Online coverage of the IAA: What brand won the internet?
The industry insider portion of the IAA motorshow ended on Friday. Content Fleet's Big Data analysis shows which brands garnered the attention of online media during the exhibition.
BMW in the spotlight
Between September 15th and 19th, 67 articles were published about BMW with the keyword IAA, making the Munich-based car manufacturer the most frequently mentioned brand. Yet those publications were not all about high-performance motors, new designs or driver-assistance systems. Almost half of the articles were about the onstage collapse of BMW boss Harald Krüger on Tuesday or about his condition on the day thereafter.
Online media reported on Mercedes 61 times, and there were 52 articles about Audi. Opel was the second most-reported-on car brand leading up to the IAA, but interest in the Rüsselsheim-based manufacturer sunk during the trade fair. Volkswagen and Tesla (both 28 publications) were also among the car brands that received numerous mentions in online media.
Google: Relevant at the IAA
Not only automakers were highlighted in connection with the keyword IAA. Companies from other industries also managed to attract the attention of publishers, first and foremost Google. During the trade fair, 39 articles dealt with the US-based company, whose business activities go far beyond the search engine. The publications primarily describe Google's role in the automotive industry, with the Google car itself being the subject of only a few isolated reports.
Alfa Romeo Giulia QV goes viral
There was not much reporting about Alfa Romeo, but one article about the Giulia QV from Autozeitung.de generated about 6,000 shares, likes and comments in social networks and was therefore extremely successful. A report by High Snobiety about a tuned Mercedes Benz G-Class also achieved approximately 6,000 social media reactions. An article from Bild.de, in which the top tuned cars of the IAA were listed, was also a viral success, receiving some 5,000 interactions on social media.
The reporting about the IAA motorshow also touched on the current refugee crisis and was acknowledged by social media users. The report on Merkel's opening address, in which she called on the automotive industry to employ refugees, as well as the announcement from Dieter Zetsche that Mercedes will donate one million euros, both received around 2,000 shares, likes and comments on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
Facebook: Lamborghini, Bugatti and Ferrari in the top ten
Whereas most articles in conventional online media were written about BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen and Tesla, other brands dominated on Facebook.
The Italian sports car manufacturer Lamborghini received 24,000 shares, likes and comments with a post from September 16th and thereby easily topped the ranking of the most viral Facebook posts with the keyword IAA. Bugatti ranked 2nd with a post from Super Street Magazine (around 19,000 social media reactions) and also took the 5th place with a post from the manufacturer itself. Ferrari landed the 7th place with around 11,000 shares, likes and comments. Opel also made the ranking with approximately 12,000 social media responses, even though the company from Rüsselsheim hardly figured in conventional online reports.
Among the top brands highlighted by traditional online media outlets, only Mercedes-Benz was able to put out successful posts on Facebook (6th, 9th and 10th place). Neither BMW, nor Audi, nor Volkswagen made it into the top ten most viral Facebook posts. Bosch Global, however, a manufacturer of technical vehicle components that doesn't actually build cars, can be found in the ranking twice (3rd and 8th place).
Twitter: Cooperation with celebrities pays off
Star power helped some brands score publicity on Twitter. Nissan’s use of sprinter Usain Bolt as a spokesman paid off in the form of retweets and shares for the Japanese manufacturer. Jeep Germany profited from the popularity of actor Elyas M’Barek, while BMW achieved the 9th most viral tweet thanks to race car driver Timo Glock. Without celebrity backing, only Tesla Motors (7th place and 8th place) and BMW (10th place) managed to attract much interest on Twitter with independent tweets.
Conventional online media mostly reported about BMW during the IAA. However, this was not due to the presentation of new car models. It was primarily caused by the collapse of BMW boss Harald Krüger, which was the subject of numerous articles. Mercedes and Audi also received substantial coverage.
In addition to automobile brands, another company was commonly associated with the keyword IAA, Google. Google made headlines with the admission that it does not want to become a carmaker.
While publishers are especially interested in BMW, Mercedes and Audi, this does not necessarily mean that these brands are also the most popular among social network users. The most viral article was about the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV. Three of the top ten viral Facebook posts were about Mercedes and none were about BMW or Audi. Instead, Lamborghini, Bugatti and Ferrari fared well on Facebook, as did Bosch Global, a parts manufacturer.
Companies that brought well-known supporters and spokesmen to the trade fair were the most successful on Twitter. Nissan, Jeep Deutschland and BMW all generated extensive twitter publicity in this way.