Analysing the State of the Nation ‘Undress’

In 2011, popular radio personality Gareth Cliff utilised Twitter, and particularly the hashtag #JZSOTNDrinks — a drinking game mechanism — to encourage the South African man on the street to become involved in the country’s State of the Nation Address. It was a hit online. This year, he evolved the concept and took it to a new level — #SOTNUndress or State of the Nation Undress.

Almost a year ago to the day, we were reporting on South African shock-jock Cliff’s influence on the Twittersphere and his ability to engineer trends by tailoring his messages according to his various broadcast platforms – radio, Facebook and Twitter.

His infectious ability to rally his followers behind a common goal, is indicative of the power of his personal brand and it’s not just his radio base that has grown. His Facebook fans are up from 275 000 in 2011 to almost 346 000 today, while his Twitter followers have climbed consistently with the growth of the younger of the two social networks. They are up almost 300% from 90 000 last February to 233 000.

BrandsEye, a South African global online reputation management (ORM) tool, monitored the online conversations around #SOTNUndress to contextualise Cliff’s influence.

The company’s MD Tim Shier explains, “Yesterday we tracked about 45 000 mentions relating to the State of the Nation Address. This is a nine-fold increase on 2011’s data and about 18 000 more than what was achieved during South African Rugby World Cup games. We see this as a clear indication that South Africans are increasingly interested in politics — across the full range of demographics. #SOTNundress accounted for about 10% of the total conversation with more than 4 500 mentions.”

This is almost double the amount of mentions Cliff received for #JZSOTNDrinks and indicates both the growth of the active South African Twitter base, and the willingness of fans to engage with personal brands they identify with. A lesson for brands in the creation of compelling content for their fans and followers.

Gareth Cliff is a juggernaut of online influence, who even has his own app. Brands can learn a lot of lessons from the Cliff case study, because he is clearly pioneering concepts that strike a chord with a range of demographics.I advise you to keep an eye on his movements in the online space.

Total volume found to date: 4542 mentions
Sentiment: Almost exclusively neutral as it was a game and people were just passing information around.
Estimate OTS/reach (non-unique): 11 069 905
AVE: R2 522 528

Notable 2011 data:
Within conversation generated by Cliff’s #JZSOTNDrinks, the hashtag SONA2011 accounted for 36.9% of mentions
Herein. retweets occurred 932 times – making the nature of Gareth Cliffs online conversation somewhat more viral than the SONA2011 conversation
Engagement of firestarter Gareth Cliff trended at 14.3% of all mentions and 9.8% for counterpart DJ Fresh



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