The internet exploded this week, especially in Canada, as Monday night saw a perfect storm of digital offerings that had something for everyone: The 2015 federal election, the Blue Jays triumphant (and crucial) win against Kansas City, and the release of the final Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer during a much-publicized NFL game.
The culmination of the longest election in Canadian history ended up with a sweeping Liberal majority, pushing the Conservatives out of power after almost 10 years of Stephen Harper as Prime Minister.
With the incredible amount of media attention, high voter turnout, wonderful online tools and a change to the Canadian election act (Previously, any reporting of results before the final polls closed across the country was ‘illegal’, which left social media conversations in a weird sort of limbo), Canadians were able to follow, watch, track and discuss the election in real time.
The CBC launched a fully interactive real time election results tracker, which allowed users to select favorite ridings to follow, zoom in on specific ridings and custom tailor their experience. That plus their continual live coverage (this year streamed live on YouTube) made them the most-watched source during the election.
As of the final vote count at around 11pm EST on Monday, over 7 million Facebook users contributed to over 50 million interactions about the election, while more than 770,000 election related tweets went out.
Toronto Blue Jays vs KC Royals: ALCS Game 3
The Jays were two games down in the post-season and desperately needed a win on Monday night in Toronto. While pundits only half-jokingly asked if the critical game (the Jays haven’t been in a playoff spot since 1993) would impact voter turnout as people tuned in, many Canadians made sure to vote before the big game started.
The Jays were ahead with a comfortable 11-4 lead – right up until the 9th inning, when a miscommunication in the Jays outfield led to a series of runs for the royals, ending with a nail-biting four runs scored before the Jays ended the game at 11-8. Social media tweets and mentions spiked and competed heavily with the Star Wars trailer and the election coverage during this time.
The Ryerson Social Media Lab has developed a fun dashboard that allows you to see social media activity in real time during games, which includes overall tweets, most-talked about players, pitchers and popular hashtags.
One of the most anticipated films in history aired its final official trailer during the halftime show of an NFL game. While premiering a science fiction trailer during a football game might seem like a bit of a head scratcher, it actually makes a lot of sense: Disney owns ABC, which was airs NFL games, so the cost of running the spot was minimal. They also saw an opportunity to promote the film to a set of demographics that might not be anticipating lightsaber battles, x-wing and tie-fighter dogfights and the return of revered characters.
That said, more people watched the newest trailer when it debuted during halftime than the actual game itself (myself included), according to TiVo data.
Luckily Disney released the film on their official Star Wars YouTube channel only minutes after airing the spot during half-time. A smart move, with Disney knowing that fans would have captured the trailer as it aired and put out their own bootleg versions. That said, the trailer was viewed over 10 million times that evening, and four days after airing has been seen over 40 million times – just on the official channel. When you consider that the original teaser trailer has 20 million views after ten months, you can tell that interest has ramped up considerably.
The Disney marketing machine is in full swing and seems to be highly effective so far – I already bought my tickets for the midnight premiere.