Social Media

Here’s what Radian6 found when it analysed the Rainbow Oreo reaction

Oreo Rainbow Cookie Image
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Radian6, the social media monitoring system, has extracted some interesting data from the Rainbow Oreo cookie-gate controversy, which the company published on its site today.

Oreo Rainbow Cookie Image

 

For those who don’t know Oreo published this image of a rainbow coloured Oreo on June 25 with the text “Proudly support love!”  in support of gay rights.  According to Mashable, Kraft, the makers of the usually black-and-white cookie, said the image was part of the company’s campaign to mark the 100th anniversary of the Oreo.  They went on to say,

“Kraft Foods has a proud history of celebrating diversity and inclusiveness. We feel the OREO ad is a fun reflection of our values.”

Reaction to the image has been divided, with some users praising Kraft’s statement while others saying they will be boycotting the brand.  Since the post went live on Facebook some 236,762 people have liked it, 41,129 users have commented on it and another 73,149 have re-shared it (at the time of writing).

And that’s not even the end of it, according to Google’s cache of the page, in the past two hours an additional 2,256 people have liked it, 797 comments have been added and the image has been shared 816 more times.

So with all this discussion and activity on Facebook alone Radian6 set about looking at the reaction across the social web.  Analysing public status updates, comments, tweets, and blogs the company says that 90.06% of the public conversation took place on Twitter and only 5.5% on Facebook (Caveat: these are only public updates and not all updates posted on Facebook).  Some 2.3 percent of blogs mentioned the multicoloured cookie with the remainder standing at;

  • 0.9% – Forum replies
  • 0.3% – Mainstream news
  • 0.2% – Comments
  • 0.1% – Forums
  • 0.1% – Videos

Firing up its sentiment analysis engine Radian6 reports that 80.9% of analysed mentions of the Oreo rainbow cookie were positive while 19.1% were negative.  While we have our doubts about how precisely sentiment can be analysed without human interaction we’re inclined to believe the finding that there was a more positive than negative reaction – in the past two hours the Oreo Facebook page has gained 2,384 more followers jumping from 26,985,341 to 26,987,725 fans. [Update 2012/06/28: Radian6’s Jason Boies contacted us to say that he reviewed the sentiment results as part of the process and says the percentages are accurate to within about one percentage point. Read Jason’s comment here]

Checking the recorded sentiment against social networks Radian6’s Jason Boies goes on to describe in the post that there was a marked difference between Facebook users’ and Twitter users’ replies to the image.

“Social media users appear to be overwhelmingly supportive of Oreo’s stance, with the more critical tone of the company’s Facebook wall not carrying over to Twitter…It appears that the more vehement pushback seems to have been contained largely to Oreo’s actual Timeline.”

The positive reaction can also be measured on Twitter where, in the two day since posting the same image to their official account, @oreo gained 1,532 and 1,202 followers respectively.  For contrast, the company was averaging about 22.5 followers each day in the days preceding the tweet.

@oreo followers on Twitter
@oreo followers on Twitter

According to Topsy, the number of mentions (positive and negative) of Oreo on Twitter jumped from 7,216 on June 24 to 22,600 on June 25 and 24,911 on June 25.

Mentions of Oreo on Twitter via Topsy
Mentions of Oreo on Twitter via Topsy

While the increased mentions and follow/likes was perhaps not the aim behind posting the image it does suggest that Radian6’s assessment of its reaction to be true.

Although the wider question as to whether this reaction will positively or negatively change sales will only become clear in the coming days.  Will the company’s increased number of social media fans buy the cookies in greater numbers or will consumers follow through on their warnings to boycott the brand?

35 Comments

  1. @drg1985 @pdscott @parallelevision Very positive. Corporate support for LGBT issues makes sense, from an equality and business viewpoint.

  2. @drg1985 @pdscott @parallelevision Very positive. Corporate support for LGBT issues makes sense, from an equality and business viewpoint.

  3. @drg1985 @pdscott @parallelevision Very positive. Corporate support for LGBT issues makes sense, from an equality and business viewpoint.

  4. @drg1985 Definitely good news-although I thought Oreo’s recent statement was a bit non committal @adamlong80 @parallelevision

  5. @drg1985 Definitely good news-although I thought Oreo’s recent statement was a bit non committal @adamlong80 @parallelevision

  6. @drg1985 Definitely good news-although I thought Oreo’s recent statement was a bit non committal @adamlong80 @parallelevision

  7. Thanks for sharing my post, Piers.
     
    For the record, I did spend quite a fair amount of time looking at posts and making certain the sentiment was correct.  For example, Buzzfeed posted a piece which highlighted many of the negative responses on Oreo’s wall.  Many tweets said things like “Those Buzzfeed comments are disgusting” or something similar.  The word disgusting can trigger a negative sentiment but in those cases the tweets were actually supportive of Oreo, so I manually changed them to positive. 
     
    I think, give or take a percentage point either way, the sentiment we showed in the post is very accurate.
     
    Cheers
     
    Jason Boies
    Radian6 Community Team
     
     
     

  8. Thanks for sharing my post, Piers.
     
    For the record, I did spend quite a fair amount of time looking at posts and making certain the sentiment was correct.  For example, Buzzfeed posted a piece which highlighted many of the negative responses on Oreo’s wall.  Many tweets said things like “Those Buzzfeed comments are disgusting” or something similar.  The word disgusting can trigger a negative sentiment but in those cases the tweets were actually supportive of Oreo, so I manually changed them to positive. 
     
    I think, give or take a percentage point either way, the sentiment we showed in the post is very accurate.
     
    Cheers
     
    Jason Boies
    Radian6 Community Team
     
     
     

    1.  @JasonBoies Bravo to you guys looking into this. I trust your sentiment analysis.
       
      And not only did Oreo gain a significant number of followers/likes, but their Klout score took a large upswing the past few days, climbing over 8 points. Kudos to the Oreo team.

      1.  @AdamBritten  @JasonBoies Now passed 27 million fans on Facebook – a sure sign that they have strong support. But no noticeable improvement in their sales on Amazon (although I’m not sure how good a measure that would be – do people buy many groceries on Amazon? =D)
         
        Just updating the numbers (22:22pm BST June 28 2012)
        Facebook fans – 27,009,900 – up from 26,987,725
        Facebook likes – 266,577 – up from 236,762
        Facebook shares – 84,041 – up from 73,149
        Facebook comments – 50,067 – up from 41,129

    2.  @JasonBoies Thanks Jason, I’ve updated the post with your comments. My own doubts about sentiment analysis come more from questions of automated systems understanding conversational conventions like sarcasm, tone, context etc.  It’s great to see human involvement in the process and analysis.

  9. Thanks for sharing my post, Piers.
     
    For the record, I did spend quite a fair amount of time looking at posts and making certain the sentiment was correct.  For example, Buzzfeed posted a piece which highlighted many of the negative responses on Oreo’s wall.  Many tweets said things like “Those Buzzfeed comments are disgusting” or something similar.  The word disgusting can trigger a negative sentiment but in those cases the tweets were actually supportive of Oreo, so I manually changed them to positive. 
     
    I think, give or take a percentage point either way, the sentiment we showed in the post is very accurate.
     
    Cheers
     
    Jason Boies
    Radian6 Community Team
     
     
     

    1.  @JasonBoies Bravo to you guys looking into this. I trust your sentiment analysis.
       
      And not only did Oreo gain a significant number of followers/likes, but their Klout score took a large upswing the past few days, climbing over 8 points. Kudos to the Oreo team.

      1.  @AdamBritten  @JasonBoies Now passed 27 million fans on Facebook – a sure sign that they have strong support. But no noticeable improvement in their sales on Amazon (although I’m not sure how good a measure that would be – do people buy many groceries on Amazon? =D)
         
        Just updating the numbers (22:22pm BST June 28 2012)
        Facebook fans – 27,009,900 – up from 26,987,725
        Facebook likes – 266,577 – up from 236,762
        Facebook shares – 84,041 – up from 73,149
        Facebook comments – 50,067 – up from 41,129

    2.  @JasonBoies Thanks Jason, I’ve updated the post with your comments. My own doubts about sentiment analysis come more from questions of automated systems understanding conversational conventions like sarcasm, tone, context etc.  It’s great to see human involvement in the process and analysis.

    1. @JasonBoies It’s a great post-it was nice to see the bigger picture rather than just the noise on Facebook

    1. @JasonBoies It’s a great post-it was nice to see the bigger picture rather than just the noise on Facebook

  10. @AshlynBrewer @JillSTL Remember it’s only judging online reaction, which you would think would skew younger and more liberal anyway.

  11. @AshlynBrewer @JillSTL Remember it’s only judging online reaction, which you would think would skew younger and more liberal anyway.

    1. @nicksargent @jillstl I feel like the other side is fairly vocal online. Million Moms and all that. Would be interesting to see hard data.

  12. @AshlynBrewer @JillSTL Remember it’s only judging online reaction, which you would think would skew younger and more liberal anyway.

    1. @nicksargent @jillstl I feel like the other side is fairly vocal online. Million Moms and all that. Would be interesting to see hard data.

  13. @AshlynBrewer @JillSTL But it’s a good sign. If big corps are taking a public stance, have to feel public react is trending right way.

  14. @AshlynBrewer @JillSTL But it’s a good sign. If big corps are taking a public stance, have to feel public react is trending right way.

  15. @AshlynBrewer @NickSargent @peoplefw Hey all, thanks for sharing my Radian6 post on the Oreo ordeal. Much appreciated. 🙂

  16. @AshlynBrewer @NickSargent @peoplefw Hey all, thanks for sharing my Radian6 post on the Oreo ordeal. Much appreciated. 🙂

  17. @AshlynBrewer @NickSargent @peoplefw Hey all, thanks for sharing my Radian6 post on the Oreo ordeal. Much appreciated. 🙂

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Piers Dillon Scott
Piers Dillon-Scott is co-editor of The Sociable and writes about stuff he finds. He likes technology, media, and using the Oxford comma (because it just makes sense).