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February, 2024

Look at what you made me do: 13 brands getting on the Taylor Swift Eras Tour cultural bandwagon

Tim Tams’ Tay Tams

The first stop of Taylor Swift’s Era Tour was Melbourne on 16 February and Arnott’s was ready with limited edition ‘Tay Tam’ caramel-flavoured chocolate biccies to welcome the superstar and her entourage. The singer has previously expressed her fondness for the caramel flavoured variant, which Arnott’s was quick to capitalise on.

It was actually a double – or even triple – dunk for the snacks giant, which is also celebrating the 60th anniversary of its iconic biscuit, the Tim Tam, and wanted to celebrate National Tim Tam Day on 16 February.

“As Tim Tam enters its 60th year, we continue to witness the power and social currency this incredibly indulgent chocolate biscuit has amongst locals and visitors,” a spokesperson at The Arnott’s Group said last week. “We are so grateful to each and every fan for making Tim Tam the icon it is today. We hope fans join us in kicking off our birthday celebrations today! We hope one in particular will join us in doing a Tim Tam Slam… maybe in front of over 100,000 fans at the MCG – what more could we wish for?!”


Tooheys, Thinkerbell, Travis

Over at Tooheys and Thinkerbell, the welcome was saved for NFL legend and Swift boyfriend, Travis Kelce, who flew into town on a private jet to attend the Sydney leg of The Eras concerts, then spend a few days in Australia with the singer before she heads off to do the Singapore leg of her tour.

The out-of-home campaign, with its distinctively Aussie tone and ribbing of the other football code, was also a timely nod to the upcoming 2024 NRL season, which kicks off on 3 March. Kelce recently made headlines as part of the Kansas City Chiefs’ victory at the Super Bowl in Las Vegas.

“Just like us at Tooheys, Travis is a solid team player. I’m sure he’s over here to catch a bit of Aussie NRL… and support his girlfriend too,” said spokesperson for Tooheys, Chris Allan.

The Tooheys sponsored JCDecaux billboard featured the message ‘Welcome Trav, just in time for the real footy to start’ and was located outside Sydney Airport.

Tooheys billboard

Vegemite spreads love

But even before Kelce’s beer-touting welcome, Vegemite had taken to the same out-of-home activation idea and put its own welcome message to Ms Swift at Melbourne airport along the Tullamarine Freeway. The billboard this time greeted Swift with the message, ‘From one icon to another, welcome to Australia!’.

The billboard featured a friendship bracelet but Vegemite said it also had a jar of spread ready with her name on it, if she’s up for trying it. The billboard was live from 10pm Wednesday 14 February just in time for Taylor’s understated arrival. The welcome campaign extended into socials and earned activity and was a collaborative effort from Bega, Thinkerbell and Starcom.

Vegemite billboard

Twisties, VaynerMedia’s twift

It was an even higher tribute from Twisties this week, which recognised the pop icon’s visit by painting the word ‘Twifties’ in the sky above Sydney. This tribute came as the singer started the final Sydney leg of her Australian Eras Tours on 23 February.

The word ‘Twifties’ was designed to symbolise a fusion of Australians’ love for Taylor Swift and the Twisties chip brand. The bigger than the whole sky (almost) tribute was created by creative agency VaynerMedia.

“Combining two icons together in the sky, Twisties is showing love for a fellow icon as Taylor prepares to launch her highly anticipated Sydney shows across the next four nights,” Chief Marketing Officer ANZ at PepsiCo, Vandita Pandey, said.


Dulux paints town

The power of real-time DOOH placement and radio came together in Dulux’s own Taylor Swift campaign, developed in concert with DDB Group, Nova, OMD and Australia, and powered by a dynamic creative technology solution from POLY and oOh!media.  

During the campaign period, whenever a Swift song aired on Nova radio, it seamlessly activated a Dulux creative paint colour swatch creative with the song’s lyrics onto oOh!’s billboards, rail and street assets. 

For example, when the song “Enchanted” aired on Nova, the lyrics displayed on Dulux’s paint swatches on oOh!’s out-of-home assets in synchronisation, creating an experience designed to celebrate both music and visual art creativity.

To make it happen, the companies needed to synchronise Nova Play Tay Radio’s programming schedule and oOh!’s creative technology team behind the scenes.

“By leveraging the power of digital immediacy in out-of-home and tapping into the cultural zeitgeist surrounding Taylor Swift’s 2024 tour, Dulux created a ‘fame moment’ for the brand, enhancing relevance and resonating deeply with audiences,” the companies stated.

The companies said the omnichannel effort was also about demonstrating the bigger impact of using media channels together and noted utilising radio and OOH together is 19 per cent more effective than a single channel. Analytics Partners analysis also claims combining the two has been proven to lead to a 25 per cent uplift in intrigue and a 27 per cent increase in advocacy.

Dulux Taylor Swift swatches

Pepsi-loving boyfriend

Names and lyrics weren’t even needed over at PepsiCo, which simply led its billboard advertisement with the word ‘Welcome to Australia Taylor’s football-playing Pepsi-loving boyfriend’, claiming Kelce as one of its own product fans.

The out-of-home billboard was spotted on JCDecaux assets and was produced by Special Group.

Pepsi Max billboard

Shaking it off: Transport for NSW 

Sydney’s Central Station was awash in Lavender haze, hit songs by Swift were playing through concourse speakers, and discrete digital messaging such as the ‘Tay Tay Express’ to Olympic Park and tickers encouraging passengers to ‘shake it off’ are some of the ways Transport for NSW signalled Swift frenzy.

With more than 300,000 fans attending the four concerts in Sydney, along with a simultaneous Blink 182 concert on the same site for two nights, the public transport provider put on 1,200 additional trains and buses over the four-day tour period.

In complement, Central Station’s clock tower and concourse were lit up in pale purple and bedecked with Swiftie posters, with hit songs also playing as fans waited to hop the ‘Tay Tay Express’ to Accor Stadium.

We know Swifties love any chance to celebrate their popstar – we’re creating a fun atmosphere so the fans can get into the ‘Swift spirit’ on the way to her shows,” said Transport for NSW coordinator, General Howard Collins.

Transport for NSW Tay Tay Express

Queensland Tourism renames island…

Tourism and Events Queensland threw even more dollars behind its media effort, inviting #TayTay for a #vacay in Queensland and renaming Vlassoff Cay on the Great Barrier Reef ‘Tay Cay’ in order to woo the performer and her beau up north.

“Like the whole country right now, we’re ‘enchanted’ with #TaylorSwift… So, ‘are you ready for it?’ We’ve invited #TayTay for a #vacay, right here in Queensland!” the tourism body said in its social channels.

The campaign included full-page print ads and social media videos via Met and TikTok platforms, garnering a fair bit of chatter in the media as it splashed the offer through plenty of song lyric puns. The campaign was put together in partnership with Publicis Groupe Brisbane, dentsu Queensland and News Corp Australia. The offer to Swift included helicopter transfers, relaxing deck chairs, a champagne picnic and opportunity to snorkel in the reef plus a stay at the exclusive private island. The campaign runs 24 to 27 February.   

A TEQ spokesperson told Mi3 the campaign was a way for Queensland “to be part of the social conversation around the Taylor phenomenon despite not being on the Eras tour schedule, while promoting Queensland as the place to come and take a break”.

“’Call it what you want’ but we call it a great way to bring the attention to Queensland to leverage the biggest news story around Australia at the moment,” TEQ continued. “It’s been a ‘cruel summer’ for fans who’ve had to travel out of Queensland for her shows and if our ‘wildest dreams’ come true, she’ll choose Queensland for some much-deserved downtime before the next stage of her world tour.”

Tay Cay print ad

Scarborough bottles up Chardo-Tay

Family-owned Hunter Valley winery, Scarborough Wine Co, bottled its own cheeky blend in honour of Swift’s visit, temporarily renaming its Yellow Label Chardonnay the ‘Chardo-Tay’ for social media over the past week. Posts noted that it was “Yellow Label – Taylor’s version.”

The social imagery included both a friendship bracelet with the word ‘my time’ plus a background collage of black-and-white photos of the artist.

“We’d seen the swift mania hit here in Sydney – with many staff and customers obviously fans – and the natural tie-in to song lyrics felt fitting given our famous Yellow Label Chardonnay offered personalised labels last Christmas,” said Scarborough Wine’s Sally Scarborough.  

Scarborough Wine Co

Mountain Goat’s Beeras tour    

Boutique ale producer, Mountain Goat, upped the cultural ante even further, with a distinctive poster artwork created in its own distinctive style and featuring images of two-toned goats sporting different Swift hairstyles. The reactive social post was produced by The Monkeys.

Mi3 is speculating the campaign is an homage to a rather acquired taste performance of one of Swift’s songs featuring a screaming goat on TikTok – known as the Screaming Goat remix – which went viral after first appearing back in 2013 as two remixes. The “Trouble (Goat remix)” has more than 7.6m views on YouTube.

Mountain Goat Beeras poster

Melbourne Uni’s Swiftposium

It’s not strictly a campaign per se, but University of Melbourne was certainly taking Taylor Swift’s visit seriously, teeing up a two-day ‘Swiftposium’ to run just before her visit to Melbourne (11-13 February 2024). The hybrid academic conference was an opportunity for scholars to talk about Swift’s cultural popularity and its impact and influence on issues ranging from gender to fandom, popular culture and the music industry.

Topics of sessions included “The Man: Taylor’s feminism could go so much further”, presented by Dana Fahadi, “Anti-hero: A philosophical take on Taylor’s existential authenticity”, presented by Dr Marc Cheong, and “Picture to burn: the law probably won’t protect Taylor (or other women) from deepfakes”, presented by professor Jeannie Marie Paterson.

More than 400 submissions were received for the event, 130 of which were accepted, from 78 institutions globally and reportedly spanning 60 disciplines. In addition, Swiftposium presented a public event, dubbed ‘Fanposium’ in partnership with RMIT University on 11 February.


The Taylor magazine

Well-ahead of the current Swift mania, News Corp had also put plans in place to launch a one-off magazine dedicated to the global superstar just in time for Christmas and ahead of The Eras tour in Australia.

As previously reported on Mi3, the 100-page publication was dedicated to Swift’s life, career and sons, including lyrics to songs performed while on tour. It was priced at $9.95 and sold across national newsagents plus supermarkets.  

“The idea for this one-off Taylor Swift collector’s edition came about after we saw how passionate people were when trying to get a ticket to one of her concerts and then the many disappointed fans who have missed out,” Fiona Welsh, Suddenly Creative Content Director, said at the time. “Producing the magazine has been a real passion project for the Suddenly team who have loved putting together this special showcase of Taylor’s life and songs,” she said.

Taylor magazine

Triple M: Had it covered

On the audio content front, Triple M wasn’t going to miss out either. As was reported to popular acclaim on Mi3’s Fast News, the radio station struck up a unique collaboration with a selection of Australian rock artists to cover songs by the pop sensation as a prelude to Swift’s highly anticipated Australian tour.

Iconic Australian artists involved in this project included Paul Kelly, Ian Moss (pictured), The Screaming Jets, Sarah McLeod, Diesel, and Birds of Tokyo.

These covers, known as the Triple M Versions, were released each weekday from 5 February to 14 February and heard on the Triple M Breakfast show or by streaming Triple M live on LiSTNR. The first song to be released was a cover of ‘Anti-Hero’ by Paul Kelly on 5 February. Other songs covered included ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’, ‘Wildest Dreams’, ‘This Is Me Trying’, ‘Style’, ‘Blank Space’, ‘You’re on Your Own, Kid’, and ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’.

Ian Moss, part of the Triple M taylor Swift covers series