Twitter's vice president of data strategy, Chris Moody, took the stage on day two of Cannes Lions 2015 to talk about 'Connecting people in a transparent world'. Speaking about 'data patterns', he first established the formula for 'Power': Energy/Time.
Moody explained how brands could look at 'lightning' (a one-off event), or look to use something that's shining throughout, like the sun. He began with #TheDress.
Two hours after the piece of content was posted on Tumblr on 26 February, it was uploaded on Twitter. It received 303k tweets in an hour, 'like a lightning strike'.
"We couldn't anticipate this. But, compare this with a discussion about fashion. Fashion is like the sun. Fashion is spoken about all over the world. One part of the world is talking about it at all times. '#TheDress' got 4.8 million tweets. Fashion has 13 times that every month. Fashion is predictable," he observed, adding that one needed to 'pick the right moment to get the right power'.
In another comparison, he drew a parallel between The Oscars and DIY (Do it yourself). He said, "Even though we know that an event like the Oscars is going to happen, we don't know what will happen during it. The Oscars peak at 700k tweets/hour and receive a total of 7.5 million tweets. But, DIY is cooler. It gets nine million tweets every month. So, something like DIY has more energy than the Oscars!"
Moody then cited the case of how a single tweet, by someone who had just 32 followers, started a movement.
"It was at a time when there was grief. It was when Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes had passed away on a cricket field. A person called Paul D Taylor tweeted for (only) the 17th time... a picture of his bat outside his house with #putyourbatsout. This created a cultural movement," he explained.
The tweet went on to a become a movement which saw cricket legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Vivian Richards and Steven Smith among others doing the same. Others like Arsenal Football Club also joined the movement.
The next example was from Panama. This addressed the problem of people driving over potholes.
Another example was on Dove's 'Real Beauty' Twitter extension.
The speaker underlined the importance of brands responding to tweets: "There are 45 million tweets (received) for the top 1,000 brands worldwide in a month. The best proposition for a brand is to own your existing customer. Yet, only two per cent of the brands respond."
He surmised, "Yes, it's important to focus on lightning strikes. But, there's a lot of other energy out there too."