Leaving shopping and Black Friday insanity to the side, is there anything more Christmasy than Christmas music? We both love it and love to hate it, and many a musician has discovered – and harnessed – our passion about it all around. This year is no different . . . well, it’s a little different.

Chart-topping Surprises

The business side of Christmas touches every corner of consumerism, including the top music charts. Savvy musicians have intentionally exploited the holiday, while others have been thrust into it, quickly finding themselves along for the sleigh ride as willing participants. And it’s some seriously competitive stuff!

In 1995, Mike Flowers had a wonderfully weird hit with a rendition of Oasis’ Wonderwall – one that sent the bands’ fans (Oasis fans, that is) in a tizzy and resulted in hate mail for Flowers, and being dubbed “the anti-Christ” by one of them when his version hit #1. Michael Jackson fans were less than thrilled by Flowers’ upset as well.

And then there was the children’s show phenomenon ‘Bob the Builder’ that developed an unexpected (almost cultish) following of the character’s mantra song, “Can we fix it? Yes, we can!” It was one that, much like Flowers’ song, but so much worse, snagged the #1 Christmas Day spot from actual musicians popular around that time.

But such is life. When the Christmas music fire is lit, either intentionally or no, one must roll with the snowballs.

As Billy Mack, in the movie Love Actually, realizes when re-recording a hit “Love Is All Around” as “Christmas Is All Around” – it’s all about creating what sells:

[in the record studio, Billy breaks off singing “Christmas Is All Around”] 

Billy Mack : This is sh*t, isn’t it?

Joe : [gleefully] Yep, solid gold sh*t, maestro.

And understanding what your listeners are viewing as ‘solid gold’ these days requires an in-depth sentiment exploration. Fortunately, it’s not as elusive as a trip to the North Pole.

Who Is Everyone Talking About?

Popular items in the UK aren’t overly England-centric this holiday season, but the share of voice is long and fragmented.

Having Justin Bieber in the top spot with Mistletoe can seem surprising. It’s a sweet song, for sure, but deeper exploration of what’s happening to earn this placement shows us it’s registering on a popular Money Saving forum, and being shared by a superfan with an impressive reach.

That’s why it’s important to look beyond surface insights and understand who is driving the conversation, and what the conversation is, exactly. Here, it was an answer to a contest question, shared again and again by an influential online participant.

Not having that transparency available, and lacking the ability to immediately click through and investigate why something is happening specifically can leave you relying on bad info. It’s something we’re allergic to at NetBase. We’re all accuracy and transparency all the time.

Imagine thinking the Biebs had somehow unseated all-time favorites by Mariah Carey and Bing Crosby and creating a marketing campaign around it? Tragic in too many ways, not to mention the day “Mistletoe” overtakes Winter Wonderland will be a sad one indeed.

And then what of UK favorite from The Pogues – Fairytale Of New York? They registered as well, a bit further down on the list. As did Stephen Hillenberg . . .

And who should know better about something being ‘freaking awesome’ than @freak1ingawesome? Well, that remains to be seen – and can be. We’ll explore freaking awesome’s Twitter feed another day.

Keeping Everyone Happy This Season

Things are decidedly not awesome online when it comes to Christmastime songs, in general though.

Conversation trending online around the topic shows people preoccupied with banning inappropriate songs and/or complaining about those offended by newly ‘inappropriate’ songs. Love is in the air, and goodwill, but a misstep in your holiday promotions could convey unintended meanings to a sensitive segment.

It’s always good to pop around and take the temperature (the social sentiment) of your room before running through it in your Santa suit. So many songs to choose from –  why not choose wisely?

Oh, and don’t worry too much over Mariah Carey coming in second for favorite Christmas song here, and think it will affect her in any way – her royalty checks keep her warm. Since 1994, All I Want For Christmas Is You is pretty much always in one of the top spots, and she’s reported to make “£376,000 a year in music royalties.”

Outside of those top spots, the songs we hum unintentionally each season, there can be changes from time to time. And there’s still plenty of time for something wonderfully weird or amazing to top the charts and get us all talking about something other than “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” This adorable song titled “When I Wake Up It Will Be Christmas” This adorable song, written and performed by a Dad and daughter duo in Sutton, gets my vote! They’re a sentiment sensation building steam. It will be interesting to see if some smart brand snaps them up!

Find unexpected solid gold for your brand this holiday season by signing up for a demo. ‘Tis the season!

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