You may have seen the worm on telly last night, when up to 1600 people from all over New Zealand gave their second-by-second reactions to the Leaders' Debate on TV3 with Roy Morgan’s Mobile Reactor, an app downloadable to smartphones. TV3 compared that worm with the one provided by their studio audience of 65 undecided voters. But can the technology assist in the advertising realm?
Although the Reactor can display various demographics such as gender, age, voting intention, state or country, TV3 chose not to display any of these. Instead they showed only the studio worm versus the total response from those reacting from home. It would have been interesting to see how Green voters were responding to John Key and Phil Goff, or the different reactions between over 65 year olds and under 40s, or men versus women.
“This world-leading technology introduces the next level of viewer engagement and interactivity to television," says Michele Levine, chief executive of Roy Morgan Research.
"We've been seeing the popularity of Twitter and voting by text, but this provides the ability for viewers to really engage with a program, not just for a moment but for the entire duration, or when ever they feel they want to give their reactions. The worm provides an extra level of entertainment and engagement, not just for those reacting but for all viewers."
And its not just useful for taking the political pulse of the nation.
"Roy Morgan Research is talking to networks in Australia, UK and USA about a wide variety of programs featuring The Reactor including Current Affairs, Talent Quests, Game Shows and Sport.”
And it is an invaluable research tool in advertising by measuring advertising persuasiveness.
"Originally that is what it was developed for," says Levine. "By adding engagement there is less chance of viewers simply turning off the TV if they don't want to watch ads. But the real value is in the different display lines available. You can target the audience response from all young men, if it's a beer ad, or the results from all the people who are planning to buy a car in the next six months who are watching a car ad, " says Levine.
Twitter Election Worm
It is now also possible to analyse election discussion on Twitter, thanks to Wellington social media agency Catalyst90, who have released a Twitter Election Worm.
“CatalystENIGMA shows us that political activity is hotting up on Twitter in the lead-up to the election,” Tom Reidy, director of Catalyst90 says. “Our Twitter Election Worm reporting shows how people are reacting to recent campaign activity. For the first time in a New Zealand election campaign, Twitter has become a valid tool for taking the political temperature.”
The CatalystENIGMA technology utilises Twitter hash tags to select relevant Tweets, performing a sentiment analysis of each Tweet to capture data relating to emotion and geographic location.
To view the guide and see how the parties are performing across Twitter visit: www.catalyst90.com/socialpoliticsNZ.
Ask not for whom the worm turns, it turns for thee.