A few notes about this week's Top 10 Most Tweeted Brands chart, a collaboration between Advertising Age and What the Trend:
- Last week a story in the U.K.'s Telegraph caught my eye: Manchester police uses Twitter to detail inanity of 999 calls. (The 999 system is similar to 911 in the U.S.) As the paper reported, the Greater Manchester Police department took to Twitter to "demonstrate that most of their time is spent on 'social work.'" As Chief
Constable Peter Fahy put it, "Policing is often seen in very simple terms, with cops chasing robbers and locking them up. However, the reality is that this accounts for only part of the work they have to deal with. A lot of what we do is dealing with social problems such as missing children, people
with mental-health problems and domestic abuse. Often these incidents can be incredibly complex and need a lot of time, resource and expertise. I am not saying that we shouldn't deal with these types of incidents -- far from it. But what I am saying is that this work is not recognized in league tables and measurements -- yet is a huge part of what we do."
Thus the department's clever Twitter campaign -- undertaken, in part, to stave off budget cuts -- which has surely succeeded beyond the chief constable's wildest expectation, for this week they've landed in our Top 10. Twitterers around the world retweeted tweets from the department's main feed, @gmpolice, as well as a special set of feeds in what it called its "24 Hour tweet experiment" (aggregated here), while fans of good police work tweeted messages of support (e.g., from Manchester student Jade Iqbal, who uses the Twitter handle @jiqbal: "@gmpolice: Thanks for all the hard work you do every day. Always polite, helpful and just generally amazing. Be safe!").
Throughout history, only a small number of law-enforcement units have achieved global brand status, invariably because of literary, film and/or TV enshrinement (e.g., Scotland Yard, the NYPD, the FBI, the CIA). Now, Twitter has given the Greater Manchester Police global exposure of the best possible sort. If a reality-TV series and a line of merch don't follow, I'll be shocked (the department's logo would look really awesome on baseball caps, T-shirts and mugs).
Also, let's not underestimate what a historic moment this is for Twitter itself: The notoriously time-wasting service has been used to demonstrate productivity, rather than erode it.
- "The Commonwealth Games -- despite a ton of bad press before the games started -- have made a respectable showing in Twitter's Trending Topics throughout the past three weeks, especially given that they feature games like cricket, netball and badminton, which are not sports typically watched by U.S. audiences."
- "Of the top five team sports on Twitter -- U.S. football, European soccer/football, basketball, baseball and hockey -- baseball usually only trends in cases of scandal, no hitters or player trades. But the playoffs have interested viewers and brought Major League Baseball back into the spotlight, beyond die-hard baseball fans."
- "The Chilean mining rescue has legs! It didn't hurt that five miners immediately proposed to their girlfriends and common-law wives following their rescue."
I'm running out of time here (I simply must get back to tweeting!), so I'm going to briefly hand the mic to my colleague Liz Pullen, trend analyst at What the Trend. Liz offers these observations on a few other entries in our Top 10:
How is this chart made? See Notes, below.
|Trend||Peak Position This Week||Points||Crowdsourced Description|
|1||European Soccer/Football||1||7,582||Tweets about various teams, players and matches.|
|2||Commonwealth Games||1||3,398||Tweets about various teams, players and matches.|
|3||Chilean Mining Rescue||4||3,103||People are tweeting about the details of the rescue operation code-named "San Lorenzo," which freed 33 trapped miners about 2000 feet (~700 meters) underground from the collapsed San Jose Mine in Chile.
Subtrends include: Chilean miners, Rescued, Miner, Chilean miner, Rescue, Miners
|4||Greater Manchester Police||1||2,825||Greater Manchester Police are tweeting every 999 call, 24 hours a day, in a bid to stave off budget cuts.
Subtrends include: #gmp24, Manchester Police
|5||MLB||1||2,577||Tweets about various teams, players and games.|
|6||NFL||1||2,256||Tweets about various teams, players and games. Also: Junior Seau, former NFL player, drove his vehicle off a cliff after being arrested.
Subtrends include: Seau. See whatthetrend.com for a complete list of subtrends.
|7||Apple||2||2,192||Tweets about Apple's various new product and software announcements this week.
Subtrends include: Mac App, ILife, Verizon Wireless, Verizon, iPhones, MacBook, OSX
|8||Various Brazilian political brands||1||2,138||Jose Serra, a Brazilian politician running for president, was hit by an object tossed at his head in public. He overreacted and went to a hospital for a tomography. Nothing was detected. Rojas was a soccer player (Chile) who faked a firework hit in his head during a soccer match in Brazil. People are making fun of Serra, comparing him to Rojas -- thus the #serrarojas hashtag.
Subtrends include: #serrarojas.
|9||Super Junior||1||1,947||Tweets about the Korean boy band Super Junior. Band member Lee DongHAE just celebrated his birthday on Oct. 15, so #HAEppybirthday is intentional, not misspelled.
Subtrends include: #HAEppybirthday
|10||BET||1||1,782||BET broadcast a "Top 10 Rappers of the 21st Century" television special, and people are asking for a re-vote.
Subtrends include: #top10rappers, Top Ten Rappers, Revote, Luda, BET top, Jezzy, Top Ten, Gucci Mane, Drake number, Soulja Boy, Ice Cube
1. WTT tracks the appearance of topics on the Twitter Trending Topics list and each week ranks the brands (broadly defined to include marketers, products and celebrity/entertainment brands) with the most cumulative staying power. Explanations of trends are solicited from WTT users, Wikipedia-style; a community-voting system is designed to highlight the best explanations while burying lame or prank explanations.
2. For the purposes of this chart, we collect and process data until 12 midnight EST on Thursday night before each Friday's publication.
3. We broadly define "brands" to include major marketers (e.g., Apple) and branded products (e.g., iPad), as well as celebrity and entertainment brands (e.g., Lady GaGa, American Idol). Ad Age works with WTT to consolidate multiple threads of brand chatter (e.g., Apple, iPad, iTampon, Apple Tablet) into one position on the chart when it's clear related Twitter conversations are basically all about the same topic, even if they use different keywords.
4. In WTT's proprietary trend-tracking system, points are awarded for both duration and rank in the top 10 trending topics on Twitter. The longer the duration, and the higher the overall rank, the more points are awarded. Measurements are taken in five-minute increments.
5. The crowdsourced trend explanations above are quoted as they appear on WTT, and therefore may have stylistic and grammatical quirks that don't adhere to normal Ad Age editorial standards.
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.