New study shows real-time social engagement during the Olympics is a big opportunity for brands to reach a truly global audience

Data from the Kantar Twitter TV Ratings shows that the Rio 2016 Olympics Opening Ceremony was the most tweeted-about broadcast in the UK, Spain, Brazil and the Philippines and Turkey, with 491,462 unique authors sending 4,438,527 Tweets, making a massive total of 445,265,149 impressions across all 5 markets.

The overall reaction on Twitter across all of these markets was more positive than negative, with the most common emotion evident by far being Admiration. Expectation and Anticipation also featured in the top five most expressed emotions across all markets. The Kantar Twitter TV Ratings data shows that Joy was the second most common emotion in both Brazil and the Philippines, with Criticism taking the second spot in both the UK and Turkey – albeit in a much lower percentage than those that contained Admiration. In fact, the ranking of the top 5 emotions evident in Tweets in the UK and Turkey were almost identical, with the only big difference being that Admiration was evident in a much higher percentage of Tweets than Turkey.

Olympics Opening Ceremony UK and Turkey KTTR

Kantar Media chairman and CEO Andy Brown says “The Olympics offers brands a unique chance to reach a truly global audience, but only if they take a holistic approach to how they plan and measure campaigns,”

“As the Kantar Twitter TV Ratings show, broadcast events do not exist in silo, but have a symbiotic relationship with other platforms, especially social media. It’s critical that brands and broadcasters understand what consumers are saying about a programme, campaign or content on social, or they are missing a huge part of its impact.”

Diving further into the data we can see that the percentage of male vs female Tweeters was skewed towards men in all markets except the Philippines, where there were 7% more women Tweeting about the ceremony. The largest difference was apparent in Turkey, where the unique authors were 73.7% male and 26.2% female.

Olympics Opening Ceremony Gender Split KTTR

In terms of the catalysts for spikes in Twitter activity across the different markets, the section about global warming ignited peaks in both the UK and Turkey, with double the positive sentiment over negative in the UK and slightly higher negative sentiment in Turkey. National pride was evident with each nations own athletes entering the stadium causing some of the highest peaks across all markets. Host nation Brazil’s peak moment was the formation of the Olympic rings and fireworks beginning, triggering a huge 36,018 Tweets in one minute. The average number of Tweets sent per minute in Brazil was 17,300 – showing a truly engaged audience.

We can also look at which sports had the most mentions in Tweets across these countries, indicating those that are hotly anticipated. Appearing in a slightly different order, Swimming, Tennis and Football were the three most mentioned sports by both the UK and Spain. Volleyball ranked highly in both Brazil and the Philippines, with Turkey the most excited about Basketball.

#rio2016 and #openingceremony were the most popular hashtags across all markets, with some interesting hashtag stories further down the list. The 17th most popular hashtag used in the UK was #JAM relating to Team Jamaica, with 403 mentions – the most common emotion in Tweets with this hashtag was Anticipation. #TeamUSA was the 16th most popular hashtag in the Philippines, with 181 Tweets.

Tennis player Rafael Nadal took social media gold as his Tweet of a photo of himself standing in the stadium stating he was proud to represent Spain in Rio, was Retweeted 9,100 times and made 1,500,000 million impressions – the most out of any Tweet across all 5 countries within the live broadcast window*. 

Rafael Nadal Opening Ceremony Tweet Olympics

Source: Twitter, @rafaelnadal

In the UK, a selfie of Team GB ready to watch the ceremony posted by Olympic diver Tom Daley took the top spot with 430,500 impressions. Whereas brand competitions requesting Retweets to enter took the most Retweeted spots with Tweets from Aldi and Jury’s Inn Hotels ranking 1st and 2nd.

The Tweet that made the most impressions in host nation Brazil came from Thiago Pasqualotto, a TV presenter and popular personality on Twitter. He tweeted a photo of Gisele Bündchen stating ‘DONA DO BRASIL’ or, ‘She’s the owner of Brazil’. It received 11,900 Retweets and made 849,200 impressions during the broadcast window.

Table of top metrics across the 5 markets:

Opening Ceremony KTTR global data

*The broadcast window includes the live broadcast + half an hour prior and post the live broadcast. In Brazil, the broadcast window includes the live broadcast only.  

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