Toronto agency Mass Minority is predicting a Liberal minority government in today’s election, not based on any polling but on online consumer behaviour.
The agency developed its Brand Advantage Monitor (BAM), to assess consumer purchase intent and attitudes, measuring ad spend across both mass and digital media and contrasting them with online metrics including search interest and presence, website relevance and advocacy to assign an overall score based on their ability to attract consumers
It applied the same tool to the measure the major parties and determined late last week that a Liberal minority would be the result. “The rest of the polls are [measuring] intentions, and we’re monitoring behaviour,” says Mass Minority CEO Brett Channer. “We firmly believe that behaviour analysis is a greater determinant of what people are actually doing.”
The Liberals led all of the federal parties with a BAM score of 64 out of 100, followed by the NDP at 55, the Green Party of Canada at 46, the Conservative Party of Canada at 40 and the People’s Party of Canada at 37.
Politics is a low-scoring category overall, says Channer. A high-performing automobile brand, for example, would typically score in the 90s, with even a low-scoring brand scoring in the 70s.
Although some pundits were predicting a last-minute surge by the Conservative Party of Canada, Channer says the BAM data suggests “it simply can’t happen.”
Channer says the Conservatives were undermined by over-spending against a message that didn’t resonate with voters. “They way outspent the category, and every time they increased the spend, traffic to the website and [consumer] sentiment went down,” says Channer. “They were communicating a message that wasn’t resonating, and putting more fuel behind it. That’s ultimately what hurt them.”
Consumer sentiment about the Conservatives started to shift with the late August release of the party’s first official campaign ad “My Plan,” which showed party leader Andrew Scheer looking off camera while outlining how his party would help Canadians. “That seemed to have a really negative impact, but they kept a lot of money behind it,” says Channer.
Sentiment for the Liberals, meanwhile, plummeted after Prime Minister Justin Trudea’s “brownface” scandal, but while the party’s appeal and advocacy scores were low, it continued to score well on interest, presence and relevance.
“It looks like it was a race to who was disliked less,” says Channer of the two front-runner parties. “The negative sentiment is so strong on both the Conservatives and Liberals.”
The NDP, meanwhile, experienced a three-fold increase in website visits and a “massive” increase in positive sentiment after the Oct. 7 leaders’ debate, while its advertising resonated with voters.
Channer says that the NDP’s advertising was so well received that the party could have benefited from additional exposure. “If anything, they could have spent more money against it,” he says. “It’s the one party that could have benefited from a bigger budget.”
Sentiment for both the Green Party and People’s Party of Canada was generally positive throughout the campaign, says Channer, although not significant enough to impact the two leading parties.