1 Mar 2019

Timely Rolex Faceook post wins at Oscars 2019

What a week. There’s now 3.6bn mobile internet users worldwide, according to eggheads at the annual gathering of mobile digital in Catalonia #MWC.

I traded Barcelona for Hollywood this year to cover a data story on the Oscars 2019 which my brilliant Mediacells colleagues have transcended into a stunning visual narrative.

Cadillac lit the touchpaper with just one post alerting fans to their sponsored Oscars hashtag #KeepRising live from the red carpet but it was Rolex whose timely video post, starring Oscar-winning directors James Cameron, Martin Scorsese and Kathryn Bigelow that made the greatest impact on native Facebook audiences. Have a play, fast forward to 24 Feb 1500hrs (CET) to see the Rolex social-whack.

oscars visualisation


15 Jan 2019

What on Oeuf is going on!

There are lots of predictions at this time of year, particularly in digital circles.

Google is predicting that users will spend more time watching online video in 2019 than in front of the television. Is this a surprise to anybody?

Top Content egg

Mediacells anticipates pioneering media experiences, like Netflix Original’s format-subverting Bandersnatch, will transform traditional viewing habits by refusing to broadcast content on outmoded devices, like TVs.

Television will, of course, be part of the media mix but the seamless eye-swap between big and small screens will be less remarkable.

At the time of going to press, a photo of an egg has been liked by 42 million Instagram users and the account, world_record_egg is now followed by 6 million people.

Instead of a Black Mirror plotline, this is the first big audience news story of 2019. A record-beating egg. On Instagram. It’s mindless, something of the Boaty McBoatface about the whole craze around this post – but it’s somehow meaningful to social media custodians and natives.

So in terms of predicting any forthcoming media behaviours this year, we’ll leave that to the egg-sperts, while we continue to deliver valued insights to the sports and entertainment industries so they can evolve with the complex media needs of 2019 audiences.

1 Jan 2019

Will football always be the #1 global sport?


Is football breakable? That’s the question writer Janan Ganesh eloquently answered in a recent thinkpiece for the Financial Times.

On the surface football is in rude health. Mr Ganesh gives the example of how obtainable a European ‘soccer’ game now is in the USA, ‘even Atlanta, down in gridiron country, has become round-ball barmy’.

Mediacells first saw the USA superfan phenomenon back in 2014, when the USA rocked the World Cup in Brazil. By the time they were kicked out in the Round of 16 by Belgium, they had earned immense respect for their contribution which was rewarded by 42 million USA engaged fans over the tournament.

USA Superfan phenomenon: FIFA World Cup 2014

Der Spiegel recently revealed the European super-clubs’ aspiration to form their very own competition, which would free them from domesticity altogether. Mr Ganesh frames this vision for the hard of foreseeing as follows:

‘In other words, Real Madrid would no longer play Valencia or Seville, just its fellow colossi (Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Arsenal).’

It’s an unsettling dystopia to think of a football life without ‘real fans’. In David Goldblatt’s best-selling book The Game of Our Lives, there is a chapter dedicated to the matchday experience where he suggests ‘until the broadcaster can perfect a digitally enhanced crowd, there is no spectacle without them (the real crowd)’

The real crowd was absent from the October UEFA Nations League group stage match between Croatia and England, where the game was played behind closed doors – no physical crowd, only an unimpressed ‘digitally-enhanced’ one.

Evocative reporting from BBC Radio 5 live’s Gary Flintoff summed the atmosphere up as follows: “England manager Gareth Southgate has just applauded his players and you could hear the sound of his hands clapping together echo right throughout the stadium.”

But is football invincible and if so, who would take O Jogo Bonito’s place? Mr Ganesh surmises cricket, which is an intuitive punt but 2018 data from Nielsen doesn’t place cricket in the top five of Major Sports but that’s maybe because ‘urban’ is the only India sample.

top sports nielsen 400x420

Source: Nielsen Sports DNA 2018

The emerging contender to football’s gilded crown is basketball, which commands 35% of major sports interest in 18 markets. Further research from Mediacells reveals that NBA player and team accounts exceed 1 billion likes and followers. That’s a whole lot of hoops.

On balance, I think Mr Ganesh and I agree that football will not break. The commercial sports landscape has never been so competitive with live and on-demand streaming services, often referred to as the ‘Netflix of Sport’ moving football closer to media and entertainment audiences.

However, the welcome complacency that the real fan is somehow indispensable is dangerous. If we’re watching footie that kicks off in a physical location then the crowd is surely crucial. But, if the audience is never at the physical game, because the game is not in a physical arena – what happens then?

The global eSports audience will reach 380 million this year with a 50% growth in sponsorship revenue streams – perhaps the question is not if football is breakable but if football is physical.


25 Sep 2018

Are you enlightened?

Rockstar Digital Analysts Required You will perform, what we call, Enlightened Analytics, using the science of analysis with the tradition of storytelling to inform clients of how successful they are in connecting to target customers. Your goal is to transform, curate, model, visualise the performance of our Global and European sports clients and support a compelling […]

16 Mar 2018


Social audiences are influenced by authentic posts that make them feel an affinity with the author. Mediacells can reveal that social media folk respond less to celebrity endorsements and more to meaningful recommendations made by trusted commentators who make them feel special.       We analysed the latest adidas influencer campaign and awarded a […]

6 Dec 2017

Artificial Intelligence-defying writing from Esquire

SECTOR: Entertainment CLIENT: Hearst, Esquire WOW: Power of the human word DATE: November 2017   Progressive US magazine Mother Jones recently reported that Artificial Intelligence (AI) experts are predicting we will have ‘full human-level AI’ by 2045. Artists? Surgeons? Writers? There’s an app, well, a robot for all that in less than 30 years. The […]

21 Jul 2017

What is it with Austrians and diving records?

There are no two words in the English language more harmful than ‘good job’, said Terence Fletcher, the rhythm-dictating fascist drumteach in 2014 Hollywood blockbusting outlier, Whiplash. It’s alright being good at something but being the best at something is a huge ask for the individual. Not so for countries, according to David McCandless and […]

14 Jul 2017

Your money or your life – what would you stand and deliver?

A mugger accosts you in the street ranting, ‘YOUR CASH OR YOUR PHONE?’ what do you give up? If you hand over your cash, there’s no recompense, you’ve lost your dosh. If you hand over your phone, chances are it has a lock on it and you can cancel it and get a replacement. There’s […]

29 May 2016

Prepare to be thunderstruck by the 2016 Champions League final

By Brad Rees As the Atlético Madrid team bus rocks up to the San Siro stadium on Saturday, the Blaupunckt stereo system will be blasting out ‘Thunderstruck’ by Ozzie MetalGods, AC/DC. It’s an Atléti tradition. Torres and chums will be chanting, ‘Thunder, thunder, thunder, thunder, I was caught in the middle of a railroad track.’ […]

19 May 2016

GEORDIE SOARS… as MTV reality show celebrates 5th birthday with record audience on TV and online

By Brad Rees Love it or hate it, MTV’s licence-to-ill DocuSoap has wiped the floor with all previous traditional ratings records and amassed a vibrant, engaged social audience in the process. An army of digital natives gorge on content, not just for the 42 minutes per episode but 24/7 – as new and old habits […]