Theresa May vs Cher: Battle of the Dancing Queens

On September 28th Cher released an album of back to back ABBA classics. On Wednesday 3rd Oct Theresa May opened her party conference speech in Birmingham, dancing onto the stage to ABBA classic Dancing Queen. But which Dancing Queen did the nation prefer?

We’re currently in a time when Brits feel least confident in the Government (-55%) and political parties (-64%) than ever. In Birmingham this lack of confidence in Government is even higher at -65%. [1] During a time of clear political tension are the Prime Minister’s dance steps a move to make herself more personable, or a much-misguided joke with worse timing than her very own dance steps?

Looking at Twitter sentiment it would seem the joke didn’t quite land. Net sentiment for Theresa May and dancing on the 3rd was -10%, with 8% of tweets expressing disgust and 7% anger. Net sentiment for Theresa May on the day was even lower at -32%.[2] Not quite the strong and stable image the PM was perhaps hoping for.As the week continued, sentiment across Twitter fell for Theresa May with emotions of Sadness (36%), Disgust (24%) and Anger (7%) all expressed in the Twittersphere. Compared with just 20% of tweets that expressed Joy, it would seem that Mrs May has missed the mark.[3]

In a time when tensions are high in UK politics, and the country with no clear guide on Brexit the Prime Ministers choice of entrance feels off key. In light of Brexit, the choice of ABBA in particular is misguided, with ABBA’s very own Bjorn Ulvaeus stating that ABBA is “such a European idea”. [4]

Meanwhile, on Sept 28th Cher’s album landed with a resounding yes please – emotion on twitter on the day for Cher and ABBA was 80% Joy, with a net sentiment of 39%. [5] The contrast in sentiment between the two comes down to authenticity. While Theresa May is a politician and has no place in the realm of camp humour, Cher is a music icon who could easily take on the world of ABBA and add something to it for fans.

Brands should heed the lesson it they want to avoid negative sentiment on social media. Know your brand, tone and style and avoid following hype for the sake of hype. Or risk the backlash of the keyboard warriors.

1 QT AUG 2018
2 CRIMSON HEXAGON | Oct 1st – Oct 5th “Theresa May” and “dancing”
3 CRIMSON HEXAGON | Oct 1st – Oct 5th “Theresa May”
5 CRIMSON HEXAGON | Sept 28th “Cher” and “ABBA”