Public approval plays an enormous part in the success or failure of publicly traded stocks and one well-known investment company has begun measuring that factor in an unorthodox way. TD Ameritrade began integrating data from social media into its research offerings on the company’s flagship platform in 2015.
This year, the first TD Ameritrade Ad Challenge was launched, measuring and analyzing the reactions on Twitter to ads placed by publicly traded companies during the Super Bowl.
Companies were then ranked by how many positive tweets were received.
Managing Director of Trading at TD Ameritrade, Nicole Sherrod, explained:
“These publicly traded companies spent a not-trivial amount of their advertising budget to run a spot in the big game. Just like our clients use social sentiment to validate whether consumers are favoring the products that a brand produces, we can use the same capability to gauge consumer reaction to TV commercials.”
TD Ameritrade’s Social Signals tool gives retail investors a way to instantly see how the public is feeling about a company in real time, as it captures every single tweet – whether positive, negative or neutral. During the Super Bowl, Coca-Cola aired 3 different spots and received 8,356 positive tweets, which placed it easily in first place. Volkswagen placed a far second, with only 5,629 tweets.
The win seems somewhat ironic for Coca-Cola, because one of the 3 ads, “It’s Beautiful”, triggered a boycott of the company’s products. The ad featured Americans of many different backgrounds singing “America the Beautiful” in several different languages, including Hindi and Arabic, and many viewers believed it was in response to current political events.
However, the ad actually aired for the first time at the Super Bowl three years ago, and a Coca-Cola spokesperson said that it was in no way meant to be a political statement.
Whether that had any effect on the boycotters, or they were simply outnumbered by others with opposing views, Coca-Cola seems to have garnered a great deal of customer approval during the Super Bowl, according to TD Ameritrade. Now, it’s just a matter of seeing if that has any fiscal impact.