Taylormania 101: Lessons In Partnering With Pop Culture

Taylormania 101: Lessons In Partnering With Pop Culture

The Eras tour is in full swing in Australia, and Taylor Swift has already conquered her biggest show yet, taking on the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) with almost 100,000 fans in attendance. In this guest post, Paramount’s Melbourne marketing manager Jessie Castle (pictured below) argues it’s a case of the quick or the dead when it comes to brand participation.

With Sydney up next to welcome a tsunami of glittery dresses and beaded bracelets, it’s now or never for brands to take up the call of the Swifties – so, who will play ball?

Jessie Castle

Jessie Castle

In a world full of budget cuts and rising living costs, it’s harder than ever for brands to be convinced to jump on to a trend, especially one with a shelf life of just two weekends. Nonetheless, a few have capitalised on the moment, successfully jumping on the Taylor Swift bandwagon, cowboy boots in tow.

Marketers and creatives alike know one thing: create an emotional connection with the audience, and you’ll see it reflected commercially. Dulux has taken advantage of this thinking by taking aim at Melbourne lyric-lovers, launching their cheeky oOh! Campaign with an iconic Bridge Road billboard right near the MCG.

What does paint have to do with Taylor Swift, you say? Well, if Barbie taught us anything it’s that even the thinnest of connections can have hugely positive results for brand. Take the Uber Eats; “Tonight I’ll be Eating” campaign, spruiking the likes of Kim Kardashian-West and Paris Hilton – hardly the poster women for takeaway food. Nonetheless, their use of pop culture references and undeniable star power bagged Uber Eats one of the most celebrated campaigns in the past few years, not to mention likely helped in growing their user base from 2.3 million in early 2020 to 3.5 million in 2022.

Vegemite played on its ‘icon’ status with its ‘Welcome to Australia’ billboard. A smart step towards creating sentiment with Gen Z and Millennial audiences – an important consideration for a brand spanning 95 years. Taking a localised approach, they positioned the billboard en route to the Melbourne CBD from Melbourne airport and caught Swifties attention in droves as they made their way here from interstate. Short, focused and engaging – work smarter not harder, they say.

Admittedly, partnering with pop culture is not without risk. With huge star power comes a shuffle in the hierarchy of messaging – often bumping brand USP out in exchange for the glitz and glamour of it all. It’s understandable why brands are hesitant, what’s the point of a marketing campaign if not to market the product?

The reality is that it’s all in the context. The marketer’s dream is to see the right brand opportunity, move swiftly (get it?) and garner results. But how often does a pop culture phenomenon tick all the right boxes? Especially considering that to outweigh limited brand messaging, the reach and sentiment of the partnership needs to seriously outperform its traditional campaign counterparts. TimTam’s answer to this was a ‘flash in the pan’ campaign, with a limited run of “TayTam’s” and friendship bracelets given out to punters at Taylor’s Melbourne show. Taking advantage of

Taylormania over the course of three short days, with a focused approach – nailing the ever-impossible task of balancing output with projected results.

Taylormania won’t fit every brand, nor is it meant to. But, for the lucky few that it does, it’s impact shouldn’t be underestimated. After all, what’s marketing without a little risk?




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