Facebook Brand Battles: Coke Crushes Pepsi, Burger King Gains Ground on McDonalds, And More Epic Rivalries Revealed


If you’ve followed our blog over the years, you’ll know that we love diving into the Facebook Advertising Platform to analyze and report on everything from Facebook Demographics to Fascinating Social Media Statistics. This year, we’re releasing a quarterly report on key brand rivalries on Facebook, looking at their quarterly growth and share of Brand Affinity, i.e. “people who have expressed an interest in or like pages related to a [Brand]”.

Check out the Q1 report & key insights below, and stay tuned for the Q2 update this Summer!

Brand Battles Final

Top Insights:

1) Burger King crushed McDonalds in terms of “% Q1 growth” with 50% growth versus 10% growth. Burger King still lags far behind McDonald’s in overall percent share of brand affinity but The King is gaining ground quickly.

2) While Starbucks remained stagnant, Dunkin Donuts grew by almost 19% in Q1, closing the gap on share of brand affinity as well.

3) Coke maintains its dominance over Pepsi, with 70% share of brand affinity and more than 2x Q1 growth and overall brand affinity.

4) Domino’s saw a sharp decline in brand affinity, likely due to their rebrand from Domino’s Pizza to Domino’s, as affiliated pages of “Domino’s Pizza” were altered and no longer roll up into the top line number reported here.

5) Visa’s impressive Q1 growth (36.4%) also comes around the same time as its Costco deal (supplanting American Express as the retail warehouse giant’s credit card partner). Well played. 

NOTE: As these #’s are pulled directly from the Facebook Advertising platform (In January and again in April 2015), we can’t account for potential factors such as fake profiles, timing of algorithm changes, deactivated accounts, or accounts of the recently deceased. Email if you want the complete data set.


The Dev Digest: The Hottest Engineering News From ISL & Beyond


There is a lot to cover from the past couple weeks! Our very own @clarepolitan returned from EmpireJS armed with new and amazing JS and accessibility knowledge! From diving into virtual reality in the browser, to browsing the web with alternative inputs, she debriefed Antimatter and sparked an accessibility push at ISL. There’s a few links to decks for these talks in the digest below.

ISL hosted the April DC Code Pen Meetup with @EliFitch leading the charge! They talked HTML5 canvas, creative coding, and more, check out the deck! Next location is TBD but keep an eye out for another!

We focused on performance and how it impacts our users. @krawchyk talked about setting performance goals and how every team member, regardless of their discipline, can contribute to those goals to achieve butter. A lot of work has been done collecting data and load testing our applications. Gathering this data is crucial for us and is already resulting in NGINX/UWSGI optimizations across our stacks.

Our team shifted its code reviews from project-based reviews to team-wide reviews. We’ve scheduled two a week, one for backend and one for frontend specific code, and developers are planning to attend at least one a week. Not only does this improve code quality, but it also opens up the discussion to a broader audience and helps improve code reuse between our projects. More eyes on more code means more improvements and better knowledge sharing.

Don’t miss @JulianGindi‘s Django District talk coming up soon! ISL is hosting the event, make sure you RSVP here: Scaling Django to a million users (or at least getting close).

Dev Digest:

The Top 10 Things I Learned Interning @ ISL (as Expressed in Drake GIFs)


I never thought I’d learn so much from a single internship as I’ve been taught working for ISL this spring. I felt spectacularly lucky to be chosen to join my favorite agency in DC, and I feel even luckier now that I can call so many of them friends.

I feel like I started from the bottom and now my whole team’s here. #sorrynotsorry #yolo

And what better way to express these feels than with reactions from the boy? Here are the top 10 things I learned (though there are so so many more) as illustrated by the Internet’s treasure trove of priceless Drake GIFs.

1) Feedback that’s difficult to hear is the best feedback.


Another set of eyes is arguably one of the most valuable things on Earth, especially if those eyes come with an intelligent mind. ISL’s key cultural strength is the high value placed on honest feedback, including praise and criticism. Everyone here works for the best product for each client; often that means many (many) rounds of revision. But it’s all worth it for amazing final outputs like the Facebook Mentions Box.

2) Writing copy is a weirdly great way to learn new things.


Researching a brand’s products and associated cultural significance is key to writing relatable, effective copy. I’ve learned way more about barbecue, appetizers, engineering, and cocktail mixing than I ever would have expected from working at a marketing agency (and loved every second of it). Also, I got free whisk(e)y sometimes. So…there’s that too. 

3) Choose a better starting point than scratch.


Starting from zero is daunting. But at ISL and most other accomplished agencies, there’s usually a previous project you can draw on for inspiration, if not a solid foundation. Synthesizing ideas from past projects may seem like a cop out to being creative; it’s precisely the opposite. One needs inspiration to be creative. Capitalizing on the best pieces of projects-gone-by is an excellent technique to doing even greater work this time.

4) The team should have your back.


ISL accomplishes astounding work in short time frames thanks to a thorough task assignment system and amazing support staff. There’s a workflow for every deliverable, which means nothing is ever lost and everyone knows what’s up on a project. It also helps to have an office culture built on trust and responsibility! 

5) Take impossible tasks in stride.


I can’t even count the number of times a strategist approached me with a task I had no idea how to accomplish at first blush. So I just said yes. Lo and behold, I figured it out. Expect to be stunned by the seemingly huge mountain of work agency assignments require, and sometimes how to blow up those mountains (in a good way).

6) Accept that everyone knows more about projects, clients, marketing, and life in general than you do.


If you’re interning at an agency, you’ll almost certainly be the youngest person at the company. Expect to be overwhelmed by the circles your co-workers will run around you and ask them to explain what they’re doing (all the time).

7) Ask for help before banging your head against walls.


Remember those impossible task mountains (and subsequent explosives) from number four? The only way to tackle them is to enlist the help of your experienced co-workers. Experience counts for A LOT in client projects ranging from experiential stunt planning to social media analytics, so make friends and have a chat about that new assignment. There’s a solid chance you’ll get it done in one hour instead of six. 

8) Never coast.


If you want to constantly grow at your internship, no matter where it is, complacency is not an option. I try and ask for different kinds of assignments as much as possible and to ask questions even more. It’s how I pursued interesting work like drafting content, writing case studies, and creating pitch decks.

9) Work in your own way.


ISL does a wonderful job of embracing different work styles, so getting your stuff done well is all that matters as an intern (and an employee). But it’s important to say what you need and how you work so the team knows what to expect. Knocking assignments out from the couch? No worries, just make sure they’re awesome.

10) Being yourself is a lot better than being “the intern”.


Being yourself in a company full of strangers is hard, especially in your first few days. But at ISL, you’re hired for you, and encouraged to act as such, nerdiness and all (I played trading card games semi-professionally for a while). My passions didn’t make me “weird”; they made me human. Plus everyone at ISL is kind of a super nerd for something or other, so you’ve got nothing to lose. It’s a beautiful thing.

Bonus: GIFs are important.


So is smiling :)

-Spencer Swan, @spentronswan

Note: Spencer was ISL’s strategy intern of Spring 2015. You can now find Spencer crushing it in Texas for Facebook’s Community Operations Division. #LikeABoss  

Cultural Strategy: How Brands Can Become Cultural Icons

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Cultural Brand Strategy is the link between creative and strategy that can elevate brands, campaigns, and creative work to achieve a culturally iconic status.

These creative executions side-step conventional marketing value propositions and categorical benefits — in favor of positioning Brands to address, disrupt, and resolve specific cultural tensions in a social context.

Often ‘snuck in’ by agency creatives and missing from explicit client creative direction — Cultural Strategy provides the basics of how to identify, create and execute creative in a more consistent, culturally relevant way.

Originally advanced as academic theory by Douglas Holt in How Brands Become Icons, he partnered with Douglas Cameron to create Amalgamated Marketing Agency to apply those concepts for real Brand campaigns, and provides case studies in the follow-up text Cultural Strategy.

Often ‘snuck in’ by creatives, Cultural Strategy isn’t typically outlined in existing Brand positioning statements or conventional marketing vision. Rather, powerful narratives — ‘cultural myths’ from ‘populist worlds’ — capitalize on cultural values, tensions, and collective ideologies to deliberately position Brands at the center of a specific cultural context.

In this presentation, learn how brands like Corona, Coke, Nike, Volkswagen, and Red Bull play the role of ‘cultural activists’ to advance an iconic brand story.

Famous ads like Coke’s ‘Hilltop’ (1971), Nike’s “If You Let Me Play” (1995), and Volkswagen’s “Lemon” (1959) provide a historic context for how Brands have executed on cultural strategy in the past — and examples like Red Bull and American Apparel show current brands that co-author cultural and advance cultural myth on behalf of the Brand.

Read more in the deck above, or click to view and download on Slideshare.

Dev Digest: Our 20 favorite engineering updates from last week


Recently, our development team, Antimatter, codified a set of values that represent the team’s culture. One of these values is to pursue and share knowledge which helps us stay up to date with the fast-paced tech community and helps each other become better engineers.

So, I put together a list of updates that I’ve found last week that are relevant to our engineering work. I grabbed them from various places around the internet, including Open Web Platform Daily Digest, HTML5 Weekly, JavaScript Weekly, and Pycoder’s Weekly. Also, I perused through our #antimatter Slack room history for the past week to find fun and interesting links.

These are, in my opinion, the most relevant resources out of the bunch. Some are fun, some are technical, all are awesome. I’ve done my best to organize them from the most approachable to the super nerdy. Without further ado, Here’s the first release! Hope you find them useful, enjoy reading! Let me know what you think!

Dev Digest: