Looking Back To 2023's Best Campaigns

Using social listening to show which ad campaigns performed the best

Henry Chapman, Research and Insights Analyst

Using social listening to measure campaign performance

With the end of 2023 rapidly approaching, we wanted to look back at our favorite campaigns of the year. One of the critical use cases attributed to social listening is its ability to measure campaign performance. We'll use analysis provided by Infegy's suite of products to see how Spotify Wrapped and Apple's Shot on iPhone 2023 campaigns compared with their historical performance over the last decade. We'll show you how brand strategists and advertisers can identify post volume, sentiment, themes, and engagement patterns to get critical metrics to make unbiased decisions on how their campaigns performed, providing leadership teams with insights on allocating advertising spending in the coming year.

Spotify Wrapped

First, we'll take a look at Spotify's Wrapped campaign. Wrapped is an annual feature and campaign that provides users personalized insights into their music listening habits throughout the year, showcasing their most-streamed songs, artists, and genres. Users can also explore unique statistics and trends, creating a personalized summary of their year in music. Wrapped becomes a social campaign because Spotify heavily encourages sharing on social media. That's the portion that we'll take a look at.

Historical post volume

As with all our analyses, we'll begin with a post volume examination. Because Wrapped is an annual event beginning in 2015, we'll start our analysis earlier to grab any potential initial lead-up.

Figure 1 shows the post volume attributed to Wrapped. If you're running a multi-year campaign and feature release, this shallow exponential pattern is what you want to see. Because Wrapped is seasonal, we see a highly periodic pattern around November-December of each successive year. Most importantly, post volume is increasing at an increasing rate. This pattern means Spotify's Wrapped is getting increasingly more exposure on social media, and their efforts to encourage posts from their users are working to generate more exposure for Spotify.

Figure 1: Post volume attributed to Spotify Wrapped; (December 2013 through December 2023); Infegy data.

Historical Sentiment

Next, we'll look at the sentiment attributed to Spotify Wrapped. Sentiment can be a crucial indicator of campaign performance: poor sentiment could indicate your campaign needs to attract more positivity towards your brand on social media. Spotify Wrapped sentiment data shows a more nuanced view of the campaign than the post volume growth we looked at before. While it has more positive than negative posts, we attribute many of the campaign's negativity to privacy concerns in 2021 and 2022. Many users discussed the alleged "creepiness" of Spotify harvesting and analyzing personal usage data. Social media users also complained about the embarrassment of potentially sharing something so unique, like their yearly music listening habits.

Sentiment documents distribution attributed to Spotify Wrapped.
Figure 2: Sentiment documents distribution attributed to Spotify Wrapped (2013 through 2023); Infegy data.

Historical Themes

Advertising campaigns are supposed to drive sales. Post volume and positive sentiment are indicators of a well-performing campaign, but we use specific Themes to judge better how well a campaign performs. Regarding Spotify Wrapped, we used Themes to classify user conversation around how people talked about Spotify's most significant yearly campaign. We detected high Intent and Quality scores. Quality means that people were generally satisfied with Spotify as a product offering. On the other hand, the Intent score is significant, as it classifies conversations around purchasing decisions, a crucial factor marketers use to predict sales volume.

Themes (Positive Documents) attributed to Spotify Wrapped
Figure 3: Themes (Positive Documents) attributed to Spotify Wrapped (2013 through 2023); Infegy data.

Apple: Shot on iPhone

Next, we'll look at our second favorite recurring campaign of 2023: Apple's Shot on iPhone. "Shot on iPhone" is an advertising campaign by Apple that highlights the iPhone's exceptional photography and video capabilities. The campaign showcases user-generated content captured with iPhones, emphasizing the device's ability to capture stunning images and videos in various settings and conditions.

Post Volume

As with Spotify Wrapped, we'll take a look at post volume. Here, we see a different story. Over the last decade, post volume attributed to Shot on iPhone peaked around 2017 and 2018. This peak makes sense: Apple had just released new cameras that critics lauded as a significant step forward for the entire industry. However, since 2020, the smartphone market has become saturated. Users see less and less of a difference between each progressive generation. The perceived lack of innovation might account for the diminishing post volume.

Post volume attributed to Apple's Shot on iPhone campaign
Figure 4: Post volume attributed to Apple's Shot on iPhone campaign (December 2013 through November 2023); Infegy data.

Historical Engagements

When we look at another indicator, Engagements, we're greeted by a rosier picture. Engagements since January 2022 have shot up 140%. While people post less using the #shotoniphone hashtag, they like, share, and comment at a much faster pace. This indicator shows the campaign still has some steam left despite the diminishing post volume.

Engagements attributed to Apple's Shot on iPhone campaign
Figure 5: Engagements attributed to Apple's Shot on iPhone campaign (December 2022 through November 2013; Infegy data.

Takeaways for your social listening practice

Analyzing the 2023 campaigns of Spotify Wrapped and Apple's Shot on iPhone using social listening reveals valuable insights for brand strategists and advertisers. For Spotify Wrapped, the increasing post volume indicates growing exposure, while sentiment analysis highlights the need to address privacy concerns. Positive Themes indicate high user satisfaction and intent, which is crucial for predicting sales. On the other hand, Apple's Shot on iPhone campaign shows a decline in post volume. However, a significant increase in engagements suggests ongoing resonance with the audience, emphasizing the campaign's lasting impact.

The key takeaway for businesses and advertising agencies is the importance of comprehensive social listening to measure campaigns. Beyond post volume, sentiment analysis, and thematic insights provide a holistic understanding of campaign performance so you can pivot as needed to meet growing or shrinking market demand.

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