When SpongeBob Squarepants creator, Stephen Hillenburg, passed away in late 2018, Nickelodeon tapped ListenFirst’s social listening tool to understand how social audiences were responding, and determine their communication strategy.
Viacom’s Nickelodeon team needed a social listening tool that would give them a window into how social audiences were responding to the news of SpongeBob Squarepants creator, Stephen Hillenburg’s passing, and how conversation tied back to the program
ListenFirst provided Nickelodeon with a sentiment analysis which included actual tweets from users, including major influencers and press outlets, who participated in the conversation in the day following the SpongeBob creator’s death
Nickelodeon learned that in the 24 hours following the announcement of Stephen Hillenburg’s death, SpongeBob in conjunction with Hillenburg was mentioned in more than 512,000 tweets, driving 133 million potential impressions. With ListenFirst’s analysis, they also found that the majority of audience sentiment was positive, referencing their childhood memories related to watching SpongeBob. Only a small subset of tweets mentioned canceling the show, reinforcing that Nickelodeon should not be concerned losing viewers