U.S. restaurant consumers exposed to social media content significantly more likely to increase spending, consumption than those who aren't exposed, study says

Nevin Barich

Nevin Barich

Oct 18, 2011 – PRNewswire

NEW YORK , October 18, 2011 (press release) – According to final results from a new Ogilvy-ChatThreads study of restaurant consumers, individuals exposed to social content are significantly more likely to increase their spending and consumption than those who aren't exposed.

There was a 2-7x greater likelihood of higher spending or consumption depending on the media encountered by the study group. The sales impact was most pervasive when social content was combined with other types of media such as PR, out-of-home and TV.

Additionally, out of over 20 channels studied, social content exposure was associated with the largest shift in brand perception during a 7-day period.

Despite these strong social content impact findings, consumers are seeing relatively little branded social content during their daily routine. Only 24% of the study group reported exposure to social content, compared to a 69% exposure rate to TV ads.

According to Irfan Kamal, SVP Digital/Social, Ogilvy, "Much of the work to date has looked at direct channel impacts; for example, do direct clicks from a social media site result in sales? This study of restaurant consumers attempts to understand the more complex factors that lead to consumer purchase and perception changes. We found that in the real world, social content exposure - by itself and more broadly when combined with other types of media exposure such as out-of-home, PR or TV ads - is linked with 2-7x higher likelihood of consumption and actual spend increases. And, social content exposure alone is associated with the largest shift in week-to-week brand perception."

Dr. Walter Carl, ChatThreads Founder and Chief Research Officer, adds: "Because we captured detailed touchpoint data in the moment from the consumer's point of view we were able to track day-to-day brand exposures and assess the complex interaction effects of the various media and marketing initiatives."

This Integrated Social Media Sales Impact study is from Ogilvy and ChatThreads. Data was collected between January and May 2011. The final report is available at: www.slideshare.net/360digitalinfluence.


The study recruited 404 individuals to use the ChatThreads BrandEncounter™ platform in reporting their real-time exposure to 21 different brand "touchpoints" across five QSR brands: KFC, McDonalds, Subway, Taco Bell and Wendy's. The study ran in 2 segments between January 20, 2011 and May 6, 2011. A total of 5,623 touchpoints were reported by participating consumers, each of whom reported their brand touchpoints over a 7 day period. Participants were pre-screened for Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) favorability and social media activity within the past week.

About Ogilvy

Ogilvy & Mather is one of the largest marketing communications companies in the world. Through its specialty units, the company provides a comprehensive range of marketing services, including advertising; public relations and public affairs; branding and identity; shopper and retail marketing; healthcare communications; and direct, digital, promotion and relationship marketing. Ogilvy & Mather services Fortune Global 500 companies as well as local businesses through its network of more than 450 offices in 120 countries. It is a WPP company (NASDAQ: WPPGY). Ogilvy & Mather provides an integrated approach to social engagement for clients, comprising social strategy, community, commerce, content and analytics. For more information, visit http://www.ogilvy.com.

About ChatThreads

ChatThreads provides real-time media mix impact analysis, tracking how, when and where consumers come into contact with brands and analyzing how these encounters contribute to purchase behavior. ChatThreads believes that the most important impressions are real impressions -- what the consumer actually notices. These touchpoints are tracked using ChatThreads' BrandEncounter™ platform. ChatThreads clients include leading brands and their agency partners such as Coca-Cola, Frito-Lay, Hamilton Beach, Illy, Kraft, Microsoft, BzzAgent and House Party. For more information, visit http://chatthreads.com.

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