What Skyfall means for your weekend (and what text analytics means for marketing).

I can’t wait ’til Monday to ask other people.

If the film’s a clunker [spoiler: it isn’t], I don’t want to find out halfway through my big night out.

I could read the newspaper reviews but the reviewers are inevitably influenced by the studio’s marketing department hype, which is designed to generate a giant miasma of belief, weeks before anyone has actually seen the film.

Hold on, I’m looking at social media and text analytics packages, it’s been a good six hours since most people left work…

A quick call to Ubervu.com and they kindly gave me a data stream. Even late on a Friday night, it’s intuitive to set up. And I mean intuitive in the sense of “big pictures, simple concepts, I knew what to do instantly” (rather than the way some other social media software packages use ‘intuitive’, meaning “You’re on your own, we’re not gonna help you.”)

I used Ubervu to quickly find Tweets about Skyfall from people in the UK who’ve been to see it this evening.

The sentiment looks overwhelmingly positive. Ubervu’s Conversation Map gives me a quick insight into just how good people think it is:

verbal identity looks at text analytics of James Bond Skyfall

Ubervu's conversation Map for Skyfall, on UK day of launch

(I suppose if I was going to be pedantic about my assessment, I should more accurately say that the most commonly shared words about the film are overwhelmingly positive. But a skewing to this much positivity is unusual, in my experience.)

Time to work out why people liked it so much (and find out what people didn’t like). Time for some text analytics.

There are a handful of text analytics packages out there. Some run to $100,000 a seat.

I switched over to Semantria. As far as  I can work out, Semantria is for people who have more sense than money. The software is driven by the Lexalytics engine that sits at the heart of Radian6. It understands what is being talked about straightaway, without you having to spend time telling it about your specialist topic (Semantria has done that already. It swallowed Wikipedia. So now it knows that a butterfly is an insect, it’s a little like a moth, it’s nothing like a brick.)

There’s something else you should know about Semantria. The company is run by humans. Helpful humans. Even 5 pm on a Canadian Friday.

Semantria sits inside Excel . I open Excel, select the file from Ubervu, run Semantria. In less than 30 seconds, I’ve got the analysis of the 3000 Tweets.

Immediately, I can dig in and see why everyone seems to like Skyfall. Because text analytics is more than just a ‘keyword’ search engine, it can start building themes. The greatest positive sentiment is around the themes of ‘action’ and the ‘villain’. The greatest negative sentiment seems to be about Product Placement. If I want to check that other people’s idea of action is the same as mine, I can give Semantria a nudge and it will dive into the Tweets that are themed on ‘Action’ and will surface for me the sub-themes.

So now it’s almost 1am and I know that most people like Skyfall, but I also know they liked it for the reasons I’d like it. And there are a couple of reasons not to like it. But at least I’m forewarned now.

Finally, I know what Skyfall means for my weekend. What does it mean for marketing?

In my previous post, “What did Text Analytics Ever do for Marketing?” I made the point that text analytics is the missing piece for many CMO’s: it’s the quantitative part to the hunch. Text Analytics can give them an early warning of a product fault; it gives them the opportunity to adjust the marketing messages before the end of the marketing spend; it can give them a quantifiable insight into what consumers think of their pricing; it can let them turn up the positives (or dial down the negatives) in their marketing conversations.

My evening looking at the text analytics around social media mentions of Skyfall is a practical example of this.

If you were responsible for marketing Skyfall, what could you do now?

There’s already a ground swell of negative opinion about the product placement. So is it time for a carefully aimed press release about the positive role of the brands, and how Ian Fleming mentioned about one brand every page, in the original books?

The villian, Javier Bardem, is by most people’s judgement, outstanding. Is there anyway of seeding more conversations about him in the social media. Most people already liked him, most people will talk positively about him, which means more conversations will centre on the film’s positives.

If sales start lagging, [which honestly, given the feedback, seems unlikely] is there a way of picking up on other positive themes that people have talked about, and dialling them up in the paid-for communications?

The final thing – pricing. It seems such an outstanding film, I don’t think it’s time for anyone to start offering discounts or bribes quite yet.

After a long week, I think I deserve a treat. I’m booking my tickets right now. My £60 is spent.



Many many thanks to Ubervu and Semantria. And apologies for how I’ve skipped so much valuable info you provide. Please let’s blame it on the late night.