BrandIndex's Friday column in Brandweek: Facebook, Gap and TBS

'The Social Network' Effect

Oct 15, 2010

Despite the controversial depiction of founder Mark Zuckerberg, The Social Network dramatically boosted Facebook's consumer impression (general positive feeling) with adults 18 to 34, per research firm YouGov. TBS' perception also got a lift, as the network continued to promote Major League Baseball playoffs. Meanwhile, Gap's buzz score suffered a steep drop, soon after the retailer changed its logo, and later reverted to the old one.

The Brandweek BrandIndex Report by YouGov is a weekly consumer perception report that analyzes the most talked about brands based on buzz: The scores are based on weighing positive and negative perceptions of a brand. A +100 score is positive, a -100 score is negative, and a rating of zero means that the score is neutral. This week's report also measures impression.

YouGov interviews 5,000 people each weekday from a representative U.S. population sample. Respondents are drawn from an online panel of 1.5 million individuals.

The report spotlights:

• Facebook
• Gap

'The Social Network' Lifts Facebook
Adults 18 to 34—more than any other age bracket—gave Facebook a major impression lift, following the release of The Social Network. Older consumers, however, have reacted differently. For the 50 and over demo, The Social Network had a decisive negative impact. Here’s a look at how the movie affected each demo bracket:

Adults 18-34: More than doubled Facebook's impression score (originally 23.5) between Sept. 22 and Oct. 6. By the movie's opening day on Oct. 1, the score rose to 46.4, and then inched up some more to 51.5 almost a week later.

Adults 35-49: Created minor impression score growth, but showed indecision before and after the movie opened. After rising 10 points from Sept. 22 through the end of the month, this demo's impression score downshifted several points. It then rebounded after the movie opened and settled at a score of 35 on Oct. 6.

Adults 50-plus: Already trending in the low 20s, the Facebook brand declined to 13.7 by Sept. 28 among this group. The impression score increased a few points by Oct. 1, but is now back to 20.

Gap Loses Buzz

Gap’s unveiling of a new logo has sent its buzz score with adults over 18 nosediving.

While retailers’ buzz scores often zigzag due to sales and ad campaigns, Gap took a distinct sharp turn downwards from 11. 7 to 5.5 on Oct. 4, the day the company proposed a new logo on its Web site. After sharing the logo on its Facebook page, the retailer received backlash from consumers.

Even though Gap had reverted to its old logo on Oct. 11, its buzz score did not bounce back and dropped lower from 4.9 to 3.3.

TBS Scores With Men 18-49
Nearly two weeks of nonstop MLB playoffs—sometimes as often as three games a day—and promotions on Conan O’Brien’s talk show, have boosted TBS' perception score with men 18 to 49.

From Sept. 1 through Oct. 6, the network's buzz score for the demo shot up 10 points from 11.9 to 21.8. The score then dropped a few points and regained momentum, ending at 18.6 on Oct. 11.