If Social Media Predicted the Oscars – The 2018 Edition- And The Winners Are…
After months of build up, last night the Academy Awards finally rode into town. It was a great evening, with laughter and tears, style and elegance. The films that were widely predicted to win did just that- you can see all the winners here.
The Best Foreign Language Film Oscar went to A Fantastic Woman; and, as many expected for its 13 nominations, The Shape of Water made a splash (yes, pun very much intended) and took home Best Picture.
All the while we watched closely, to see if our social media experiment managed to predict the winners.
Before we dive into that, a quick recap!
What social media KPIs did we analyse?
We combined social media followers, potential audience reach (using the Gruvi Audience Calculator). We also monitored how much online chatter each of the movies generated in the month since the nominations have been announced. We looked at number of mentions, unique users as well as sentiment with the help of Brandwatch’s platform.
See a more detailed run through our methodology here:
Did we get it right?
Sadly- but probably not very surprisingly- the predictions based on our social media analysis went against those of the industry.
If social media users handed the awards, the consensus would have been to give the Best Foreign Language Film to The Square and to award Dunkirk as Best Picture.
For more details, revisit this post:
How did the actual winners fare on social media?
A Fantastic Woman
Sebastian Lelio’s film was actually the runner up for our ‘Social Media Buzz’ Oscar. We were very close to getting this one right!
Had we relied our analysis only on the volume of chatter generated in the last month, it would have been the clear winner. It scored perfect tens on: number of mentions, number of unique users, as well as sentiment- which was overwhelmingly positive in these almost 6000 conversations.
What brought its final score down was a relatively smaller social media following. On that scale it came in third, behind not just The Square, but also The Insult.
The Shape of Water
We can’t say we were equally close on predicting this one. Although, truth be told, it seems like the strongest signal here was also the volume of buzz generated in the last month.
Guillermo del Toro’s film had a presence across social media platforms, but it came short- compared to other nominees- when it came to followers. Nevertheless it came in 3rd in terms of buzz (hovering around a score 7 for number of mentions, unique users and sentiment). It’s safe to say that Call Me by Your Name might have had a smaller fan base, but it was definitely a more active one – having the highest number of mentions and the biggest proportion of positive sentiment conversations.
So what does this mean?
Every year we feel that the social appeal of a film is going to have a larger sway come awards season. But it’s possible that the demographic of the Academy still doesn’t reflect the wider public in its choices.
Our hypothesis was that social media chatter could influence the vote; instead, it looks like things might have been the other way around.
Will things ever swing in the other direction? Maybe next year… We’ll be back to try again!
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