After Rallye Monte Carlo and the massive social media swing to Ogier, how would Rally Sweden go?
For Rally Sweden we captured and analysed 18,000 tweets from the #RallySweden hashtag. We looked at the tweets from the Wednesday before the event to the Tuesday after the event. We looked at the #1 drivers from the factory teams (plus Tanak) and the factory teams themselves.
This is what we found.
After a great start to the season, we knew there was no form book. What we did know though was that Hyundai was fast and that Toyota was better than any of us thought. And that you can never count out Ogier.
And that was reflected in the distribution of the tweets. Unlike Monte Carlo, where Ogier was a clear winner in social land, this one was a lot tighter. Overall though it was Toyota coming out the winner – a team not a driver, with Ogier and Neuville coming in close behind.
What was interesting – and it may be my search terms is the lack of interest in Hyundai itself. The drivers are liked but only 3% of tweets contained the term ‘Hyundai’. This is something I find hard to believe – so if you have ideas or work for Hyundai, let me know what I should be searching for!
As the weekend went by
It all seemed pretty even through the weekend. Then Neuville and Saturday night happened. We care, of course we did. But not as much as we cared about what it meant for Jari-Matti Latvala and Toyota. They now looked like they could win. No one thought they could. Now it seemed that everyone wanted them to.
And when they did, there was a HUGE spike in mentions for Toyota. It certainly was a popular win.
Each segment below represents 2000 tweets in chronological order. You can see just when everyone started to believe in the Toyota dream.
You can see that unlike in Monaco, there was a much more even spread of mentions and more interest in the teams. Obviously when you are at the front, you command more attention as you can see by Meeke and Citroen’s fade. In the middle was all Neuville but in the end it was all Toyota.
This time around it was Meeke and Ogier doing all the talking for the drivers. Interestingly, for all the excitement for Toyota, that wasn’t translated to mentions for Latvala. While he did win a segment late in the rally, he never reached the heights of Ogier or Neuville.
It is interesting to look at the tail off in driver mentions as the rally ended. While there were highs of around of tweets including driver mentions at mid rally, by the time the power stage was on and after the rally, the mentions concentrated around the teams.
The team’s graph was a good reflection of the rally – for Toyota. The excitement of the Toyota close to home and the dram and reality of the win. The spike at the end was enormous, outscoring their opposition by almost 3x. They were they only ones in people’s minds.
Hyundai though was nowhere. The others were getting some mentions, reflecting their positions but Hyundai was absent altogether. Odd as they looked odds on to win until Saturday night.
The Toyota factor
But what of Toyota. No one really expected them to win. Like MSport in Monaco. The odds were nver there. But as it became apparent they could do it, it seemed as though the fans believed too. There was a lot of excitement and the huge spike at the end made them the most poplar.
And how could they not be? Their first win since the 1990s. Latvala and Makkinen return to the top. – or the one with the most attention surrounding him. It was a fairy tale ending. And this was deserved.
This is the boost Toyota were looking for!
But as the WRC season continues, it will be interesting to see how this evolves. Ogier took round 1, Toyota round 2. Both rounds, the result and the social reflected each other. What will Mexico hold?
The RacerViews info
By Sam Tickell, March 2017
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