Mentality Matters: Brand Insights from the Rerelease of Taylor Swift’s ‘Red’


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

November 11

Scooter Braun Reportedly Thought Taylor Swift Was Bluffing About Re-Recording Her Albums

November 12

Taylor Swift’s Re-Recordings Expose The Music Industry’s Chokehold On Intellectual Property

Taylor Swift and Phoebe Bridgers’s ‘Red’ Duet, and 14 More New Songs

The Story Behind Taylor Swift’s 10-minute Version of ‘All Too Well,’ The Song Making Fans Lose Their Minds

Brands Are Feeling 22 After Taylor Swift’s New ‘Red’ Release

November 13

Taylor Swift Delivers Passionate Performance of ‘All Too Well’ on ‘Saturday Night Live’

Cardi B Reacts to Taylor Swift’s ‘All Too Well’ Short Film

November 14

On SNL, Taylor Swift Stopped Time

A Lot Of Taylor Swift’s Famous Friends (And One Famous Ex) Came To See Her Perform On “SNL”

November 15

Taylor Swift’s ‘All Too Well’ and the Weaponization of Memory

Taylor Swift’s ‘I Bet You Think About Me’ Lyrics Seem Full Of Jabs At Ex Jake Gyllenhaal

November 16

Scooter Braun Sells Taylor Swift’s Big Machine Masters for Big Payday

Dionne Warwick has a message for Jake Gyllenhaal about Taylor Swift’s scarf

A Comprehensive Explanation of Why Taylor Swift Fans Seem Ready to Commit Homicide on Jake Gyllenhaal

It’s me, Taylor Swift’s scarf. I’m here to tell my side of ‘All Too Well’ (Scarf’s Version)

November 17

iHeart Promises to Only Play Taylor Swift’s New Versions of Her Songs, Once They’re Out

Taylor Swift’s Quest for Justice

Jake Is ‘Mortified’ Taylor ‘Targeted’ Him For Dating a 25-Year-Old on Her New Album

Scroll to Top