Throughout the first few months of 2023, economic uncertainty ran rampant as consumers braced for a recession. While an undertone of fear still looms in the shadows, it seems the world was saved from total economic despair with the help of a few very powerful ladies.
This summer, the holy trinity of female empowerment fueled the global economy while bringing smiles to faces across the world.
Barbie, Beyonce, and Taylor Swift have led billions of dollars of spending and helped local economies from falling into a recession. They’re calling it #SpendingGirlSummer — and we’re here to bring you the social video story.
Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour
November 2022, Taylor Swift announced her upcoming world tour, The Eras Tour, which would cover all the different musical eras of the singer’s 17-year career. While we expected a show of impressive magnitude, no one could have predicted the economic wave that would keep local economies and businesses alive and well.
QuestionPro estimated that the tour has the potential to generate about $4.6 Billion in US consumer spending. The New York Times reported that this number is on par with the revenues generated by the 2009 Beijing Olympics (adjusted for inflation).
How exactly is Swift’s tour supporting other economies? The not-so-thrifty Swifty spends on average $1,300 to attend the concert according to QuestionPro. This figure includes hotels, travel, fashion, beauty, food & drinks and more.
Just how far are Swifties traveling to see their leader perform their favorite songs? Vivid Seats estimated the average concert-goer is traveling more than 300 miles, which is double the distance audiences traveled for her 2018 Reputation tour.
Over the July 4th holiday weekend, one of the biggest travel holidays of the year in the US, Cincinnati was the #1 trending travel destination on Airbnb. The city even beat out top summer travel destinations like London and the Amalfi coast! Lo and behold, it was because the country-pop queen herself was in town to perform, causing hotels and Airbnbs to sell out.
Swift’s travel influence is so big that not even the US Federal Reserve could ignore how she benefited local economies. In the Federal Reserve’s most recent Beige Book, Taylor Swift was featured for bringing an “influx of guests” into Philadelphia which contributed to the “strongest month for hotel revenue” in the city.
Similarly, Chicago hotels maintained 96.8% occupancy rate during Swift’s visit to the windy city which was an all-time record high.
Tubular’s Consumer Insights share a similar story: People who searched for “Taylor Swift Eras Tour” in search engines were 33.4X more likely to visit the travel website Kayak.com in February than the average person.
There’s no doubt that Swift fans were getting totally decked out in their favorite Taylor outfits. Sparkles and cowboy boots were all over social and Eras tour outfit videos have garnered 694M+ views on TikTok.
Shoe store DSW even capitalized on the trend and has the 3rd most viewed TikTok video so far about Eras tour outfits:
Needless to say, it’s a good time to be a glitter company.
Still, the best insight we found that underscores just how powerful Taylor Swift’s economic influence really is comes down to one thing: beaded bracelets.
In October of 2022, Taylor released her Midnights album. Amongst one the 13 tracks, there is a line that urges listeners to “make the friendship bracelets….” You can probably guess what happened next.
The likelihood that Taylor Swift’s social audience would shop on Amazon for bead kits went up by 71% in just one month.
Then, we see another spike in shopping affinity from Swifts audience after the Ears tour kicked off in March and fans geared up to attend.
Of the Top 10 videos about “friendship bracelets” on social video over the past 90 days, 7 of the top 10 are about Taylor Swift concerts – including a fan giving Jennifer Garner a bracelet at her concert VIP tent with 16.2M+ views and 1.3M+ engagements on TikTok.
Today, with the tour in full swing and the nostalgic jewelry trend solidifying itself back in culture, Swift’s social audience makes up 10.8% of all bead kit sales on Amazon.
Swift’s audience shopping affinity for beading kits on Amazon:
Taylor has put massive amounts of money in the pockets of thousands of restaurants, hotels, clothing stores, and brands. But she’s also made a pretty penny of her own… that’s why she rewarded the people working on her tour with over $55 million in bonuses which includes truck drivers, dancers, riggers, and caterers, according to People.
We expect this trend to only continue as Swift embarks on her second-leg of the US Eras Tour and goes international next year – and not to mention her Eras Tour movie releasing in theaters on October 13th which has already brought in $37M and counting in pre-sales.
Beyonce’s Renaissance Tour
If anything could possibly be bigger than the Eras tour, it’s Beyonce.
Throwback to when Kanye interrupted Taylor’s VMA award to scream “Beyonce has one of the best videos of all time!”
We’ve come a long way since then. In fact, since that moment in 2009, Beyonce and Taylor have maintained a supportive friendship, attending each other’s birthday parties, sending supportive flowers, and even making history together at the 2021 Grammys when Taylor became the first woman to win album of the year three times and Beyonce became the most awarded artist of all time with 28 total awards.
In late August, Beyonce’s Renaissance tour became the highest-grossing tour by a female artist in all of history… $461 million dollars to be exact. But the tour is still underway. Forbes projected that “Beyoncé’s most optimistic ticket revenue estimate — $2.4 billion — is well above Era’s $1.9 billion most optimistic box office.”
According to the New York Times, Beyoncé fans spent $1,800 on average for the concert and traveled 46% further to see the Renaissance tour then they did Formation in 2016.
Using Tubular’s Consumer Insights, we uncovered that those searching for “Beyonce’s Renaissance tour” on search engines in May 2023 were…
- 253X more likely to visit www.travelgay.com
- 82X more likely to visit www.cntraveller.com (the UK version)
During Bey’s stop in the San Francisco Bay area, the city of Santa Clara gave the singer a key to the city and nominated her “Mayor for the Day” to honor how much economic benefit the singer brought to the city. When singing her famous line, “say hey, Mrs. Carter”, she asked fans to say “Hey, Mayor Carter!”
Beyonce even paid $100k to keep the Maryland metro open past 12 after her performance was postponed several hours due to rain. Needless to say, the transportation and hospitality industries are getting a much- boost for these mega concerts during a time when many thought a recession would be in full swing.
The New York Times reported that Beyonce fans are spending on average $500 more to attend her concert than Swifties. So what are they spending those extra bucks on?
Tubular’s Consumer Insights data tells us that those searching online for “Beyonce tickets” were 144X more likely to shop for clothes at MangoPop in June 2023 and they were 129X more likely to shop at Allegra K. These clothing splurges indicate that the #Beyhive is dressing up to see their queen!
The likelihood of Beyonce’s audience to shop for clothing brands MANGOPOP, Cantu, Milumia, Verdusa, and Allegra K:
If it weren’t enough to have two of the most famous female singers on massive world tours in the same summer… the world’s most iconic doll came to life with Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie’s Barbie movie.
Barbie The Movie
Barbie was a success story right from the start. When Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling were spotted roller skating on the boardwalk of Venice Beach dressed as Barbie and Ken, social media was set on fire with excitement for the movie that was still very far from being finished.
Once the July 21st release date was announced and official trailers were released, Mattel went pedal to the metal with Barbie marketing.
Pink. Was. Everywhere.
Suddenly, it seemed every brand, restaurant, and service had some sort of limited edition Barbie product that would get customers through the door. With over 165 official promotional partners, Barbie is contributing to the financial growth of countless businesses. Between the iconic doll brand name and the massive pre-release marketing effort (and sharing release date with other mega-blockbuster Oppenheimer), it’s no surprise that AMC theaters reported the best week in its 103-year history.
Right out of the gate, Barbie broke records and knocked The Super Mario Bros. movie out of the #1 spot for best box office week in 2023 earning $256.6M in the first seven days.
Not only was it the biggest opening weekend for a female director, thanks to Greta Gerwig, but it is now officially the biggest domestic movie release of 2023. Barbie has topped with $575.4M in North America and $1.3B globally.
All this is great for Mattel, whose shares rose over 20% in the month leading up to the Barbie release, but let’s step outside the box office and see how Barbie is injecting hope and fun back into consumers and back into the economy!
One thing we know about Barbie is that she loves beauty and makeup! Many beauty brands released Barbie products in celebration of the summer movie. Fenty came out with its own Barbie-inspired lipstick. Tubular’s Consumer Insights found that Fenty Beauty’s social content are highly likely to shop for Mattel products on Amazon. Prior to Fenty’s Barbie lipstick, these brands did not have a lot of cross-over. In fact, in February of 2023, Fenty’s audience was only 4x more likely to shop for Mattel. But after the Barbie premier and the Fenty lipstick debut, that number skyrocketed to 158x more likely.
Tubular’s Consumer Insights lets you see what product shopping categories are popular for certain social audiences. We can see that those who watch Mattel social content are growing in affinity for Dolls & Dollhouses. Pre-premier, Mattel’s audience was 198x more likely to shop for Dolls & Dollhouses on Amazon, but post-premier, that number jumped to 207x! Barbie has reinvigorated everyone’s love for dolls!
From clothes to dolls, makeup, and movie tickets— Barbie made the summer of 2023 very pink and very fun.
Not all heroes wear capes… in 2023, they often times wear stilettos! Thanks to the holy trinity of female powerhouses: Barbie, Beyonce, and Taylor — the economy has avoided a massive recession and many businesses big and small have benefited from the tourism, shopping, and entertainment that their massive audiences participated in.
Did you know that Tubular is hosting a webinar with thought leaders from Mattel to discuss Barbie’s social marketing strategy on September 20th at 12 pm EST?
Don’t miss your chance to unbox the social media secrets behind the world’s most iconic doll!