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Cable Technology Feature Article

May 06, 2014

How Does it Make You Feel? Digital Ad Platform Tracks TV Viewers' Emotions

By Tara Seals, TMCnet Contributor

Swapping demographics for psychographics, and the ability to measure audience sentiment have been hallmarks of digital marketing for some time. But it’s notoriously difficult to track emotional reaction to content outside of a focus group setting. Mashwork, a social insights firm, is trying to remedy that with the launch of the Canvs platform, which it says “goes beyond volumetric buzz measures to reveal the emotions that drive conversation.”

In other words, as a social entertainment analytics platform, it tells users not only the number of people who are talking about particular content, but also how they feel about it.

“TV network marketers can use Canvs to identify characters that resonate with their audience,” explained Jared Feldman, Mashwork’s CEO and founder. “Ad sales research can use Canvs to see what other brands their audience loves. TV production can get insights into how the audience responds to plotlines and jokes.”

As an example, someone saying they’re “obsessed” with a show means almost the same thing as someone saying they’re “addicted” to it. Canvs can recognize the close relationship between these expressions and connect tweets containing those words with similar sentiments like “hooked” and “fixated” to produce actionable generalizations about the overall nature of audience reaction.

“While most platforms segment conversation by sentiment, Canvs instead provides emotional categories that allow the marketer to make his or her own diagnosis,” said Sam Hui, PhD, Mashwork’s chief scientist. “After all, calling Walter White a ‘bad ass’ is a good thing when it comes to social insight.”

BET (News - Alert), Comedy Central, Spike TV and truTV are among earlier beta users of the new insights platform.

“Canvs fills a gap in the social metrics landscape,” said JP Lespinasse, senior director of social media at BET. “No one else has easily understandable, [easy to manipulate], accurate sentiment analysis. Canvs is an intuitive platform that helps TV brands identify the most important reactions to their shows while also carving up the data to create actionable insights.”

Mashwork will use funding of $1.5 million from early stage venture backers for the launch and continued development of the Canvs platform.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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