The #Grammys: Why You and Your Brand Should Have Been Watching

Posted by: in Social Media Insights & Trends on January 28, 2014

If you didn’t happen to catch the Grammy’s on Sunday night, don’t worry. Here’s what happened: Over a span of four hours, a television audience of 28.5 million viewers watched as titans of the music industry, along with some newcomers, sang (and rapped) their faces off and duked it out for tiny gramophones. Members of the musical elite were not the only ones on stage and in competition Sunday night. The world watched as brands went head-to-head on social in a brand new category: Best Social Post Most Like the Oreo Tweet From Last Year’s Superbowl.

I kid, I kid! As an ardent practitioner of real-time content marketing, I revel in the spirit of competition that brands take on during high profile events like the Grammys. The unexpected surprises during the telecast provide the perfect inspiration for targeted and timely content. From the quick and dirty tweet, to the meticulously planned and executed Vine video, to the lavishly designed digital artwork, brands are expressing themselves in relevant, creative ways and that itself is exciting.

In the spirit of agile content, let’s take a look at some of my favorite real-time brand reactions to the memorable moments of music’s biggest night. Try to say that three times fast.

1)      Ageless Wonder Pharrell Williams Wore Ridiculous Hats and Arby’s Noticed
From the moment that Pharrell stepped on the red carpet the social media world was buzzing about his interesting choice of headgear. As news about said hat spread, Arby’s social media manager, Josh Martin, moved quickly to publish a tweet that would set fire to the internet and garner five times as many shares (RTs) as Oreo’s Superbowl tweet. Well done, Josh!

Pharrell had his own cheeky response to the Twitter storm. Sony and Gain joined in on the fun, as well.

2)      People Definitely Got Married by Queen Latifah
Four-time Grammy winners Macklemore and Ryan Lewis took to the stage with Mary Lambert to perform their hit, “Same Love.” Midway through the performance, 34 couples filled the aisles at the Staples Center to be wed in a ceremony officiated by Queen Latifah. As the couples were pronounced married, Madonna emerged, looking like a cross between Colonel Sanders and the Quaker Oats man, to sing her classic, “Open Your Heart.”  Yes. All of that really happened. During the performance, brands on social jumped at the chance to: A) Show their support of this historical event and B) Join in the hilarity of Madonna’s outfit choices. This Grammy moment took the crown for most mentioned performance on Facebook.


*To the Millenials reading this*
Congrats on making it past the scroll. You deserve a GIF – BREAK!

3)      Lorde Reigns Supreme
17-year old Kiwi, Lorde, winning twice for Best Pop Solo Performance and Song of the Year, gave a haunting, sublimely spastic, performance of “Royals” generating 152,688 and 146,083 tweets per minute. Her adorably awkward reactions to winning made her the most mentioned artist on Twitter.


4)      Still, Jay and Bey are Royalty
Throughout the East Coast broadcast of the show, there were 15.2 million Tweets about @TheGrammys, and it all kicked off with a lights out performance by none other than the King and Queen of Gangsta/er, Jay-Z and Beyonce. After the performance, as Mr. Carter accepted the statue for his collab with Justin Timberlake, he quipped the line of the night, “Look Blue, Daddy got you a gold sippy cup.” Then… silence from sippy cup companies Thermos, Graco and EvenFlo, What a great catch lightning moment! Missed opportunity if I’ve ever seen one.

5) Robot Takeover
French robots Daft Punk could do no wrong on Grammy night. How could they? Their faces were masked, their attire is the coolest, and they didn’t utter a single word.  Without an outfit to mock or a speech to quote, brands still found clever ways to congratulate the duo.


There you have it. Those were just some of my favorites from the Grammys. The best thing about agile content is that you don’t need to be a sponsor of the Grammys or have a massive budget to make an impact. Brands that invest the time, and a little bit of ingenuity, into real-time content engineering have the opportunity to reach their audiences more intimately, more in-the-moment than the traditional editorial approach. Not only that, they get to perceive the outcome right before their very eyes. Looks like Arby’s took the cookie on this one.

Be sure to tweet me your favorite social moments to @socialkelsey.

Props to Colleen Hartman and Naimul Huq for contributing to this post.

By: Kelsey Carroll

Long Island transplant. Former track athlete. Background in event production and marketing. Loves Mexican food and musicals. Manager, Media and Engagement at WCG in Austin, TX.

Find me on: Twitter
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One Response

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  1. Great post Kelsey. I figured it was a mistake to miss the Grammys this year. You just confirmed it.

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