Oscars 2016 and the Social Media "Ludicrous Theory"

Dan Grady's picture
 By | February 26, 2016
in Business Analytics, Dashboards, Data Access, Data Visualization, data visualization, Oscars, Self Service, Sentiment Analysis, social sentiment score
February 26, 2016

Oscars night is almost here. If you spend any time around the ol’ water cooler, it’s likely been a topic of conversation for weeks.

Which of the nominated films did you see?

Will Leo finally receive the Oscar for Best Actor?

And most importantly, what will win Best Picture?

Back in 2014 we went through a very unscientific exercise to analyze data around the Oscar nominated films. We wanted to see if there was anything that could help determine the winner. We looked at quantitative data, including how much the film grossed worldwide, how many theatres it played in, etc. We also looked at some less structured, qualitative data from social media and incorporated that into our analysis. 
 
You can see that analysis here.
 
 
As you may recall, 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture in 2014. 12 Years a Slave wasn’t a leader in any of the quantitative data that year, but it did come out on top in an interesting social category – Combined Social Sentiment Score. 
 
What we did was take all of the opening weekend posts on each nominated films’ Facebook page. We used Information Builders ability to access social data, give it a sentiment score based on how positive or negative the text is, and then visualize the data. Once we had the sentiment score, we took the percentage of positive commentary on a page and added it to the percentage of negative commentary to get a total score. 
 
The theory is that a higher combined score indicates a film that generates stronger emotions and reactions. In this case, emotions strong enough to cause someone to go to Facebook and provide enough feedback to generate a sentiment score. As I indicated earlier, this is not very scientific. In fact, some here at Information Builders have gone so far as to label this the “Ludicrous Theory”.  
 
Well, we have decided to put the “Ludicrous Theory” to the test again this year. We gathered quantitative data on the 2016 nominees, along with the social data for analysis.
 
 
 
This year, Bridge of Spies had the highest combined total sentiment score on its Facebook page during the film’s opening weekend. The total score was 38.16 percent. 35.8% of the commentary was positive and 2.36% was negative.
 
In second place was Mad Max Fury Road at 37.1 percent. 19.5% of the commentary scored negatively. Some of this negativity can be attributed to the violent nature of the film and the commentary that goes with that.  
 
The Revenant – many experts' favorite to win – finished last in sentiment scoring. I’m attributing this to the fact that it’s hard to score bear growling with a sentiment engine.
 
 
Using the “Ludicrous Theory” to evaluate potential Oscar winners is a recreational exercise, and whether you choose to use the theory when you fill out your own Oscars ballot is up to you. 
 
However, an organization having a social media presence and strategy is no longer optional.
 
After that social presence is established, many organizations struggle with the practice of analyzing social data and understanding social activities’ impact on business outcomes. In many cases, accessing and analyzing the social data isn’t the challenge. The challenge is putting it in context with other business data. The siloed nature of much of the social media analyses really limits the value the data can provide to organizations. 
 
If you're interested in learning how to get more value out of your social data, take a look at this post the highlights 4 Social Media Use Cases that have Business Impact.
 
Enjoy the Oscars. Can't wait to see if the "Ludicrous Theory" holds up.