How a 10-Member Boy Band Scored a Major Twitter Upset This Week (Sorry, Chilean Miners!)

The Most Tweeted Brands of the Week Chart

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A few notes about this week's Top 10 Most Tweeted Brands chart, a collaboration between Advertising Age and What the Trend:

  • Sometimes it's a bit of a judgment call deciding what belongs on this chart -- i.e., what constitutes a "brand." But it's sort of a no-brainer that the 33 miners rescued from a Chilean mine this week have effectively become, at least collectively, a mini entertainment conglomerate. The more than 1,000 journalists from around the world who covered the rescue operation were trafficking in, basically, infotainment: something akin to a big Hollywood blockbuster crossed with reality TV. And chances are a good number of the miners will rake in some pretty decent scratch as they capitalize on their unlikely fame (check out this Reuters report: "Chile's rescued miners recover, offers pour in").
  • Super Junior
    Super Junior
  • You'd expect the Chilean miners to be the most-tweeted topic of the week, but no. Super Junior, a hugely popular South Korean boy band with, no kidding, 10 members (plus three more non-active members), dominated Twitter this week. I decided to ask Liz Pullen, lead trend analyst at What the Trend, to school me: "After not trending for several weeks, Super Junior had World Cup-like popularity based on one member joining Facebook and sending out tweets," she says. Plus, the sensitive-boy ambisexuality of the band -- common schtick, of course, for boy bands through the ages -- seems to have particularly struck a chord: "One member of the band described another member as having 'milky white' skin, an expression that was retweeted so much it was number three on the Top 10 Trending Topics for three hours. All I know is that this one band member, Kim Hee Chul, is almost single-handedly responsible for Super Junior accumulating 13,000-plus Trending Topic points. That kind of number is comparable to the Oscars or MTV VMA's. Unless the trends were artificially inflated by spammers, which is always a possibility, that is really astounding for a single band -- and almost a single band member."
  • I'll take Chilean miners and/or Super Junior as a Twitter meme over the David Arquette-Courteney Cox break-up any day. Who knew the world (or at least the Twittersphere) still cared about these aging stars?
  • Other than boy bands, breakups and averted tragedies (and, well, non-averted tragedies), Twitter loves nothing so much as awards, like the Oscars and the VMA's, as Pullen notes -- not to mention the BET Hip Hop Awards, which land at No. 7 on our list this week. But the Twittersphere's fetish for award winners also sometimes results in some actual substance: Tweets about writer Mario Vargas Llosa and imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaob helped propel the Nobel prizes into -- gasp! -- the No. 3 spot.

How is this chart made? See Notes, below.

Trend Peak Position This Week Points Crowdsourced Description
1 Super Junior 1 13,055 Tweets about the Korean boy band Super Junior.
See for a complete list of subtrends.
2 Chilean Mining Rescue 1 12,444 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.
See for a complete list of subtrends.
3 Nobel Prize 1 4,158 Mario Vargas Llosa won the Nobel Literature Prize. Imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Prize for Economics was awarded to Peter A. Diamond, Dale T. Mortensen and Christopher A. Pissarides.
Subtrends include: Vargas Llosa, Liu Xiaobo, Nobel Peace Prize, Mario Vargas Llosa, Chinese dissident, Dissident, Liu, Economics, Nobel, Friedensnobelpreis, Premio Nobel
4 Twitter 1 2,682 Tweets about Twitter's new website design. Some twitter users are reporting that they are receiving an Internal Server Error when they try to tweet.
Subtrends include: #newtwitter, Internal Server Error
5 David Arquette-Courtney Cox 1 2,393 Courtney Cox and David Arquette are separating after 11 years of marriage.
Subtrends include: David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Arquette, Cox, Courteney
6 NFL 1 2,342 Tweets about various teams, players and games.
See for a complete list of subtrends.
7 BET Hip Hop Awards (TV Show) 1 2,261 The 2010 BET Hip Hop Awards aired 10/12.
See for a complete list of subtrends.
8 MLB 1 2,221 Tweets about various teams, players and games.
See for a complete list of subtrends.
9 X Factor (TV Show) 1 1,709 Tweets about the UK talent competition "X Factor."
See for a complete list of subtrends.
10 The Simpsons (TV Show) 2 1,299 Famed British graffiti artist Banksy directed "The Simpsons" opening sequence for the Oct. 10 episode. You can view it here.
Subtrends include: Banksy, Simpsons intro, Simpsons

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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