Kantar Media reveals biggest Twitter moments of Rio opening ceremony

New data released by Kantar Media today reveals that coverage of the Rio opening ceremony sparked 165,409 Tweets* from 56,700 UK Tweeters during Friday night’s live broadcast alone, showing a big opportunity for real-time social engagement during this year’s Games, despite the time difference.

Other insights from Kantar Media’s Twitter TV Ratings service, also released today, reveal that Londoners were the most vocal on Twitter during the ceremony, with the capital accounting for 15% of unique authors Tweeting during the broadcast, whilst men were more active on Twitter than women, making up 60% of the unique authors on the night.

It may not have been held on home soil this time, but the late-night broadcast still attracted a live UK audience 1.838 million on Friday night (source: BARB overnights) and a further 51,559 people in the UK also Tweeted when the broadcast was repeated between 9.15am and 12pm the following day.

The British audience reacted positively to the opening ceremony. There were almost a third more (27.3%) positive than negative posts from the UK on Twitter, and Kantar Media’s data also shows that the most common emotion displayed in these Tweets was admiration, demonstrating the Games’ ability to spread good feeling amongst consumers.

According to Kantar Media Global CEO Andy Brown, the high level of live dual-screening by UK viewers suggests that all brands should build a ‘real-time’ component into their social media strategies for this year’s Games:

“The extent of dual-screening during the opening ceremony shows that TV events exert big influence across many other channels and devices in real-time. This is great news for brands who want to engage with sports fans or boost TV campaigns with cross platform messaging. Marketers seeking to reach consumers across channels should plan and measure in the same holistic way that audiences now behave, and focus on real-time messaging to be most relevant.”

The biggest moment of the ceremony on Twitter was the appearance of giant insects, designed to reflect the diversity of the Amazon, which inspired a peak of 1,793 posts on Twitter in the UK. The section highlighting climate change also triggered a high in social activity.

Olympian Tom Daley won gold in the celebrity stakes, as his Tweet of a photo of himself and fellow Olympians ready to watch the ceremony from the Olympic village was the most Retweeted of the night making over 430,000 impressions, whilst pop star Ellie Goulding’s Tweet about the global warming theme hit over 213,000 impressions while Andy Murray - the UK’s flag bearer – was the athlete with the most-mentioned Twitter handle in the UK, hitting 2,386 mentions.

*Figures relate to Tweets sent during the broadcast window (the time of the broadcast itself, plus half an hour before and after).


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