McDonald’s, Hollister Tap Twitter to Target Music Fans

Aim to cut through social chatter

McDonald’s and Hollister are hoping to tap into some of the social chatter around music taking place on Twitter as part of a new program with Billboard magazine.

Billboard announced Real-Time Charts in March, and now the effort is launching with three different interactive charts that will live within Billboard’s website and on the social platform—Trending 140, Top Tracks and Emerging Artists.

The investments are backed up by the swelling amount of music-related chatter that is taking place on Twitter with stats finding that 50 percent of Twitter’s users follow a musician on the social platform.

"The sheer volume around Twitter concerning music is staggering," said John Amato, co-president of Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter. "To not quantify it is negligent."

The Trending 140 tool aggregates all of the social chatter taking place about songs on Twitter in real time. The tracks are then pulled into an interactive music chart on Billboard’s website. The content also includes a new type of Twitter Card that pulls chart information into tweets.

McDonald’s is the exclusive sponsor of this real-time social tracking tool, which includes display ads, a call-to-action on the chart and social media activations. As part of the kickoff for the program this morning, Billboard tweeted two pictures and two videos, which McDonald’s will promote via Twitter Amplify.

The second social tool, Top Tracks, will monitor similar levels of social activity within a 24-hour timeframe. The idea is that artists who crack into this category have more social "buzz" on Twitter, even if they're smaller.

Hollister is sponsoring the third new chart, Emerging Artists, which tracks songs by artists that haven’t amassed the kind of acclaim needed to crack into the top 50 of Billboard’s Hot 100 weekly song titles. These musicians also must have fewer than 50,000 Twitter followers. 

The teen apparel retailer’s sponsorship fits into a bigger marketing campaign this summer called Hollister House, which will host a series of music performances and a style lounge at a beach house in southern California. 

The McDonald’s campaign runs for three months, while Hollister’s effort lasts two months.

In addition to the online components, the content will also be highlighted in Billboard’s weekly print magazine.

Another interesting component to the campaign is that the full versions of all songs featured on the charts can be played through Spotify, which could be particularly helpful for some of the smaller bands in gaining traction.

"That’s where this becomes music discovery," Amato said. "Having that exposure to play it straight from Spotify will be compelling."

Billboard, Adweek and The Hollywood Reporter are owned by affiliates of Guggenheim Partners.