Search Laboratory measures Channel 4’s success vs BBC on The Great British Bake Off

In recent years, there hasn’t been a bigger TV show in the UK than the Great British Bake Off, dominating both viewing figures and social chatter. So it was no surprise the controversy that followed when the show moved from the BBC to Channel 4, losing Mary Berry and presenting duo Mel and Sue in the process. Would everyone’s favourite comfort watching ever be the same again? Search Laboratory wanted to study the reaction using Pulsar.

The challenge

During the last week of series eight – the first to be shown on Channel 4 – Search Laboratory used Pulsar to measure the success of the show compared to the previous series – the last shown on the BBC – and the change in sentiment. It was important to Search Laboratory to break down elements like reactions to the new presenters, Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig, compared to the old presenting duo; the anticipation and excitement created during the run-up to the finale and gaining insight into the emotions of viewers going beyond basic sentiment analysis of positive vs negative.

The solution

Search Laboratory engaged Pulsar to set up a comprehensive search looking at Twitter data throughout the last week of the show, running up to and including the final.

For this the Pulsar Trac platform captured variations of phrases used to speak about the Great British Bake Off, as well as the trending hashtags around it. Search Laboratory used the platform’s modular artificial intelligence capabilities, powered through powered IBM Watson, to conduct advanced emotion analysis. This goes beyond standard sentiment analysis by defining not just the positive or negative posts, but breaking them down into more granular emotions such as joy, disgust, fear and so on. They used this to analyze the difference between the BBC and Channel 4 shows, and reaction to the new cast members.

Download the full case study to find out what they discovered 

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