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A year living social trends: Outdoor Cinema – letting the data decide

When Alex and Katie offered the OneFifty team the opportunity to “live the trend”, by going to an outdoor cinema this month, we were all very excited. However, this excitement quickly changed to animosity once the topic of which film to actually see was raised. With so many options in London, the office soon came to an impasse on what to watch, with no side wanting to budge. Naturally we settled it the way we do everything – with data. We would use the ultimate democratic tool (social media) to decide: whichever film had the highest mentions online, we’d go to.

I started looking at the demographic breakdown to give me some clues as to which film might come out on top. Straight away it was easy to see who the dominant audience was. On Facebook 350,000 people were interested in pages related to outdoor cinemas. Of these 280,000 were women, and of those 150,000 were under 34. With this information La La Land become the clear favourite. Surely this demographic would talk more about this year’s Oscar winning romantic comedy, rather than classics like Ghostbusters and Top Gun? The favourite shifted though, once we analysed social mentions online within the outdoor cinema category. The gender balance was restored when looking at mentions in the last 3 months. Maybe my favourite (Ghostbusters) stood a chance?

We downloaded these mentions and looked at what films people had been talking about. Any retweet competitions were instantly disqualified – ‘Finding Dory’ was out of the picture. Tragedy struck early on when cult classic (and my personal choice) Ghostbusters got only 15 mentions out of our sample of 2,200. Internet, I’m not mad, just disappointed. Back to the Future and Top Gun were the next to fall with 64 and 70 mentions respectively.

It became clear to everyone that we were going to be watching some sort of romantic comedy. It was between Grease, La la Land and Dirty Dancing. Whatever happened, Natalie was happy.

With 180 mentions, nearly 8% of our sample, La La Land was the clear winner; with Dirty Dancing and Grease both having 5.5%. Interestingly, more males were talking about La la Land than females in our sample. Most though, like @Bradpreston, just wanted to show off how “lucky” his tinder date was rather than talking about the actual film.

So it looks like we are off see La La Land. We’ll keep you updated on how it goes.


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