BP Dodges a Twitter Bullet Thanks to Miley, Justin, Chris, Star Wars and ... Mom

The 10 Most-Tweeted Brands of the Week Chart

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I really expected BP to make our weekly Top 10 Most Tweeted Brands chart, a collaboration between Advertising Age and What the Trend. After all, if Adobe could make the list last week because Steve Jobs bad-mouthed its Flash product, surely BP's role in the ongoing environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico would coat the oil giant in Twitter notoriety?

But no. Various trending terms related to the oil spill propelled it to only the 37th most-tweeted topic overall this week, and BP was absent from most of those tweets. The proper noun most associated with the disaster is "Gulf," despite the fact that plenty of press reports refer to it as the "BP oil spill." BP has the added advantage of not technically having its name on the failed equipment behind the spill -- unlike, say, Exxon with its Exxon Valdez tanker back in 1989. Meanwhile, BP CEO Tony Hayward has been busy attempting to shift blame to the company, Transocean, from which it was leasing the leaky oil rig. "This was not our drilling rig and not our equipment," he told the BBC earlier this week. "It was not our people, our systems or our processes. Their systems, their people, their equipment." Got that? (According to Reuters, though, "Under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, BP has responsibility to pay for clean up of the spill that could run into the billions of dollars, as well as up to $75 million liability for economic damages, according to Alfred Kuffler, a partner at law firm Montgomery McCracken in Philadelphia and an expert in maritime pollution law.")

BP CEO Tony Hayward gives an interview to a TV news reporter at BP's Mobile Command Center.
BP CEO Tony Hayward gives an interview to a TV news reporter at BP's Mobile Command Center. Credit: BP
What mattered way more to the Twittersphere this week than BP? Entertainment brands, mostly, including that Justin Bieber kid, along with Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Chris Brown (the Rihanna-battering singer, in the midst of continuing career rehab, celebrated his 21st birthday on Wednesday, so his fans tweeted their happy wishes) and the increasingly ominipresent South Korean boy band Super Junior.

By the way, I'm somewhat arbitrarily counting Mother's Day as a brand for the purposes of this week's list given that it's a contrived holiday cynically exploited by all manner of marketers to move merch your mom probably doesn't even want. Unlike Star Wars Day (the force that propelled the Star Wars brand onto our list week), which I'm pretty sure is mostly a religious holiday.

FYI: Other brands that loomed large on Twitter this week but didn't quite crack our Top 10: Apple (which announced that it's already sold 1 million iPads), "Iron Man 2," Groupon (thanks to fans of the group-buying service tweeting details of its daily deals), Continental Airlines (thanks to its announced merger with United) and "Family Guy," the Fox animated sitcom that aired its uproariously funny (and unexpectedly touching) 150th episode last Sunday night. (What the Trend Pro, the service we use to create this charticle, offers an in-depth look at hundreds of trends each week.)

How is this chart made? See Notes, below.

Trend Peak Position This Week Peak Position Last Week Points Crowdsourced Description
1 Justin Bieber 1 2 12,567 The young Canadian R&B/pop singer has a lot of fans who like to tweet about him... Justin Bieber just taped an episode of Oprah.... People are RTing @JustinBieber: "B.I.E.B.E.R. = Believe In Everything Because Everything's Reachable! BR LOVES U! (RT if u love everybody)."
Subtrends include: Justin Bieber, #MyOnlyQuestionIs, bustin jieber, #BELIEBERSOWNTWITTER, #BieberRuinedTwitter, Eenie Meenie, #OnlyBieber, My World 2, #BieberOwnsTwitter, #RipJamieBieber, Oprah, Believe In, BR LOVES U, That Should Be Me, #jbieberadmirer, #JustinWorld, Hey Justin, #dabieberville, one time, Bieber, #JBatlantis, #bieberenergy, France, #bieberfact, Down To Earth, Bieberfact, #biebersthebest, German, #JBsupportTN
2 GE2010 1 1 2,632 People are tweeting about the UK General Election. Voting is taking place today, 6th May. The results will start being announced within the next 24 hours.
Subtrends include: #ge2010, #ukvote, Labour, #c4altelection, Tory, #ukelection, BBC, Tories, Joan Collins, #leadersdebate, #ImVotingLabour, Lib Dems, Manish Sood, Sunderland Central, Nigel Farage, David Cameron, Alternative Election, Rod Liddle, Murdoch, Ranmoor, Rich Hall, Ken Clarke, Nick Griffin, Edinburgh South, #philippastroud, Eric Pickles, ITV
3 NBA 1 1 2,523 The Los Angeles Lakers eliminated the Oklahoma City Thunder in 6 games. They'll host the Utah Jazz Sunday at 12:30pm left coast time.
Subtrends include: Lakers, Cavs, Kobe, Spurs, LeBron, Mavs, Celtics, OKC, Hawks, Thunder, Suns, Grant Hill, Los Suns, All-NBA, Nuggets, MVP, Mo Williams, Rasheed Wallace, Shannon Brown, Denver, Brett Favre, Steve Nash, George Hill, Dallas, Utah, Rondo, Joey Graham, Cleveland, Cleveland Cavaliers', Jazz, LeBron James, Blazers, Pau Gasol, Roethlisberger
4 Star Wars 2 New 2,348 Today is the 4th of May, prompting Star Wars fans to celebrate the popular movie series with the phrase, "May the Fourth be with you!."
Subtrends include: Happy Star Wars Day, #StarwarsDay, Fourth
5 Jonas Brothers 1 1 2,141 Jonas Brothers fans are tweeting about the best lyrics of their songs...
Subtrends include: #bestJONASlyrics, #dearJonasBrothers, Jick Nonas, #JonasOwnsHearts, #myJONASdream, #BestJonasQuote, #K2WeLoveU, #HappyBdayJONAS, #goodJONAStimes, #ThanksToJonas, #JickNonas, Jonas, #ThankstoJONAS I
6 Boxing 1 New 1,808 "Pretty Boy" Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr. just beat "Sugar" Shane Mosley decisively. Floyd "Money" Mayweather's unanimous decision victory over Shane Mosley has the web on fire...
Subtrends include: Mayweather, #TEamMayWeather, Mosley, Floyd, Money Mayweather, Sugar Shane, Shane Mosley, Mosely, Pacquiao, Manny, Pacman, National Anthem, O' Jays, Pac Man, #TeamMosley, Floyd Mayweather, Mayweather FIGHT, Ojays, Fight, Shane, Round, Shane Mosley Jr, Larry Merchant
7 Mother's Day 2 5 1,550 Mother's Day is a time of commemoration and celebration for Mom. Mother's Day will be celebrated on Sunday May 9, 2010 (in the U.S. & Canada). In the UK Mothering Sunday is celebrated on the 14th of March, 2010.
Subtrends include: MY MOM IS THE BEST, Dear Mom, Mother's Day
8 Miley Cyrus 2 2 1,284 "Cant Be Tamed" is the name of American Pop/Rock singer Miley Cyrus' new song. She is trying to make a more "grown up" look with this song. Its music video premieres tonight at 7 PM and 11:30 PM on E! News....
Subtrends include: #CantBeTamed, #ProudOfCyrus, We_Miley, Miley's, Can't Be Tamed, Can't Be Tamed
9 Chris Brown 2 New 1,012 5/7 is singer @ChrisBrown 's 21st birthday so fans are wishing him a Happy Birthday!
Subtrends include: HappyBDayChrisBrown, WeLoveChrisBrown, #ChrisBrownOnUstream, HappyBdayBreezy, Happy21stChrisBrown
10 Super Junior 1 1 869 Kangin is a member of popular Korean boygroup Super Junior. News just came out revealing he will not be participating in the group's upcoming 4th album, and will instead be enlisting in the army for his mandatory service. Fans are supporting him with the cheer "Hwaiting" (fighting). Super Junior fans called Ever Lasting Friends or ELF are trending #ELFsowntwitter because 6 out of 13 band members have their own Twitter accounts....
Subtrends include: #KanginHWAITING, #ELFsowntwitter, #weloveleeteuk, Kangin, #sayangLeeteuk, SM Town^^Good Night, ELFs

For more information about What the Trend, visit the WTT FAQ. And check out WTT's Week in Review, compiled by its in-house editors and covering an expanded general list of Top 20 trends (including hashtag trends) here.

Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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