Social TV – The impact of David Attenborough on Social Media

As I watched David Attenborough’s amazing show Africa last night on BBC, I found myself typically “two-screening” – following the conversation on Twitter (with intermittent flicking to Facebook) whilst the other half of my attention was glued to the box.  Whilst some might say that this is ridiculous behaviour, and that I should be just watching the sodding TV, it is clear that I am not alone…

We analysed over 36,000 conversations across Twitter and Facebook from yesterday about David Attenborough and Africa – 77% of which took place during the show (that is 27,954 conversations!).  See, not so ridiculous am I – this is most definitely “social TV”… 

As so many people were watching it, we thought you might want to know what the most talked about animals from the show were? We know what Fearne Cotton’s was, as well as many other viewers’…

As you can see, it was the Giraffe fight that captured the social media conversation.  And, in truth, it was incredible to watch!


There was also a considerable amount of love for David Attenborough himself. 43% of the conversations we analysed specifically talking about David referenced his (iconic) voice and a staggering 29% used the word “God” to describe him!

The opportunities for brands and Social TV

What if Durex joined the conversation about the Rhino last night? This certainly would have been an innovative and more cost effective way of engaging their audience in the context of something wholly relevant. As social TV continues to grow, so do the opportunities to leverage conversations with the target demographic of TV shows. Not only this, but the data that can be gathered from these conversations will help to gauge the opinion of brands, their products and gain vital intelligence. For example, what is the impact of a new product when it is reviewed on the Gadget Show? What did people think of this year’s Coca Cola advert and how did people feel when the truck subsequently appeared around the country?  

IF prediction for this year:

Social TV set to explode in 2013 – did you not watch #Africa with #Attenborough?

If you didn’t watch the show, it is seriously worth a watch, check it out on iPlayer 

Source: 36,323 conversations taken from Twitter & Facebook on Wednesday 2nd January 2013. Love for David Attenborough taken from a sample of 1186 conversations specifically referencing him.


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