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Case Study: VICE

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Ahead of the VICELAND TV launch in the UK, VICE and Brandwatch analyzed Twitter conversation from the US and UK, over a one-year period and identified the profile of a potential UK VICELAND viewer.

The research uncovered:
- A richly detailed target persona
- Ways and means of engaging the desired audiences
- Strategies for future TV scheduling and planning.

Published in: Social Media
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Case Study: VICE

  1. 1. © Brandwatch.com Case Study/ VICE Using Market Insights to Launch VICELAND TV V I C E LAND
  2. 2. VICE/ Case Study 02 FOUNDED 1994 CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS NewYork About VICE VICE is the world’s preeminent youth media company and content creation studio. Launched in 1994, VICE now operates in over 30 countries and distributes its programming to viewers across digital, linear, mobile, film and socials. VICE includes an international network of digital channels; a weekly and daily news programming partnership with HBO; a television and feature film production studio; a magazine; a record label; an in-house creative services agency; and a newly launched TV network, VICELAND. ABOUT VICELAND VICELAND is an international television network owned and programmed by global youth brand, VICE Media. Launched in the US and Canada in February 2016 under the direction of Academy Award- winning writer/director Spike Jonze, the channel has since confirmed it’s plans to launch into 51 new territories throughout 2016 and 2017. To date, VICELAND channels are broadcast in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, France, Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia. The VICELAND network extends to both linear and digital platforms, creating high quality, original programming produced in-house, as well as commissioned globally and locally. Everything at VICELAND has a reason to exist and a strong perspective. Boasting Emmy Award-nominated shows, the channel has built a reputation for housing culturally relevant content for young people, with strong international perspectives covering music, food, news, technology, sex, fashion and more. VICELAND’s current programming includes Gaycation with Ellen Page; Black Market with Michael K. Williams; Fuck That’s Delicious with Action Bronson; Woman with Gloria Steinem; and Eddie Huang’s Huang’s World.
  3. 3. VICE/ Case Study 03 Following the success of the VICELAND TV launch in the U.S in March 2016, VICE announced that it would launch its VICELAND TV channel in partnership with Sky in the UK and Ireland. Ahead of the September 2016 launch, VICE was seeking to better understand how its core audience of millennials watched TV and engaged with TV show content. Working with Brandwatch, VICE made use of social data to research and evaluate the reaction to the launch of the channel in the US earlier in the year. The findings of this research would be used to inform the tone and content of the marketing plan for the UK launch, potentially impacting editorial strategy, and could be utilized by commercial teams in conversations with advertisers. While VICE has an established editorial strategy, launching a new TV channel was always going to be a different proposition. How do its current audience interact with TV? Do they watch live TV or VOD (video on demand)? Do VICE readers have a dual-screening habit? What kind of programs did they watch? These were just some of the questions VICE wanted to answer. One of the main goals VICE had was to find out how its audiences interacted online when watching TV. Were there specific shows that resonated best at a specific time? Could VICE uncover some data from listening, which potentially influenced its scheduling? These were all end goals that could potentially influence the overall launch of the channel. Using data from Twitter would allow VICE to identify how users view TV, first and foremost whether they watch it live, or using VOD services. Twitter was the first source of data for VICE, because of how the platform works alongside TV. VICE knew that to conduct this research project on Twitter would require the assistance of a powerful social intelligence platform. VICE turned to Brandwatch to help with this research. VICE and Brandwatch
  4. 4. VICE/ Case Study 04 Brandwatch doesn’t just have an amazingly powerful platform for accessing and analyzing social data, but also has a dedicated team of specialist analysts ready to conduct bespoke research and provide insightful reporting. The Brandwatch research services team worked with VICE to create a brief that met the key objectives. This approach would provide VICE with the most streamlined and actionable report possible. The data parameters for the report would be: Period measured: 1st June – 31st May 2016 Markets/languages: Posts and engagements from within the UK and US. Author panels were created using Brandwatch Audiences, as well as Query creation to segment: • UK Authors self-identifying as millennials (e.g. “as a millennial I feel…”), mentioning their age (e.g. “It’s my 19th birthday”) or describing a life event commonly associated with individual within the millennial age bracket (“e.g. Studying at university....”). • Two lists of UK and US Authors that had shared VICE content/articles within the analyzed time period. • US authors engaging with VICELAND and its programmes • General UK authors for comparisons. Any similarities/differences between the conversations of existing audiences and the millennial targets would be the source of actionable insight for shaping marketing/content strategy and potentially some editorial content. The Research Methodology
  5. 5. VICE/ Case Study 05 VICE UK Reader Profiling The results of the report identified the following characteristics around the VICE UK reader. • Likely to be male and from the older end of the millennial segment (25-34 year-olds). • Interested in current political affairs and cultural hobbies such as books, fine arts and technology. • Works within the creative industries overall, and more skewed towards professions in software or journalism than millennials. • The profile ‘likely to be male and from within the millennial segment’ was very accurate and compared with VICE’s own internal personas. “This research effectively matched our own internal insights and traffic data exactly, which set the tone of the report.” TIM GRIMES, PLATFORM MANAGER, VICE. The Potential Viewer of VICELAND The results of the report identified the following characteristics around the viewer of VICELAND: • Strongly skewed towards towards males. • More likely to work in creative industries. • Shows less interest in hobbies that could be perceived as more intellectual, as compared with the core VICE reader, and be more interested in topics such as music, sports, health, fitness and gaming. • UK VICELAND readers more likely than US VICELAND readers to be students. Understanding how the Author Demographics, (general population, millennial and VICE readers) chose their TV viewing was important for VICE. Overall, the patterns of genre preference between the three author demographics were fairly similar, however, VICE readers were less likely to discuss reality shows than both millennials and the general population and more likely to discuss drama shows. This effectively allowed VICE to tailor its strategies to focus on driving conversation around specific shows broadcast at specific times. The Results
  6. 6. VICE/ Case Study 06 From a channel perspective the report established VICE readers were most likely to engage with Comedy Central and Dave, which could ultimately help VICE in a future targeting methods, from an organic and paid perspective. •MTV •ITV2 •E4 •DISNEY •DAVE •COMEDY CENTRAL 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% GENERAL MILLENNIALS VICE READERS MOST DISCUSSED TV CHANNELS 47% 30% 9% 6% 41% 36% 10% 8% 33% 40% 15% 5% 4% 4% 3% 4% 2% 3% •GAME OF THRONES •MATCH OF THE DAY •THE WALKING DEAD •BIG BROTHER •HOLLYOAKS •THE FLASH •THE ONLY WAY IS ESSEX •GOGGLEBOX •HOUSE OF CARDS •OTHER 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% GENERAL MILLENNIALS VICE READERS MOST DISCUSSED TV SHOWS 31% 7% 6% 6% 22% 8% 7% 6% 7% 21% 13% 14% 14% 10% 7% 6% 5% 5% 4% 3%3% 4% 4% 11% 11% 14% 3% These two charts provide a breakdown of the most discussed TV shows and channels for the three audience groups. TV shows with low overall conversation volumes have been greyed out in the respective chart. Overall, share of voice for TV shows and channels tended to see millennials positioned somewhere between the general public and VICE readers in preference. Identifying the Key Channels where VICE could Explore Established Audiences. Amongst the three audience groups, Brandwatch allowed VICE to identify the most frequently discussed TV shows and channels. Channel 4’s Gogglebox for example, over indexed versus the general population for both millennials and VICE readers, suggesting that these viewers could be both potential and future viewers of VICELAND.
  7. 7. VICE/ Case Study 07 Memorable Hashtags Hashtags are one of the most important factors when it comes to driving conversations online. The report allowed VICE to identify the largest naturally occurring topics within the TV show conversation. It became apparent amongst all three groups that having a short and memorable hashtag helped group conversations together and drive audience members to interact with each other, for example specifically with CBB (Celebrity Big Brother) and MOTD (Match of the Day). Since the report, VICE has introduced similar hashtags for shows, such as “King of the Road”, or #KOTR. VICE READERS MILLENNIALS GENERAL GAMEOFTHRONES SEASON 6 SEASON 6 SEASON 5 GOT ATLANTIC CHANCE TO WIN MOTD2 TONIGHT AT 10PM LEICESTER PREMIER LEAGUE FIRST MOTD CBBMOTD RUNNING ORDER WATCH NEXT SEASON FINALLY 10PMLEFT SERIES WEEK PEOPLEMISS PRETTY GUYS TV NEXT 9PM FIND GOOD LOVETIME WATCHING MOMENT SHOW FAV TOMORROW GAME OF THRONES SEASON 6 PLAY TWD COMING HOUSEGREATEST LOT PREMIER LEAGUE BITS TONIGHT CBB WARNING BBC FOOTBALL VIDEO EPISODELCFC SEASON 6 MOTD2 READY TEAM NEW SERIES FANS LCFCTONIGHT SHOW PLAYVIDEO WATCH SPECIAL E4 FORGET 10PM ARROW NEXT LIVERPOOL WATCHINGTODAYGREAT LEGEND GOALPOINTS MOTD2 TWDHATE LOVE SEASON FINALE MOMENT TIME REMEMBER LONG DAYPREMIERTRAILER EPISODE GOT SEASON 6 BBCFOOTBALL TRIB 9PM FLASH HYPOCRISY CATCH GOT ATLANTIC LCFC WAITING JON SNOWCBB SERIESCOMING GIVE The topics clouds above reflect the largest naturally occurring topics for the general public, millennials and VICE readers within retweets of TV show conversation.
  8. 8. VICE/ Case Study 08 Share of Voice Before the launch of the UK channel, VICELAND had been broadcasting for over six months in the US. Using Brandwatch allowed VICE to take learnings from an already established audience, specifically on how users were mentioning and discussing shows which would be broadcast within the UK. It became apparent that “Gaycation” with Ellen Page was the most discussed show, allowing VICE to shift some editorial focus to this specific show. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% POST-LAUNCH PRE-LAUNCH OVERALL BREAKDOWN OF CONVERSATION AROUND VICELAND PROGRAMMES •WOMAN •KING OF THE ROAD •FLOPHOUSE •HUANG'S WORLD •VICE WORLD OF SPORTS •BALLS DEEP •STATES OF UNDRESS •CYBERWAR •VICE GUIDE TO FILM •DEAD SET ON LIFE •BLACK MARKET •VICE DOES AMERICA •GAYCATION •FUCK THAT'S DELICIOUS •NOISEY •WEEDIQUETTE 25% 12% 10% 21% 5% 9% 5% 25% 12% 13% 15% 13% 10% 5% 4% 4%4% 4% 4%4% 4% 4%3% 17% 29% 15% The chart above shows the a breakdown of conversation around the VICELAND programmes overall, and before and after the channel launch. Approximately 57% of of all VICELAND mentions included mentions of the channel’s programs.
  9. 9. VICE/ Case Study 09 Hosts Analyzing VICELAND conversation in the US highlighted that the show hosts were able to influence huge volumes of mentions, with key peaks in overall volume following that of the program, suggesting that encouraging host discussions and interactions would help VICE’s TV launch reach new audiences. Ellen Page, Michael K Williams and Action Bronson are just some of the key influencers. TREND OVER TIME FOR VICELAND US HOSTS 0 GAYCATION LAUNCH FUCK THAT’S DELICIOUS LAUNCH WEEDIQUETTE LAUNCH ANCIENT ALIENS •ACTION BRONSON •EDDIE HUANG •ELLEN PAGE •GLORIA STEINEM •IAN DANIEL •KRISHNA AND AVOLU •THOMAS MORTON 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 JUN 2016MAY 2016APR 2016MAR 2016FEB 2016JAN 2016 %MENTIONS The chart above shows how conversation around the most talked-about program hosts peaked over the time period studied.
  10. 10. VICE/ Case Study 10 Overall the research report identified insightful audience analysis for VICE. The summary of the key findings and overall targeting strategy for the potential VICELAND viewer were; • Utilize and collaborate with hosts on Twitter, as these were a key driver of conversation for VICELAND US. • Areas of broader interest for potential VICELAND viewers are music, sports, gaming and fitness. • Target VICE readers in the UK further than was undertaken for the US launch, in order to convert a higher percentage of this highly engaged authors. Avoid alienating the core VICE audience by limiting content on this channel to the more intellectual/cultural shows. If sharing content about some of the more light hearted shows consider using phrases such as “guilty pleasure”. • Consider specific targeting of students interested in VICE on Twitter for some of the less intellectual/ serious programmes, as this is a larger potential audience for the UK than the US. Social listening is traditionally used within the marketing department at VICE, but the findings of the report were shared across the editorial teams and senior management within VICE andVICELAND. This highlights how social data can have relevance and promenance and value to be shared across an organization. Results and Reactions
  11. 11. VICE/ Case Study 11 Brandwatch Brandwatch is the world’s leading social intelligence company. Brandwatch Analytics and Vizia products fuel smarter decision making around the world. The Brandwatch Analytics platform gathers millions of online conversations every day and provides users with the tools to analyze them, empowering the world’s most admired brands and agencies to make insightful, data-driven business decisions. Vizia distributes visually- engaging insights to the physical places where the action happens. The Brandwatch platform is used by over 1,200 brands and agencies, including Unilever, Whirlpool, British Airways, Asos, Heineken, Walmart and Dell. Brandwatch continues on its impressive business trajectory, recently named a global leader in enterprise social listening platforms by the latest reports from several independent research firms. Increasing its worldwide presence, the company has offices around the world including Brighton, New York, San Francisco, Berlin, Stuttgart, Paris and Singapore. brandwatch.com Brandwatch. Now You Know. VICE VICE is the world’s preeminent youth media company and content creation studio. Launched in 1994, VICE now operates in over 30 countries and distributes its programming to viewers across digital, linear, mobile, film and socials. VICE includes an international network of digital channels; a weekly and daily news programming partnership with HBO; a television and feature film production studio; a magazine; a record label; an in-house creative services agency; and a newly launched TV network, VICELAND. vice.com | viceland.com About
  12. 12. www.brandwatch.com | @Brandwatch | press office | contact VICELAND VICELAND VICELAND VICELAND VICELAND

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