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Brand Chatter Chart

One Direction CD Helps Target Build Buzz Before Black Friday

Tracking Twitter Talk to Understand When and Why Brands Trend

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TV commercials continued to find an amplifier on Twitter this week as big retailers including Walmart, Kmart and Target got in position for Black Friday (or even "Black Thursday").

Target in particular got an extra lift on Twitter by including a CD from the Brit boy band sensation One Direction in one of its holiday commercials -- as close to a surefire social fire-starter as there is . (Pepsi found that out last week, when fans keep tweeting comments like "can't stop watching the Pepsi commercial with @onedirection.")

As usual, however, some brands saw their names circulate on Twitter partly or even entirely because of conversations that had nothing to do with their ad spending. GameStop, for example, became a winner on Twitter by virtue of stocking two big video games that also made the chart: the latest "Call of Duty" and "Halo" iterations. Papa John's, meanwhile, stayed in the national conversation as a result of its decision to cut employees' hours ahead of Obamacare. And Starbucks got a probably unwelcome lift on Twitter as its tax-avoidance in the U.K. became a hot topic.

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