Red Bull Records: Who Are You? #iamawolnation


Jenny Force Jenny Force, VP of Marketing

What does your activity on social media say about you? Does it accurately reflect who you are and what you identify with? What about the city you live in? If an outsider were to look in, what would they deduce about the things members of your community collectively say and share on social networks?

These are some of the questions Red Bull Records hopes to answer. Why? It’s all part of a multi-touch campaign to celebrate and engage with fans. Fans of music. Fans of artists under the Red Bull Records label. Fans of everyone whose motto is rooted in living life to the fullest.

Of the various use cases we’ve seen here at Sysomos, it’s also one of the most creative and interesting ways I’ve seen a company integrate and apply social data.

A little bit of backstory here: Red Bull recently released a “World of Red Bull” campaign commercial. Included in the clip are highlights of the facets behind the brand – all set to the backdrop of a catchy new single by AWOLNATION, a multi-platinum artist under Red Bull Records, an independent record label formed in 2007 by Dietrich Mateschitz.

Premiering at the MTV Movie Awards in April, the clip has proved such a success that it’s still being aired across the U.S. and in international markets.  The song providing the soundtrack – a track titled “I Am” – has also landed a new gig: it’s become the focus of a new fan engagement campaign for the record label.

Justin Dreyfuss, who oversees digital marketing for Red Bull Records explains; “Given the level of attention the TV commercial is bringing to the song, we wanted to find a way to not only highlight the song to fans, but also maximize exposure and reach a new fan base.”

The Campaign: What Defines You?

Indeed they did. Taking direction from the song’s core message, the team flipped the track’s title on its head and placed it at the center of a multi-city fan engagement campaign – Red Bull Records and AWOLNATION want to know: Who are you? What are the things that define you?

Share your thoughts on social channels accompanied by #iamawolnation and you’re game to be part of a compilation that will highlight what makes AWOLNATION fans unique.

In addition to asking fans how they see themselves, the team also wanted to know what people were already saying about themselves on social channels, especially in tour markets and cities where the band is scheduled to play this summer. Currently crossing North America, AWOLNATION’s Run Tour will touch down in thirty eight cities, culminating on August 1 in Los Angeles.

“That’s kind of where the idea to profile cities came in,” explains Dreyfuss. “A way to highlight the song as the band tours across the country.” “That’s also where the idea to create infographics came in,” Red Bull Records’ Technical Strategist, Nic Chang, adds. “We thought it would be interesting to categorize and see what people were saying about themselves on social media – sort of a social listening experiment.”

The Cities: SF, LA, San Antonio

Ten cities were chosen to profile: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York, Indianapolis, Toronto, Detroit, Minneapolis, Chicago and San Antonio. Using Sysomos MAP to tap into and analyze millions of tweets across each, the team began by looking at the query terms needed for the search set.

Word Cloud - San FranciscoWord Cloud - San Antonio Word Cloud - LA

“We started with the term ‘I am’ and variations thereof, like ‘I’m’, and then dove into it,” Chang explains. Narrowing the scope to parse through the noise of unrelated results, the team then experimented with words and phrases commonly used in tandem. “So not necessarily only searching for the phrase ‘I am,’” he continues, “but including associated words and phrases into the query, like ‘I am going,’ ‘I am feeling,’ or ‘I am listening to.’”

Once the search set was built, it was run uniformly against a year of tweets from each city (enough time to ensure the data set was large enough to capture a wide breadth of data). “For data integrity,” says Chang. “If there was an event in any one of those cities, for example. That stuff would be normalized out.”

What did they find? “San Francisco was very writer heavy,” Dreyfuss shares. “We saw a lot of people talking about writing a book or writing an article. San Antonio, on the other hand, was all about the rodeo.”

How did they determine what made each city unique? “The terms selected for each city were those that over-indexed – meaning it was something that indexed only in that city and nowhere else,” explains Chang. “The terms are more unique, as far as the conversation happening in these cities,” adds Dreyfuss. “So not necessarily terms ranking first, second, and third.”

“Once we identified the terms we found interesting,” continues Chang, “we tried to find the particular tweets that specifically mentioned that term, just to make sure we had the right context. The word cloud feature then helped us determine the frequency in which the term was used in the search set.“

Infographics were then developed to showcase the uniqueness of each city. As a long-time resident of San Francisco – eleven years and running – I have to say: there is much more to our community than being tired all the time and always going to work. That said, these terms were determined by what we as a community share as a whole on social networks – it may not truly reflect who we are (or think we are), or what we truly identify with. On the other hand, maybe we here in SF are just a bunch of tired, complaining, workaholics (ba dum tsch).

I am San Francisco Infographic I Am LA Infographic I Am San Antonio Infographic

My reaction is kind of the whole point to this data-science experiment. It makes me want to join the #iamawolnation conversation to share what we here in SF are really all about. We’re outdoorsy. We love music and going to concerts. We work a lot (ok that one might be true).

“Initially conceptualized around the song, and around particular lyrics in the song, we wanted this campaign to be a means for fans to express themselves,” says Chang. “Not just in the declarative, factual kind of way, but also aspirationally; who they’d like to be, how they want to be seen.”

The Surprising: Beaches, Hockey, and Feeling “22”

Amidst this whole process, I was curious to know what Chang and his team found that was most surprising. “Funny you should ask,” says Chang. “In general, people across all cities love tweeting about going to the gym. We ran the numbers: nine percent of the time someone tweeted about going somewhere, it was to the gym.”

Other interesting tidbits:

  • Across the board, people love tweeting about wanting to go to the beach, regardless of how close the beach was to them
  • Winnipeg loves the NHL Jets. No matter what category was surveyed, the NHL Jets were trending (explains the top-trending hashtag: #gojetsgo)
  • Detroit was the most profane city analyzed – with an average of 4 curse-words appearing in their top 50 terms, regardless of the query
  • Oklahoma has the biggest concentration of Taylor Swift fans, with 3.62% feeling “22”
  • Jail was the 7th highest destination in Santa Cruz, Calif.

Think that’s the end of it? Chang and Dreyfuss’ team have only just begun. When the campaign wraps up in August, they’ll compile a unique infographic for the results of the #iamawolnation engagement campaign – which we’ll share here alongside campaign results and key learnings.

Be sure to check back for updates – or make it easy on yourself and subscribe to the Sysomos blog – to stay apprised of developments.

Leave a Reply