Social-Media Smackdown: Packers Fans vs. Saints Fans

Bluefin Labs Data Shows What Movies on TV Packers and Saints Fans Get Most Buzzed About

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Green Bay beat New Orleans on Thursday night 42 to 34.
Green Bay beat New Orleans on Thursday night 42 to 34. Credit:

You know who's really happy today, other than Packers fans? The person or people tweeting for @NBCSportsPR, which has been in victory-lap mode this morning with posts like these: "Packers-Saints 17.2/28 overnight is second-best NFL Kickoff Game Ever & second-best NBC Primetime NFL game ever #NFLKickoff" and "NBC dominated the primetime competition and defeated its closest competition among the broadcast networks by 238% #NFLkickoff."

Packers and Saints fans (and football fans in general) did NBC a solid, and @NBCSportsPR is eternally grateful.

Leading up to the game, I had discussions with the team at Bluefin Labs about what else Packers and Saints fans watch on TV, besides football. You've probably noticed that we've been running charticles over the past few months using data generated exclusively for Advertising Age by Bluefin, a Cambridge, Mass.-based company whose expertise is in providing brands, agencies and media companies with real-time TV-audience response insights through social-media analysis.

Using its massive, constantly updated database of social-media commentary -- primarily on Twitter and Facebook -- about TV shows across U.S. broadcast and cable networks, Bluefin was able to tell me about Packers and Saints fan affinities when it comes to movies broadcast on TV. Some rather heady science goes into parsing the interconnections of these social conversations --- Bluefin has deep ties to the MIT Media Lab's Cognitive Machines Group -- but the result is the two topline charts shown here. Here's what they say and how to read them:


  • Each graphic shows TV engagement for a particular audience profile. In this case, we're showing two different profiles for contrast: 1) people who talk about the New Orleans Saints in social media and 2) people who talk about the Green Bay Packers in social media.
  • Digging deep into what else Packers and Saints social-chatterers also chatter about in regard to TV, Bluefin cross-referenced engagement with movies shown on TV, across U.S. broadcast and cable channels, year-to-date. In all, more than 5,000 movies were included in this analysis.
  • The number in the parentheses is Bluefin's Audience Connection Index (ACI). It shows the connection strength between an audience profile (e.g., Packers people, Saints people) and a given movie. An index of 100 is average. Any index over 150 is strong.
  • The No. 1 connection for Packers people is the movie "Stone Cold," in which Tom Selleck plays a small-town police chief investigating a series of murders.
  • The No. 1 connection for Saints people is the movie "Pirates," which Showtime calls an "electrifying, swashbuckling, erotic adventure that takes you on a humorous and mystical journey through haunted seas." (Um ... OK!) So heartland Packers fans like Tom Selleck morality plays and New Orleans Saints fans like racy immorality plays? Not quite. Turns out "Pirates" is also the No. 2 connection for Packers people.
  • Generally speaking, Saints people seem to be more into "guy movies"; Packers people like their guy movies too, but skew more toward watching and talking about (on social media) comedies.
  • Both groups liked "Rocky IV," which coincidentally came in at No. 8 on both lists. But Packers people engaged with it more, with an ACI of 263, versus just 193 for Saints people.
  • What's the endgame here? Packers and Saints fans could maybe (maybe) sit down and watch a Sylvester Stallone movie or a racy Showtime flick together without ending up in a fight. Common ground, sports fans!
  • "We're learning that social-media engagement with TV varies quite a bit among different audience profiles," Bluefin's Tom Thai tells me. The Packers vs. Saints example -- which we chose to celebrate the season kickoff -- may be be relatively nuanced, but "Once you start looking at moms vs. dads, Dewheads vs. Sprite drinkers, sports fanatics vs. foodies, you find that different audience profiles engage with social-TV in pretty different ways."

Stay tuned to for more data from Bluefin Labs.

For more about Bluefin, visit their website.

Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. Follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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