Sophia Coppola Earns Strong Ratings on Cannes Director Prize

Following a big win at Cannes, Sofia Coppola has just joined a very exclusive club. Coppola picked up the best director prize at the French film festival, becoming only the second female director to do so in the event’s 70-year history. Ms. Coppola was honored for directing her film “The Beguiled,” a thriller starring Nicole Kidman as a woman who runs a Southern girls’ boarding school during the Civil War.

The trailer looks great, and I’m not even a big history buff. But trailers aside, the media rating numbers for Coppola and Kidman show the significant media attention on the Cannes event. Coppola’s media rating (0-100 comparative score of media prominence) was up +11 pts. over the prior period, landing at a strong 64. Her rank within the highly competitive TV/Film Sector moved from #183 to #54 on the Cannes win.

Ms. Coppola’s Cannes win reverses a long 4-year rating decline for the director. Her media performance was strong across all media segments with the exception of online search (29 pts.) and online news (48 pts.), both well-off her 64 topline media rating. She did hit a new high of 82 points in the worldwide newspapers segment which devoted significant coverage to the Cannes Film Festival.

The lead actress in Coppola’s film, Nicole Kidman maintained her already strong sector position with her win in the 70th Anniversary Award category. Kidman’s June rating was up a similar +11 points to close the May 1-31 news cycle at a 77 rating. Media sentiment is predominantly neutral for both Coppola and Kidman, so there are no editorial red flags there.

Seasoned media personalities know this already: it’s all about sustaining the high media exposure that accompanies awards and events. The troughs can drain your brand equity, so it’s important for Ms. Coppola to leverage her new position. Kidman is already a master at earning and maintaining media exposure, which is probably more important for an actor than a director.

Can media prominence predict an election? Trump vs. Le Pen

By on May 6, 2017 in 2016 Election, Politics U.S.

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Postdate May 8, 2017: France rejects far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen. Emmanuel Macron wins with 66.1% of the vote vs. Le Pen’s 33.9%. Clearly media prominence is not the lynch pin of success at the polls. At least in France, where the historical and cultural backdrop is less receptive to right-wing extremism. Vive la différence!

————–Posted May 6, 2017—————-

The last time we saw a candidate with Marine Le Pen’s earned media trajectory was late October 2016 when every poll predicted Donald Trump’s defeat at the hands of Hillary Clinton in the November presidential election. In contrast, our media analytics showed Trump with a commanding — and expanding — lead throughout the election period. His unrelenting post-primary media surge assured his dominance in the minds of readers and viewers across traditional and social news channels, and, some might suggest — his eventual win on November 9th.

November 2016: Trump had a 1.5x media value lead over Clinton

Let’s look at media value, the monetized value of media coverage in print, broadcast, and online news channels, as a measure of media prominence. In the final month of the U.S. election, October 2016, Donald Trump generated 1.5x the media prominence of Hillary Clinton, with Trump earning $537M to Clinton’s $358M. Cumulative media value over the 12 months preceding the election showed a similar multiple, with Trump out-earning Clinton by 2 to 1: Trump, $5.4B vs. Clinton, $2.5B. On November 1, 2016, Trump had handily won the media race, while every poll had Clinton sitting in the Oval Office.

May 2017: Le Pen has a 5x media value lead over Macron

The same Trump-Clinton media dynamic seems to be unfolding in France. As of this writing, the French election is tomorrow, Sunday May 7th, and Marine Le Pen has an exponential media prominence lead over Emmanuel Macron. For the April news cycle, National Front candidate Le Pen generated $153M in media value vs. Socialist Party candidate Macron’s $29M — a whopping 5x advantage.

Le Pen’s media values are strong across all segments, including North America and Asia Pacific regions. Social media ratings are running within 6 points of traditional media channels, suggesting traction for Marine Le Pen extends beyond classic election news sources (broadcast and metro print dailies).

Can media prominence predict an election?

Clearly many complex and interrelated factors drive victory at the voting booths, and winning in the media court of public opinion remains an enabling factor. Time will soon tell if the impact of media prominence, or in this case, dominance, in the French election mirrors that of its cross-Atlantic counterpart.

Detailed media metrics on U.S. and global political leaders is available through mediaQuant’s media intelligence dashboards.

Russell Westbrook Media Analysis – The Devil’s in the Details

By on April 7, 2017 in NBA Players

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While mediaQuant makes it super easy to track the media visibility of your brand/topic/influencer at a snapshot level by looking at the prominent topline media rating brightly encircled in orange, and the related change metrics, media value, and peer ranking, we also provide media-segment granularity level and peer-group comparisons that are critical to painting the whole media story. Let’s take a look at OKC Thunder NBA player Russell Westbrook as an example.

Topline Media Performance Down for March

From an aggregate, topline perspective across all 20,000+ traditional and social media channels we measure, Russell Westbrook’s earned media performance for the March 1-31 news cycle was down considerably from his February metrics.

At 130,376 unweighted mentions for March, Westbrook’s current topline media rating of 51 (out of 100) ranks him #22 in the NBA Players sector, tied with Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo. Considering that Westbrook’s 6-month rating average is 64, March was definitely an “off” media cycle for the Thunder’s new team leader.

Media-segment metrics tell a brighter story

When it comes to the diverse and competitive earned media landscape, the devil is frequently in the details, and Westbrook is no exception. Looking at his segment-level metrics shows he lost the bulk of his March traction in U.S. newspapers (largest 50 U.S. dailies).

That’s the bad news, as the U.S. metros carry considerable sports coverage and losing traction in that segment could be a red flag (more on that later).

But Westbrook did deliver exceptional media ratings in a vital sports news segment – online news. As print metros cut back on coverage, their online versions and downstream tier-2 online news sites earned Westbrook a very strong rating for March, coming in at 83, a new high for Westbrook in that segment. If you exclude Jordan and Johnson (we continue to track iconic NBA brands), Westbrook ranked #5, just behind LeBron James (86) and ahead of Stephen Curry (80).

Russell Westbrook also out-performed his own team’s media visibility for March in the online news segment: Thunder, 78 vs. Westbrook, 83. The team is currently media-ranked #26 in the NBA teams sector, out of the 30 NBA teams. While the Thunder beat Westbrook at the aggregate level, that may be more a result of team comparison articles and storylines that exclude individual player commentary.

Besides online news, Westbrook also delivered on blogs (65 rating, +5 pts.), Twitter (88 rating, -1 pt.), forums (64 rating +7 pts.) and search (61 rating +12 pts.). If there’s any alert on his coverage it would be in the U.S. newspapers (51 off -44 pts.) and broadcast (54 rating, -16 pts.), both down from February and consistently under-performing his peer group.

Was March an Anomaly for Westbrook in US Newspapers?

June and November 2016 were also “off” months in the U.S. newspapers segment for Russell Westbrook. It’s difficult to say why, definitively, but those months were well below adjacent periods in that segment. Athlete (and celebrity) coverage tends to be episodic if the individual’s coverage is tied only to on-court/on-screen performance versus off-court storylines. Another area were players pull off-court coverage is on MVP-like storylines, where Westbrook may be overlooked due to the team’s lackluster performance this season. There’s also the question of whether there’s more interest in Durant’s new home with the Warriors and Curry versus Westbrook’s new role as team leader (Durant and Curry’s numbers are well ahead of Westbrook at the topline level, but Westbrook is ahead of both in the online news segment).

Perspective matters

Since mediaQuant measures an additional 4,000+ topics, brands, storylines, celebrities, etc., we can see just how Westbrook is competing with coverage outside the NBA. The March NCAA tournament dominated U.S. metro coverage as many readers are tied into the brackets. Complicating matters in the U.S. metros is, unsurprisingly, the protracted editorial focus on Trump-related storylines, which are hitting the U.S. newspaper segment more heavily than others. Let’s just say, cultivating off-court coverage in this segment is like driving with the parking brake on, possible, but not all that effective.

It’s important to note that our metrics only reflect earned media coverage, i.e., there is no direct link to paid promotional coverage. Our data is updated within 3-5 days of the close of each month with a rolling 4-year historical view of every player in our system, with comparisons to 4,000+ other news topics.

Perspective is everything. Viewing any brand or player’s metrics without the context of the entire media landscape (peer players, team brands, celebrities, political coverage, sport controversies, etc.) is like watching the NBA playoffs with just a few pixels lit on your television set. It’s possible, but you’re really missing the full, nuanced story. mediaQuant can provide both the big-picture and granular view on players, athletes, and brands alike.

Trump Claims of Terror Underplayed in Media is Just “Sad”

You may have read Scott Shane’s recent New York Times article concerning President Trump’s misguided claim that the media has been lax in its coverage of terrorism. Credible experts in terrorism studies unanimously refuted the claim, and we have the media metrics to back them up.

mediaQuant tracks the earned media coverage of thousands of news topics, including terrorism, with historical data going back 4 years. We track and report media mentions across global print, broadcast, and online segments, as well as calculate a comparative media rating, by indexing these mentions against the 4,000+ other topics we track.

As the accompanying graphic illustrates, media coverage of terrorism has not declined over the last 4-years. It’s currently at an extremely high media rating of 96 (out of 100; President Trump is a 99). It received more than 5.5 million mentions last month. The topic has been media-ranked #1 or #2 in the crowded U.S. Politics sector over the preceding 12 month period. It has consistently held a top-5 position among competing headlines for political news coverage.

Two other related topics receive similarly strong and sustained coverage in the news — U.S. national security (95 / no change) and Islamic extremism (89 / no change).

Like terrorism coverage, national security stories have also been consistently increasing over the prior 4-year period, actually up +3 percent over the prior year and +4 percent over 4 years. And while the growth of coverage of Islamic extremism has been flat over the prior year, it is up +5 percent over the prior 4-year news cycle.

It’s important to keep in mind that media ratings and coverage metrics this high are difficult to improve upon. There just isn’t that much more room to squeeze additional coverage into the existing news flow. In summary, looking at just how much coverage has occurred over both the long- and near-term, the President’s claim of an underplayed narrative around terrorism in not borne out in the factual (vs. “alternative”) facts.

Waymo Off to a Brand New Start

By on February 8, 2017 in Auto Brands, Ground Transportation, Technology Trends

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Waymo, Google’s newly re-branded self-driving car offering, is off to a great start across earned media channels. Way to go Waymo!

Back in December, the “Google Self-Driving Car Project” became a subsidiary under parent Alphabet, Inc., and was renamed Waymo — a name derived from its mission of finding “a new way forward in mobility.” This clever branding that should help distinguish the amazing technology and innovation under-the-hood.

Let’s look at Waymo’s media trajectory.


* Media rating of 65. At 65, its media rating (0-100 comparative score of visibility) is down -3 points over the prior-month rating of 68, which was a 4-year high. However, its year-over-year increase is a whopping 51%. This all translates into surging media momentum, meaning month-over-month growth is outpacing yearly growth.
* Media rank of #3: In the very non-sexy-sounding Ground Transportation sector, the Waymo brand is ranked #3 behind Lyft and Uber. Kudos all around! In the Auto Brands sector, Waymo would be media-ranked #49. Wah wah wah …
* Media value of $140,048. Current month media value is very low, especially compared to Uber’s $53.3 million. Clearly greenfield opportunity for improvement as adoption of driverless cars (82 /+1) technology improves.

All in all an excellent media report card for Waymo! As a new brand under the Google umbrella, the success of the technology will be reflected in the growing media awareness and adoption by the broader automotive industry.

I’ll leave you with a comparison to Google Glass. With all due respect to its ground-breaking technology, the marketing and media hype surrounding the brand did not deliver. While the wearable technology trend is still quite prominent (81/+1), it’s showing signs of media fatigue with slowing year-over-year growth. There’s still some question as to whether Google Glass will find a receptive market, but in comparison to how Google is approaching driverless vehicles, the Waymo introduction seems way mo’ betta’. 

 

A Factual Blog Post About Fake News

By on February 7, 2017 in 2016 Election, Politics U.S.

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There’s something strange about measuring the amount of news coverage given to the topic of “fake news” (not the actual fake news itself).

We won’t expound on the economic or political motivations behind this scourge (focusing instead on quantitative FACTS), but here are some illuminating links:

The numbers behind the fake news topic:

The topic of fake news is currently pulling a media rating of 94 coming out of January, up +1 over December and +40 percent over the prior year. It’s not surprising that the cumulative 4-year growth in coverage is an amazing +23 percent. It is one of many disturbing topics (vote rigging, Russian hacking) to emerge from the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Orwell could not have imagined the internet and its role in distributing fake news. Reality check please!

To provide some perspective on how much coverage the topic of fake news has garnered, let’s take a quick look at similar ratings from other subjects covered in the news.

Take media magnet Kim Kardashian. Ms. Kardashian’s January 2017 media rating is 92, just 2 points shy of the “fake news” topic.  You might recall that last October Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint in Paris, generating considerable media coverage for the the already well-covered celebrity. The Kardashian brand hit a rating high of 94.

All the buzz around “fake news” and “alternative facts” and the debunking of evidence-based reality is indeed startling, a rotten apple that could undermine the reputation and legitimacy of regular news sources. If legitimate news loses credible value, then we’re all in for a heap of trouble. Tracking the trajectory and media values behind this topic can help determine whether it is gaining or losing its own credible grip on the media narrative.