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Cadbury: Social Networking "Sweetens" Business

Cadbury Wispa Bar
CNBC.com
Cadbury Wispa Bar

The idea is to mine online buzz to find out what movies, music, tv, and online video people are talking about online, with the idea to eventually turn that buzz into relevant numbers for advertisers. Nielsen won't be the first to look to social networks for insight.

Cadbury was so overwhelmed by 14,000 people who joined "Bring Back Wispa" groups on Facebook,that four years after a candy bar was discontinued, it decided to bring it back. Cadbury's discovery of the online passion for Wispa is exactly why Nielsen wants to create a destination for users to rave, gripe, and make demands about the entertainment content and products they love and hate most. Companies always want to hear exactly what their consumers want--especially those media-savvy consumers who are likely to be trend-watching online.

This kind of obsessive fan club thing is pretty common about TV shows--a show gets cancelled, the fans become livid and start online-based fan clubs petitioning the network to bring a show back despite low ratings. CBS decided to bring back "Jericho" after ticked off fans revolted and a campaign by devoted viewers led ABC to renew "According to Jim", which was on track to be axed.

The beauty of the social networks is that now fans of products or shows can find each other and can make a big deal--and generate change--about something they'd have kept to themselves in a pre-MySpace era.

Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.