Commentary

Brands Ride Gay Marriage Social Wave

There’s a joke about “engagement” here somewhere. As most readers are doubtless aware the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in all 50 states last week, and the reaction on social media was, well, enormous: according to Facebook around 26 million users changed their Facebook pictures to show a rainbow flag to celebrate the historic decision. And of course brands weren’t far behind, as marketers capitalized on the big moment to boost engagement with social media posts showing their support for marriage equality.

According to digital engagement ratings from ListenFirst, which powers MediaPost’s Digital Engagement Index, a number of companies and brands rode the gay marriage wave to higher social media engagement.  In terms of sheer volume the big winner was Proctor & Gamble, which saw its total social interactions increase 46% compared to the two days before the decision, to over 1.8 million. Visa was up 70% to almost 400,000, while Tide soared 485% to 317,000. Citi was up 75% to 300,000, and Expedia 62% to 293,000.

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The biggest proportional gain was scored by Jell-o, which rocketed 1,067% to 41,000 interactions with its rainbow-hued delectables. Over 90% of Jell-o’s engagement came from Twitter and Facebook.

ListenFirst also looked at the most popular hashtags trending over the weekend, and found that #LoveWins was the clear, um, winner with 11.3 million posts, followed by #Pride with 511,000 posts.

It’s worth noting that the brand posts were not without controversy. Jell-o’s tweet with a picture of multihued cubes of Jell-o attracted all kinds of negative responses from gay marriage opponents including one who tweeted back, “I'm not sure if I enjoyed Jello recently, but I hope I did because it's the last time I'll eat it.”

In short, we live in a world where grown men avoid gelatin-based food products because of a Supreme Court decision about gay marriage. Go figure.

1 comment about "Brands Ride Gay Marriage Social Wave".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, June 30, 2015 at 12:05 p.m.

    I won't boycott Jell-o, but I fully understand why some people might. Brands should tread lightly with social issues because not all customers agree on anything. It was a 5-4 decision by the court, not a slam dunk.

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