Wave of negativity surrounding Rio Olympics failed to reach Twitter's shores

Rio Olympics

Despite all the criticism surrounding the Rio Olympics, the negative sentiment was largely absent from Twitter, according to new data from social research agency Kantar Media.

Whether it was mass protests from discontent Brazilians, Russia’s exposed doping programme or poor attendance figures within the venues, the Rio Olympics sustained a wave of negative publicity before and during the Games.

However Kantar Twitter TV Ratings, conducted a study looking at the tweets sent out during the games and discovered that the wave of negative sentiment around the games failed to translate to Twitter.

Kantar Media analysed over 44 million Tweets from more than 3 million unique users across the UK, Spain, the Philippines, Turkey and Brazil between 5-22 August. One aspect of the results looked at the sentiment of the tweets, splitting them into positive, neutral and negative. Interestingly the tweets from Brazil were 19.6 per cent positive and only 4.7 per cent negative with 75.8 per cent deemed neutral.

Both Spain and the UK actually yielded more negative tweets than Brazil, with 4.7 per cent and 5.9 per cent respectively. In fact, across all the countries analysed the positive sentiment outweighed the negative, the smallest margin being Spain with a 25.3 per cent positive to a 5.1 per cent negative.

One explanation for the breakdown can be taken from the breakdown of the most popular interests amongst the Twitter users incorporated in the study. Politics is listed amongst the most popular interests in Spain but is noticeably absent from Brazil’s list.

Touching on the findings, Nathalie Zimmerman-Nénon, managing director of sports intelligence at Kantar Media, said: “If brands are to capitalise on the huge opportunities this audience presents, it is crucial for planning and measurement to be done in the same holistic way that people consume and react to content: utilising real-time reaction and cross-device campaigns.”

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