While there has been ample “Monday morning quarterbacking” regarding Poland Spring’s decidedly low-key social response to the brand’s unexpected appearance during GOP spokesperson Sen. Marco Rubio’s response to President Obama’s State of the Union address, the brand’s resulting media exposure saw a massive snowballing effect.
As of early morning Feb. 14, the day after the SOTU broadcast, MSNBC had shown a replay of Rubio’s Poland Spring lurch-and-swig about 155 times (including 101 times during “The Rachel Maddow Show,” which played the clip on a loop at the boom of the screen for more than 13 minutes), reported TheDailyCaller.com.
In addition, CNN aired the clip 34 times between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. EST on Feb. 14. (Fox News, which attacked rivals MSNBC and CNN for being “obsessed” with the “water-gate” moment, logged a relatively tepid 12 replays during the same period.)
How did all of these affect consumer perception of the Nestlé Waters North America brand?
According to YouGov’s BrandIndex, which tracks brand perceptions over social and other media on a daily basis, the incident yielded relatively small rises in brand awareness and “buzz” for Poland Spring during the first two days following the broadcast.
As of Feb. 12, the day of the evening broadcast, Poland Spring’s BrandIndex “Awareness” score was 48 (which translates to 48% of Americans having heard something about the brand during the previous two weeks). Its Awareness score remained at 48 on Feb. 13 (compared with an average of 75 for all tracked bottled-water brands on that date). By Feb. 14, Poland Spring’s Awareness score was up by three points, to 51 (compared with an average of 76 for all bottled-water brands on that date).
The brand’s BrandIndex “Buzz” score -- reflecting response to the question "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?" -- rose just two points over the two days.
As of Feb. 12, Poland Spring’s Buzz score was 0 (indicating equal positive and negative feedback), compared with an average Buzz score of 3 for all bottled-water brands tracked on that date. On Feb. 14, its Buzz score was 2 (the same as the average Buzz score for all tracked bottled-water brands on that date).