Big cultural moments are an increasingly competitive space for brands jostling to capture audience attention. This was highlighted in the run up to the release of the second series of Netflix’s hit show Stranger Things. Just in the UK, brands including Reebok, Spotify, PlayStation and high street retailer TopShop all launched campaigns borrowing visual imagery and themes from the show.

With marketers increasingly under pressure to justify their budgets and measure impact, it’s more important than ever to be able to measure success. So how effective can this type of culture-led campaign be for brand growth?

As part of our insights work at Quantcast, we apply our AI technology every day to help marketers understand the impact of their campaigns on brand growth. One way we do this is by comparing seed data (in this case searches for Stranger Things) with our live dataset based on more than 150 million online destinations. We did some digging to see what was happening to online consumer behaviour in the UK as these brands ran their campaigns in line with the show’s launch.

Sweet music

Spotify was the clear winner when it came to uplift in consumer attention, with a 17 percent bump in searches for the brand over the 30 day period we looked at. This compares to PlayStation with seven percent, TopShop with five percent and Reebok at two percent.

This order was also matched in the overlap between consumers searching for the brand name and the show. Here, Spotify saw the greatest overlap with just under seven percent of people searching for the show also searching for the brand.

Spotify taps into male audience and young families

According to Quantcast data, the typical searcher for Stranger Things is female between the ages of 18-24. When we expand this to look at consumers searching for the show as well as Spotify, the audience is more likely to be male with children in the family. No doubt kids of the 80s who are now grown up and have kept a strong sense of nostalgia!

Clinging on to that comic book collection

Computers, technology, entertainment, animation and comic books all ranked in the top 10 interests among the Stranger Things audience. Perhaps not surprising, but reflective of mainstream culture shifting toward traditionally more ‘nerdy’ themes. 

Finally, our data showed that Riverdale, Justice League, Thor and Blade Runner appeared in the top 10 other search terms that people looking for Stranger Things were also interested in.

About the data

Quantcast looked at online search behaviour among UK internet users between October 10th and November 11th 2017, and applied its AI technology to identify trends among the wider online audience vs those specifically searching for Stranger Things, Reebok, PlayStation and TopShop.