Sunday night, the GRAMMYs returned to New York City for the first time in over a decade, and 19.8 million people tuned in to watch music’s biggest night. Following the trend set by the Golden Globes, performers and honorees at the GRAMMYs hit on social issues, using the opportunity to highlight political issues, especially immigration.
Throughout the night, 4C monitored buzz surrounding the GRAMMYs to see what audiences around the world were discussing. The night’s biggest moment, with over 70,000 engagements, came when host James Corden introduced the Recording Academy president, first referencing President Obama’s “Yes We Can” campaign slogan and momentarily convincing viewers that the former President was present. Bruno Mars and Cardi B’s performance of “Finesse,” which sparked over 57,000 engagements in five minutes was a close second.
Bruno Mars was the biggest winner of the night, taking home Album, Song, and Record of the Year, in addition to several R&B awards announced prior to the live show, and also earned the top spot in terms of social media engagements. Cardi B was the second most buzzed about at the show, thanks in part to her performance with Bruno Mars.
Host James Corden starred in several Late Late Show-esque skits during the show, including one that featured celebrities auditioning to narrate the audiobook for the headline-inducing Trump administration exposé Fire and Fury. Hillary Clinton made a surprise appearance in the skit, sparking a 980% increase in engagement with the former Presidential candidate in the span of five minutes.
While Golden Globes attendees showed their support for the Times Up movement by wearing black, those at the GRAMMYs opted for wearing white roses. The show also featured a performance by Kesha, whose experience with harassment has dominated headlines. Mentions of #TimesUp, the official hashtag of the movement, peaked between 9 and 10pm, coinciding with Kesha’s emotional performance.
The GRAMMYs are indeed music’s biggest night, but they also present an opportunity for brands to reach large audiences who tune in to see performances, fashion, and anything else that may happen with live TV. In addition to the biggest music moments, we also looked into which advertisers saw the most buzz following ads during the show. Target’s teasers and ultimate debut of Maren Morris and Zedd’s music video for “The Middle” generated a 1120% increase in engagement, earning the brand the top spot for advertiser lift. KFC, which recently announced Reba McEntire as the first female Colonel Sanders, took the second spot, and Google Pixel, with an ad highlighting suicide prevention narrated by GRAMMY nominee Logic, also saw significant lifts in engagement.