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Top US Buzz Improvers 2011

Toyota began its sentiment recovery in March of 2011, but has yet to regain industry-leading levels since over 8 million cars were recalled from 2009-2011. Scores dropped over 70 points at the height of the recall crisis from Jan – March 2010. In 2011, Toyota has developed positive momentum for the last 10 months

iPhone’s 4S with its new voice technology “Siri”, launched in 2011, is successfully driving consumer perception and sales. iPhone scores were also lifted in a sweeping halo effect for Apple (which cracked the Top 10 for the first time in the last 3 years) after the passing of Steve Jobs.

BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April 2010 drove scores down 75 points in two months for a brand that had previously been the Oil and Gas Buzz leader. Since July 2010, BP has begun recovering and Buzz scores continued to climb in 2011. BP has reclaimed 50 points by the end of 2011, but still trails all other Oil & Gas brand Buzz scores.

Apple's successful iPad 2 product launch was also aided by goodwill around all Apple products after Steve Jobs passed in October generating an 8 point increase over 2010 scores.

Goldman Sachs Buzz scores fell 20 points during the financial crisis in 2008, with scores leveling out and starting recovery in 2009. However, Goldman experienced an even larger 30 point decline in April 2010 after being charged with a $1 billion fraud over sub prime mortgages. Goldman recovered some of their Buzz losses in 2010, but in 2011 the brand was able to lift Buzz back to pre-fraud suit levels.

Lexus Buzz scores were initially dragged down as a halo effect amidst Toyota’s recalls in January 2010. However, in July 2010, Lexus faced a secondary Buzz decline after recalls were issued for Lexus engine problems. Like Toyota, 2011 has been a year for recovery for Lexus, and the brand has been able to climb back to pre-Toyota recall levels.

Chrysler faced 40+ point declines after government bailouts in 2008, but the brand was able to fully recover Buzz scores by the end of 2010. Chrysler continued the positive momentum in 2011, introducing a well-received Super Bowl ad featuring rapper Eminem and highlighting its Detroit roots. Additionally, with a strong 2011 year Chrysler was able to fully pay back its $7+ billion in bailout funds to the US and Canadian governments years ahead of schedule.

NBC faced 20+ point Buzz declines from December 2009-February 2010 in the wake of Comcast’s agreement to buy a majority stake in NBCUniversal. Buzz scores did not fully recover from the decline until the end of 2010, with scores turning positive throughout 2011.

Farmers Insurance Group's Buzz began spiking in October 2010 with the launch of their campaign featuring a series of humorous commercials highlighting the fictional “University of Farmers”. In the commercial agents learn about various insurance issues with a professor played by actor J.K. Simmons. Farmers has stuck by this campaign in 2011 and buzz scores continue to steadily climb.

Top US Buzz Improvers for 2011
Top US Buzz Improvers for 2011

These brands were rated using YouGov BrandIndex’s Buzz score which asks respondents, "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?"

The Buzz Improvers chart ranks the brands with the highest increase in Buzz between Jan-Dec 2011 and the same period in 2010. Both scores are representative of the general population.

All Buzz scores listed have been rounded to a single decimal place, however, we have used additional precision to assign ranks.

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