Nearly 44 years ago, John Lennon caused a scandal when he declared that the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus." In this week's Top 10 Most Tweeted Brands chart, a collaboration between Advertising Age and What the Trend, Jesus makes an appearance because of a Twitter meme involving the faithful giving thanks -- but also because of tweets by, well, Jesus. Seriously, on Twitter nothing is sacred, and at the moment the top Twitter search result for "Jesus" returns a widely retweeted tweet from @Jesus (i.e., some wiseacre posing as the son of God) that reads "It's bike to work day tomorrow. I'll fit right in riding my new Harley." Other recent @Jesus tweets: "I could totally take Yoda" and "The chicken came first. Duh." With that kind of wit, @Jesus has collected more than 116,000 followers.
Anyway, back to my Beatles point. Pop star Justin Bieber (boosted by his Tuesday appearance on Oprah) was, sigh, more popular than Jesus on Twitter this week. But, hey, at least he was less popular than Mother's Day! (Last week I somewhat arbitrarily decided that Mother's Day, for the purposes of our chart, is a brand because it's so widely used by marketers to move merch.) In fact, Bieber is the only U.S.-based tween pop-music brand to make our Top 10 this week; Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus dropped in Twitter buzz as Super Junior, a South Korean boy band, surged.
Jesus, for the record, beat out both Betty White (but just barely) and Robert Pattison (the "Twilight" actor who turned 24 yesterday).
FYI: Other brands that loomed large on Twitter this week but didn't crack our Top 10: "Robin Hood" (the Russell Crowe movie out today), "Twilight" (anticipation is building for the summer release of "Eclipse," the third installment of the cinematic franchise), Harrods (the iconic British department store, which was just sold to Qatar Holdings), Fox's "Glee," ABC's "Modern Family," Starbucks (which just struck a deal with AMC Theaters to make its coffee available to moviegoers), Facebook (which, of course, is getting tons of bad press over privacy concerns), and, once again, Groupon, thanks to fans of the group-buying service tweeting details of its daily deals. (What the Trend Pro, the service I 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||Mother's Day||1||2||8,461||Mother's Day is a time of commemoration and celebration for Mom... People are showing their appreciation of things that African American mothers say...
Subtrends include: Happy Mothers Day, #blackmamaquotes, #happymothersday, Mother's Day, #mymomma, #AMotherShould, #YoMomma, #blackmommaquotes, #momsniteout, Mom
|2||Justin Bieber||1||1||7,542||Justin Bieber appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show May 11th. Bieber fans are tweeting facts about Justin. People are tweeting what they have in common with musician Justin Bieber. Backlash against the relentless popularity of Justin Bieber...
Subtrends include: #MyOnlyQuestionIs, Oprah, #bieberfact, #justlikejustin, #welovebieber, #BieberHasNoBalls, #OMGJustinIsCool, #ibieberdream, #bieberenergy, #dabieberville, #JBsupportTN, #BieberIsAmazing, Eenie Meenie, #biebertunes, #TeamJBieberCrew, RT 95, Somebody to Love, Bieber, #BieberMakesMe
|3||GE2010||1||1||6,221||People are tweeting about May 6th's UK General Election results...
Subtrends include: #ge2010, Labour, David Cameron, #ukelection, Gordon Brown, Tories, Adam Boulton, Tory, Clegg, Nick Clegg, Lib Dems, Prime Minister, Theresa May, #dontdoitnick, Hung Parliament, Heseltine, #ToryLibDemPolicies, Tooting, Queen, Lembit Opik, BBC, Gordon, Caroline Lucas, Downing Street, Peter Robinson, Kingswood, John Reid, Kirkcaldy, Coalition, Belfast East, Lib-Lab, Barking & Dagenham, Witney, Boulton, Proportional, Ed Balls, LibDems, Jacqui Smith, Nick Robinson, Home Secretary, Montgomeryshire, Buckingham Palace, Boris Johnson, Cameron, Land is power, Barking, Charles Clarke, Glasgow East, Sky News, ITV, British, Evan Harris, David Laws, Sinn Fein, Nick Griffin
|4||Super Junior||1||1||6,182||BONAMANA is new single from a Korean Boyband Super Junior. This song was released on May 10th. Their fans, E.L.F (everlasting friends,) are celebrating their comeback.
Subtrends include: BONAMANA, #welcomebackSJ, Eunhyuk, #SuJuBeauty, Donghae, Yl-JgWNxU, Rcp4WiLt8, Petal, Eun & Hae
|5||European League Football||1||2||3,189||(Assorted teams discussed.)
Subtrends include: Mineirão calou, Chelsea, Dunga, Flamengo Perdeu, John Terry, Rodrigo Mancha, Ganso, Fulham, World Cup, Fernandão, 3x2, 4x3, Wigan, CALOU, Monarcas, Mineirão, Drogba, 3x1, Denis Marques, Cardiff, Dagoberto, Kleberson, Campeão Voltou, England, West Ham, Leeds, Grêmio virou, Blackpool, Unlucky Fulham, Leicester, EPL, Lampard, Anelka, Morelia, Arsenal 3-0 Fulham, Arsenal, Leeds United, Champions, Forlan
|6||NBA||1||1||2,792||(Assorted teams discussed.) Lebron James is a basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers who recently played the Boston Celtics. He is trending because of his sub par performance in a game.
Subtrends include: LeBron, Cavs, Lakers, Kobe, Celtics, Steve Nash, Spurs, Suns, Cleveland, Goran Dragic, Western Conference, Hawks, Utah, Rondo, Ray Allen, Conference Finals, Shannon Brown, Tony Allen, #GoSuns, Joe Johnson, Rajon Rondo, Atlanta Hawks, Jazz, Shaq, CJ Miles, Mike Brown, Dallas, Russian Prokhorov, Sheldon Williams
|7||Iron Man 2 (Movie)||2||4||2,637||Iron Man 2, the sequel to the incredibly popular 2008 original, was released on May 7th in North America in both regular format and IMAX 3D format.|
|8||Jesus||2||New||1,544||People are thanking Jesus Christ.|
|9||Betty White||1||New||1,500||Betty White hosted SNL with Jay -Z this past Saturday.
Subtrends include: SNL, #bettywhite, Delicious Dish, wizard of ass, Watching Betty White
|10||Robert Pattinson||1||New||1490||It was Robert Pattinson's birthday on May 13th.
Subtrends include: #HappyBdayRPattz, Rob & Kristen
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.