The Glee Effect


For all the talk about TV being dead, it still has a huge influence over our behavior. When we see something we like on TV, we surf for it, try to find more of it and broaden the experience we just had.

Here’s a recent example of this effect:

Glee
, a popular American TV series (one that I am forced to watch with my girlfriend…right), is a show based about an American Glee club that sings 4-5 popular songs each show. Essentially, it’s a musical sitcom to songs that we all know by artists that people love – think Madonna, Aerosmith, etc.

So what happens when a new Glee episode airs in the US? The world searches for the songs on Google.

Take the May 18th episode ‘Dream On’ as an example. One of the major songs in the show? ‘Dream on’ by Aerosmith. Let’s look at Google Trends for Search for ‘Dream on aerosmith‘ and see what happened on May 18th:

Searches rose almost 300% on one day. And it wasn’t just because that was the best song on the episode. Here’s the results for ‘I dreamed a dream’ (from Les Miserables):

You might be thinking that this was just a popular episode (it was, Neil Patrick Harris was in it, how could it not have been sweet?), so let’s look at one more example from an old episode that happened early in Season 1.

The episode, called ‘Mash-Up‘ aired on October 21, 2009 and featured the one-hit-wonder ‘Thong Song’ by Sisqo. Here is the result:

Again, a huge rise in searches the day the episode aired. (and I’m not sure what that second bump was but Vietnam was coming up so I’m assuming someone sang it on their version of X-Factor)

Clearly the behavior exists among a large group of people. We see content that we like and we jump to our laptops to get more of it.

So here is my question. Is anyone searching for more after they see your TV campaign? If you can’t notice a change in search trends, your campaign isn’t working.

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