Taylor Swift’s rerelease of her album Red became a widespread news story and evolving cultural narrative over the past few weeks, with layers that included the topic of artist ownership in the music industry, nostalgic commentary on the Red album that was originally released in 2012, and new insight into Taylor’s past relationships—a topic she famously focuses on in her songwriting.
Swift’s official release of Red (Taylor’s Version) took place on November 12 and instantly became a cultural fixation because of Taylor Swift’s global star power, but buzz around the release was largely magnified because of the multifaceted nature of the album release.
What insights does this story and its multiple dimensions offer for brands?
To get some context, review the chronology of major moments below, as told by a representative sample of online news articles throughout the story’s continuing timeline.
Keep in mind these articles and videos are just a handful of the thousands upon thousands of articles, opinions, social posts, videos, comments, etc. generated by this major viral moment.
Most actionable moments don’t reach this level of virality or last this long but these “big moments” are useful for gaining and sharing insights.
For example, the spotlight quickly shifted from villainizing Scooter Braun for purchasing the masters to Swift’s music in 2019, to Taylor Swift’s actual album release and the updated contents of the “Taylor’s Version” album, to a massive response against Jake Gyllenhaal, (who Swift’s relationship with in 2012 is believed to be the focus of All Too Well—10 Minute Version), back to Taylor Swift performing the new version of All Too Well on SNL, all in a matters of days.
Taylor Swift boasts one of the most expensive celebrity endorsements of all time with a $26 Million deal with Diet Coke, along with notable partnerships with Apple, CoverGirl, Keds, and Capital One.
With her massive global appeal and sponsorship deals, when Taylor Swift stories break, brands best be prepared to act.
How would your brand have approached this story and all the content it has generated?
1. Does your brand routinely target content in the Music category?
2. Does your brand routinely target content in the Entertainment category?
3. If your brand had a way to distinguish content that is part of a larger story (e.g., Taylor Swift’s performance of All Too Well on SNL vs. Jake Gyllenhaal receiving public backlash from All Too Well relationship coverage), would you utilize this ability in your content selection for media campaigns?
4. If your brand had a turnkey way to incorporate major cultural moments into your earned or paid media, would you utilize it?
Click this link to participate in a poll on these questions, and we’ll share the results with you via email.
Red (Taylor’s Version) Story Chronology with representative content samples