Facebook fans love Mercedes-Benz’s new “Catch” viral, but YouTube response is more mixed

Facebook fans love Mercedes-Benz’s new “Catch” viral, but YouTube response is more mixed

Social media response to Mercedes-Benz's new "Catch" viral shows that established fan communities are likely to respond more positively than the general online audience. This example also highlights a gap in content expectations for users on different platforms.

Mercedes-Benz is the latest brand to use sporting celebrities to win over social media users, with a new viral released a week ago on both their Facebook page and their YouTube account. It features pro-golfer Jake Shepherd throwing a golf ball which is then caught by Formula 1 drive David Coulthard in a Mercedes SLS. The video has garnered over 1.5 million views on YouTube and was covered by CNN Live.

WaveMetrix analysis shows that the high engagement on social media platforms is mostly positive, especially on Facebook, suggesting that Mercedes’ association with sporting celebrities is well-received by the brand’s social media fans. A closer look at the consumer response on each platform shows that Mercedes’ Facebook fans respond very positively, complimenting Mercedes on their “awesome” and “amazing” viral. In contrast, 29% consumers commenting on YouTube are negative, saying the stunt is “unimpressive” and “a waste of time”. This reveals that an established fan community, such as Facebook, are likely to be more positive than a more general social media audience.
Those commenting on the YouTube viral are less positive than Facebook fans:
Facebook fans love Mercedes-Benz’s new “Catch” viral, but YouTube response is more mixed
  • Facebook users find the video stunt "cool": Fans of the Mercedes-Benz UK Facebook page praise the viral for being "well-done" and comment on the "amazing" and "hot" SLS model. This shows that the viral resonated well with Mercedes-Benz' Facebook community
  • In contrast, the viral is less well-received on YouTube: Whilst the majority of YouTube users are positive, saying they "love" Mercedes and find the viral "fun", 29% criticise it for being "dumb" and "pointless". This reveals that YouTube users, who may not be fans of the Mercedes-Benz brand, expect different things from the video content they watch

Negativity on YouTube comes from criticism of the stunt:
  • YouTube users praise the Mercedes brand and SLS model: Criticism of the stunt video does not impact badly on the Mercedes brand or on perceptions of the SLS model, as YouTube users still find the SLS "beautiful"
  • The viral gets a mixed response from YouTube users: Although the viral receives a majority of positive comments, a third are negative, revealing a discrepancy with the response from YouTube fans. This suggests that YouTube users are more interested in content which they find entertaining whether it is brand-related or not, whilst Facebook fans like seeing content from their favourite brands

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