategy?

    Podcasts are considered, according to a Comscore study, to be the least intrusive form of digital advertising. They also have the ability to forge a greater sense of intimacy between the presenter and the listener, and this intimacy creates a feeling of trust.

    Approximately 80% of listeners have reacted to hearing announcements introduced by a podcast host, whether it be researching a product or service, connecting with a brand on social media, discussing it with a friend or making a purchase.

    Listeners are also more receptive when listening to podcasts because this type of content captures attention in a way that other media cannot. 

    As noted above, many consumers play podcasts in the background while multitasking, but still absorb the information. “60% of our audience says they tune in to podcasts for education,” Spotify reports, “and two out of three podcast listeners give them their full attention.

    Different ways to advertise on a podcast:

    • Pre-Roll: this is the announcement that appears at the beginning of a show. It is usually announced by the presenter or another voice, and it makes it known that the episode or podcast is sponsored by a specific brand.
    • Mid-Roll: once the first half of the podcast has finished, approximately, there is an intermission in which the presenters introduce announcements, take a break or simply take a moment to thank the sponsors for their collaboration with the podcast.
    • Post-Roll: at the end of the episode, or at the end of each episode if it is always the same sponsor, during the farewell they take the opportunity to thank the sponsor for their support.

    This is not the only way to create announcements or sponsorships within a podcast, there are several different styles of announcements including the following:

    • Announcements narrated by the host of the podcast: when it is the hosts and/or regular contributors to the podcast themselves who carry out the announcement, a sense of credibility and trust is generated.

    These types of announcements are close to the “shout-out” or endorsement of a brand by a public figure. They can be scripted or completely improvised by the presenter and always follow the dynamics of the podcast in a natural way.

    • Hybrid or produced commercials: this type of commercials are introduced as a wedge within the show, and are often given a lead in advance. They tend to attract attention because they are accompanied by music or sound effects and are usually narrated by a voice other than that of the presenter/presenters.
    • Branded Podcasts: nowadays, the best way to generate content on various platforms is through sponsored content. The fact that a brand itself, without being invasive, generates interesting content or that content is generated with the excuse of being sponsored is successful, as it does not force an advert on the audience and it is interesting content regardless of whether it is sponsored or not.

    This type of sponsorship goes beyond a simple thank you from the presenters. The brand can be the creator, with the contributors belonging to the brand or simply by embedding the content within their other networks or domains, clearly showing, thanks also to the style, that they are the owners of the content.

    We can help you

    Today there are many types of native advertising, branded content and digital marketing elements adapted to different social platforms, reaching audiences in a less intrusive, more organic and honest way.

    At Samy we are experts in 360 solutions for your brand. If you have any questions or curiosity about how we can help you, don’t hesitate to contact us.