Taylor Swift's Influence on Politics And The Economy


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The recent resolution of the Writer's Guild strike in Hollywood has not only brought a sigh of relief to the entertainment industry but also underscored the intricate relationships between all of those behind the screen. 

As Hollywood starts to find its rhythm post-strike, the spotlight has turned to the current queen of music, Taylor Swift, who is  orchestrating ripples of influence across the socio-political and economic landscapes. In this blog, Hollywood Branded delves into the ending of the Writer's strike, and the power of music icons on the economy of the world.  


The Hollywood Hurdle: Unveiling the Impact of Strikes

I broke down in unexpected sobs of relief when I called to tell my husband that the Writer's Guild had settled their strike with Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) last night. It's another hurdle checked off to get Hollywood back on its feet. Two strikes down, since the Director's also resolved their contract, and the Actor's strike to go. With hope, SAG-AFTRA will prove an easier solve, as some of the bigger challenges around AI were with the Writers, and the new deal terms are set to establish a suggested path forward with solutions for the Actors too. 

A collective sigh of relief is being heard this morning.  There is finally more than hope.

In the last many weeks and months I've watched agency and production companies shedding staff through countless layoffs. I've had friends sell their homes, and move to other states to start a career not in entertainment. Hundreds of thousands of people who work behind the scenes of Hollywood and through the various agency extensions across the industry have been impacted to the tune of what is reported to be a $5 billion loss. 

We are luckier than many. I built a nimble agency in Hollywood Branded that works across branded pop culture, which may at times stretch our team as it requires constant learning and being able to pivot and see big pictures of partnerships. It resulted in the ability to move speedily in new directions that still deliver value to clients and keep us employed. After having made it through the 2007 one hundred day Writers strike just months after I started Hollywood Branded, I knew the doom that was coming this summer and fall. From those past hard lessons, we were more prepared to make sure we introduced clients to opportunities outside of scripted television and film, doing our best to ensure we didn't have to do those layoffs ourselves too. 

But I was still scared, and getting more stressed and short-tempered as the first weeks rolled into 5 months long of a strike shut down.

Brands... get ready, get set and... go! There is a massive catchup in all the content that is going to be shot across every stage in town and around the world. Product Placement  opportunities will abound, and producers will be interested in having additional funding opportunities to help fast track their projects and create even better content. 

The late-night comedy shows and daytime talk shows, which were the first to go off-air due to the WGA strike that started on May 2, can resume broadcasts as early as possibly later this week. This is because the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike does not target them as affected productions.

So for today, YAY!!!!!  We are celebrating and hoping that the SAG-AFTRA agreement will be settled shortly too. 

The Impact Of Music Artists On... The World

I was in Houston on the wind-down of a whirlwind two-week trip across Texas this weekend, and as I walked through the airport Saturday, there were Beyoncé cardboard standee cutouts surrounding TSA, with passengers flocking for a selfie pre-concert.  Our hotel mentioned that business had been sluggish post-summer, but with Beyoncé in town, the city was alive and buzzing. Hotels and restaurants were booked to capacity, showcasing the incredible economic impact of top-tier music artists like Harry Styles, Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, and Taylor Swift.

The enthusiasm and willingness of fans to spend on these artists show no signs of waning. Cities worldwide are reaping the benefits of hosting these pop culture icons. For instance, Ed Sheeran's tour set new attendance records in New Jersey and San Francisco, attracting even larger crowds than those of Taylor Swift or Beyoncé. These artists, transcending age barriers, have significantly contributed to tourism revenue.

It's evident that today's music stars are not just celebrities; they are akin to royalty, generating massive income wherever they go. It's not just their performances that captivate fans so deeply. 

Background image of stage in color lights

The Power Of Taylor Swift

Even if you are not a Swiftie, you can appreciate that Taylor Swift is an unstoppable force that in recent weeks has transformed music, politics, and even businesses.  

In the ever-evolving landscape of pop culture, few figures have managed to harness their influence as effectively as Taylor Swift. With a career spanning over a decade, Swift has transitioned from a country darling to a global pop sensation, and now, a political and economic powerhouse. Her recent endeavors from The "Eras" Tour, her movie theater takeover and her call to action to vote are creating major ripple effects and changing the marketplace in the US and globally. 

Let's take a look at what I'm talking about:

1. A Political Catalyst: Swift's Call to Vote

Swift's recent foray into politics is nothing short of remarkable. Her Instagram post, urging fans to register to vote, didn't just create a buzz—it caused a seismic shift. Vote.org witnessed a jaw-dropping 1,226% surge in traffic, translating to 35,000 new registrations on National Voter Registration Day. This wasn't a mere celebrity endorsement; it was a call to action that resonated deeply, especially with young voters. The 115% increase in registrations among 18-year-olds is a testament to Swift's ability to mobilize the youth, a demographic often criticized for political apathy.

2. The "Eras" Tour: An Economic Behemoth

Beyond her music, Swift's "Eras" tour is setting new benchmarks in the entertainment industry. Analysts predict it could be the first billion-dollar concert tour, potentially outdoing legends like Elton John. Each concert, with its impressive gross of around $10 million, isn't just a musical event—it's a significant economic activity. The ripple effects include merchandise sales, which on some nights, approach a staggering $3 million.

3. Championing Her Music: The "Taylor's Version" Revolution

Swift's decision to re-record her Big Machine albums as "Taylor's Version" is more than a personal endeavor—it's a statement. By encouraging fans to listen to her versions over the originals, she's reclaiming her narrative and musical legacy. And effectively erasing the value of her original recordings, and removing their value to the current rights holder.  "Eras" tour has amplified this, driving demand for these albums and leading to Swift dominating charts, such as securing six spots in the Billboard Top 25 in just one week.

4. A Cinematic Savior: The "Eras" Documentary

Movie theaters, grappling with challenges like actor strikes and postponed releases, is set to receive a boost from Swift's "Eras" documentary. With pre-sales already touching $65 million, the documentary promises not just entertainment but also a potential economic revival for cinemas.  It's making major studios take note as she launched this new empire without their help.

5. The Broader Economic Footprint

The economic implications of Swift's ventures extend beyond direct earnings. The "Eras" tour is projected to stimulate $5 billion in consumer spending. Cities are feeling the impact, with Chicago attributing a revival in its tourism sector to Swift. The Federal Reserve's acknowledgment of the tour's economic significance underscores Swift's role as an economic influencer.

6. The Swift Playbook: Lessons for the Industry

Swift's strategies offer a masterclass for marketers and entertainers:

  • The Power of Live Events: Despite the digital age, live events, as Swift proves, have an unmatched allure.
  • Delivering Value: Swift ensures fans receive value for their money, with extensive setlists and exclusive content.
  • The Magic of Exclusivity: By offering unique songs at each concert, Swift keeps her audience perpetually engaged.

7. Swift's Political Evolution

From being politically reticent until 2018 to actively endorsing Democratic candidates, Swift's political journey has been transformative. Her endorsement isn't just a statement—it's a call to action, as evidenced by the surge in voter registrations. She is stepping into her power to change the vote.

Taylor Swift is redefining the boundaries of what a pop icon can achieve. Her influence, spanning music, politics, and economics, is a testament to her prowess, vision, and unwavering commitment to her craft and causes.

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Guide to Brands: Collaborating with Celebrities Like Taylor Swift

Navigating the world of celebrity endorsements can be a game-changer for brands. Collaborating with influential figures like Taylor Swift can amplify brand visibility, credibility, and appeal. Here's a comprehensive guide for brands looking to collaborate with such high-profile celebrities:

1. Understand the Celebrity's Brand:

  • Research: Delve into the celebrity's public persona, values, and interests. For instance, Taylor Swift is known for her authenticity, advocacy for artists' rights, and connection with her fans.
  • Alignment: Ensure that the celebrity's brand aligns with your company's values and messaging.

2. Offer Mutual Value:

  • Win-Win Proposition: The collaboration should benefit both parties. While the brand gains visibility and credibility, the celebrity should also see a tangible benefit, be it financial, promotional, or aligning with their personal causes.
  • Unique Opportunities: Offer exclusive deals or opportunities that might be of interest to the celebrity, such as equity stakes or creative freedom.

3. Respect Their Creative Input:

  • Collaborative Approach: Celebrities like Swift are not just endorsers; they're brands in their own right. Respect their creative insights and consider their feedback seriously.
  • Authenticity: Ensure that the collaboration feels genuine. Forced endorsements can be easily spotted by audiences and can backfire.

4. Navigate Contractual Agreements Carefully:

  • Clear Terms: Clearly outline expectations, roles, compensation, and any other essential terms.
  • Exit Clauses: Given the public scrutiny celebrities are under, it's wise to have clauses that address potential controversies or issues that might arise.

5. Leverage Their Strengths:

  • Platform Utilization: If a celebrity has a strong presence on a particular platform (e.g., Swift on Instagram), tailor campaigns to leverage that platform effectively.
  • Engage Their Fanbase: Collaborate on campaigns or events that actively engage the celebrity's fanbase, creating a more profound connection with potential consumers.

6. Be Prepared for Intense Scrutiny:

  • Public Eye: Collaborations with high-profile celebrities will place your brand under the microscope. Ensure all campaigns are well-thought-out, sensitive, and free from potential controversies.
  • Crisis Management: Have a plan in place to address any potential backlash or issues that might arise from the collaboration.

7. Foster Long-Term Relationships:

  • Beyond One-Off Deals: Building a long-term relationship with a celebrity can lead to more organic and authentic endorsements. It also allows for evolving collaborations that can adapt to changing market dynamics.
  • Regular Communication: Maintain open channels of communication to ensure both parties are aligned and satisfied with the collaboration's direction.

8. Measure and Adapt:

  • Analytics: Regularly measure the impact of the collaboration on brand visibility, sales, and other relevant metrics.
  • Feedback: Use insights to adapt future campaigns, ensuring they remain effective and relevant.

9. Stay Updated:

  • Trends and Evolutions: The world of celebrity endorsements is ever-evolving. Stay updated on trends, emerging platforms, and shifts in the celebrity's brand or public perception.

10. Ethical Considerations:

  • Transparency: Ensure that any endorsements or collaborations are transparent to the public, adhering to guidelines and regulations.
  • Social Responsibility: Collaborate on initiatives that have a positive social impact, enhancing both the brand's and the celebrity's image.

While collaborating with celebrities like Taylor Swift can offer brands unparalleled advantages, it's essential to approach such partnerships with research, respect, and a genuine desire for mutual growth. These partnerships have to be built by both the Talent partner's team and the brand team with a focus on mutual benefit. With the right strategy, these collaborations can elevate a brand's image, reach, and impact.

Brand Partnerships, Celebrity Endorsements, and More!

Want to learn more about how to connect with consumers? Check out these blogs below to help you get started on your journey of integrating your brand into pop culture!

Want to know what celebrities are up to and how you can strategically place your brand in their line of sight and in their hands? Sign up for our Celebrity Event Calendar! 

Celebrity Event Planning Calendar by Hollywood Branded