Chatter, Predictive Analytics & The #Oscars
One of the great conundrums of social data is the degree to which chatter can be trusted. After all, a lot of conversation around a topic may not necessarily yield business results. However, looking at trends and inferring outcomes can be productive when you’ve culled information from your industry and gotten informed analysis.
Let’s look into how this played out with respect to the Oscars.
With some 6,000 voting members, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is an interesting place to look, if for nothing else than the endless fascination that the public has for the entertainment industry.
One of the hottest topics of conversation this year was the Best Actor category, and more specifically, Leonardo DiCaprio. As you can see from the chart, Leo outscored his fellow actors by a margin of 3:1 for a good part of the week leading up to the Academy Awards ceremony. He quite literally was separated from the pack, and when you map this against some 6,000 voters (a statistically significant sample size), it stands to reason that he was the winner on Sunday evening.
Looking at the Best Actress category, we see that Brie Larson was slightly ahead of the other nominees in the early part of the week, yet the conversation tightened and previous winner Jennifer Lawrence surged ahead. However, Larson was still a significant part of the chatter and ultimately she won. The early sustained chatter clearly indicated that she was a favorite.
Best Supporting Actress
What’s interesting to note about the Best Supporting Actress category is that Kate Winslet was in pretty much of a dead heat conversation-wise with the rest of the nominees. And at a certain point last week, she surged ahead. My supposition is that all of the furor over Leo spilled over and the possibility of a Rose-and-Jack (lead characters from Titanic) win was making people giddy. Ultimately, the Best Supporting Actress award went to Alicia Vikander instead. While the emotions may have run away with the public, the Academy voters were clearly more focused on the task at hand.
Best Director / Best Picture
Not many people typically talk about the Best Director nominees unless they’re well known (like Steven Spielberg) or controversial (like Roman Polanski). The conversations you’ll see center around the Best Picture nominees. And this year, The Revenant was the clear winner of conversation, and the Best Director award followed suit. However, director and picture winners don’t always go hand in hand. Of the 88 films that have been awarded Best Picture, 63 have also been awarded Best Director. About a quarter of the time, however, in Academy history, the Best Picture and Best Director winners have been for different films. And occasionally those different films are surprise underdogs, as was the case this year with Spotlight taking home the little gold man.
So there you have it. For the most part, the public’s conversations around the Academy Award winners were fairly reflective of the Academy’s decisions. With a large sample size of 6,000 voters, this stands to reason. If you’re getting a large swath of conversation and it involves customers or advocates of your brand, there’s a high chance that these kinds of predictive analytics can help you plan for the months and quarters ahead.