Taylor Swift, queen of marketing and Google
In 2006, Google decided that its birthday would be on September 27th, even though the date doesn't mark any specific milestone in the company's history. "The exact date when we celebrate our birthday has moved around over the years, depending on when people feel like having a cake," they explained. Today, they celebrate 25 years, but this article is not about the search giant. It's about Taylor Swift.
Two years ago, the American singer-songwriter began re-recording her early albums as a way to reclaim the work she had done since she was a teenager, which is currently owned by her former producer. To promote the re-release of "1989," her best-selling album, she teamed up with Google through a game that involved a lot of traffic and appeared in the form of a vault when you googled Taylor Swift.
The vault featured puzzles that could be solved by typing the answer into the search bar and would only open once 33 million responses were completed, with a maximum of 89 per person. The demand was so high that on the same day the game started, Google's servers crashed, and by the next day, the vault was already open.
The prize was the reveal of the 5 new songs’ names that would be included in the album, but the collective experience on social media, where people shared answers, viralized memes, and vented frustrations (in many countries, the game was not available or didn't work properly) was the most enriching part. You can still play, and it's unknown if there will be a second prize or what the new goal would be.
No one would dare say that Taylor Swift, who could become a billionaire this year, needs a little help with SEO, but the search for her name tripled in just one hour, according to Google Trends, and the names of her old songs (the ones that don't generate income for the artist) were buried on the fourth pages of the search engine.
Her relationship with Swifties has always been very interactive, as she constantly sends clues and signals about what's coming through her music videos, tweets, clothing, and the aesthetics behind each album. Furthermore, she managed to seize every critique and controversy, typical of any celebrity, and transform them into an endless amount of content for marketing campaigns, tours, and songs. Her ability to mobilize and maintain anticipation is worth studying.