As a follow-up to my January 6th post, tonight was Hawaii Five-0’s much hyped “who dunnit?” episode wherein the viewing audience crowdsourced, in real-time, the show’s murder mystery ending by Tweeting one of three possible hashtags representing one of three possible killers and/or voting directly on CBS.com.
Using Radian6, I pulled all of the mentions of the 3 hashtags, exported the results to Excel and isolated those Tweets during the East Coast and West Coast episode airings' voting period as mentioned by the @HawaiiFive0CBS Twitter account during the broadcast.
Note: These counts represent only votes via Twitter mentions and not any votes on CBS.com.
There were a total of about 7,200 Twitter votes during the 40-ish minute East Coast voting period. The vote on Twitter matched which ending aired ("The Boss").
WEST COAST AIRING
There were just over 1,000 votes via Twitter for the West Coast airing. The vote on Twitter did NOT match the ending that aired. "The Student" was the West Coast ending (and received the lowest votes on Twitter) which must mean that it had a substantial number of votes on CBS.com over the others to make up for the disparity.
Did people tune-in?
Of course, CBS did this (very creative) stunt to drive ratings. Did it work? UPATED 1/15: About 9.4 million viewers tuned in to watch Hawaii Five-0 last night. Looking at Nielsen historical data, this is slightly below average ratings for the 2011/2012 season which saw on average 10.7 million viewers on new episodes. But it's higher than the average viewership of the Fall 2012 season so far of 8.9 million viewers.
Not the most Tweeted H50 episode (by far)(but close).
Pulling historical data of Hawaii Five-0 from Bluefin Labs (click image to enlarge), even with all of the hype, press, and publicity, the amount of 24 hour social activity for this episode was average and less than half of the September 24, 2012 broadcast.
Update 1/15 - 9pm: When looking at the social activity (via Bluefin Labs) limited to just the airtime of each episode, the data shows that the amount was very close to that of the 9/24 season premiere (click image to enlarge.)
So in the end, the episode garnered average-ish Nielsen ratings and above average Social TV ratings. Now the unanswered question becomes to what degree did this stunt maintain ratings? Would they have been materially lower had it not been for the buzz leading up to (and during) this episode?
A few other things…
I was expecting to see lower thirds during the broadcast encouraging viewers to vote. There were none other than the standard #H50 hashtag at the very beginning of the episode. However, at the :30 minute commercial break, there was a TV promo spot telling people to vote and showing the different hashtags they could use. This appeared at both the beginning and ending of the commercial pod.
At the end of the episode, there was a quick bumper that mentioned the other endings were now available to watch on CBS.com.
It's debateable if the overall vote count is good or bad -- it's very similar in volume to the numbers I pulled when NBC's The Voice did something kind of similar. But in the end, those who participated seemed to really enjoy it.