Our sample includes all songs that charted for at least 1 week in Billboard’s weekly Hot 100 chart. This adds up to over 450 different songs.
overall prevalence of Brands in song lyrics
Concave Brand Tracking found that at least one commercial Brand was mentioned in 29% of these songs. In contrast, Brands were shown in 87% of music videos for this same sample’s songs.
We also found that the %s of songs with Brand mentions varied significantly between genres. As the graph below shows not a single folk or indie song contained a Brand mention in its lyrics, while 73% of Hip hop songs did. R&B also had an above average % of songs with at least 1 Brand mention. Soul, Electro, Country and Dance all had at least 1 Brand in between 23% and 26% of their songs. Pop was even lower with only 15% , followed with Rock with 11%.
average number of Brands per song
Concave also looked at the average number of Brands mentioned in songs. Overall, the average songs, with at least 1 Brand in its lyrics, had 2.6 different ones. When breaking it down by genre, Soul songs with at least 1 Brand in their lyrics featured, on average, almost 4 different ones. Hip hop followed with 3.1. Dance and Rock had the lowest average numbers with 1.4 and 1.0, respectively.
The song – that charted in Billboard’s weekly Hot 100 in 2014 – with the most commercial Brands in its lyrics was THE DEVIL IS A LIE by Rick Ross. In that single song, 9 different Brands were mentioned. They ranged from Mercedes-Benz and Barneys to Walmart.
most common product to be mentioned
If we look at the type of Branded products that were mentioned, we find that cars account for 23% of Brands in song lyrics. More than any other product. Fashion houses followed, along with liquor Brands, websites and shoes. The 5 most common products made up 48% of all Brand mentions in 2014.
top 5 Brands in music lyrics
Here we are looking at the top 5 Brands mentioned in songs that charted in Billboard weekly 2014 Hot 100 chart. The ranking is based exclusively on how many songs the Brands appeared in
Jack Daniels, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Twitter and Rolls-Royce were each mentioned in 6 different songs.
5 of the 7 songs were Hip hop and the only songs in which Lamborghini was mentioned more than once was MOVE THAT DOPE by Future.
#3 (tied) Ferrari
While they might not have much else in common, Instagram and Ferrari were both mentioned in 8 songs each.
Every single song Ferrari was mentioned in were Hip hop, except for LOYAL by Chris Brown. Rick Ross associated himself with the Brand in both SANCTIFIED and THE DEVIL IS A LIE, as did Usher in I DON’T MIND. Ferrari was never associated with a woman in any songs’ lyrics.
#3 (tied) Instagram
Rolex was mentioned in 10 different songs, with every single one being Hip hop except for SHE KNOWS by Ne-Yo.
Rolex was exclusively associated with black men in its mentions. These included Yo Gotti in ERRRBODY, Wiz Khalifa in FEELIN’ MYSELF, Quavo in HANDSOME AND WEALTHY, Lil Wayne in BELIEVE ME, Jay-Z in SEEN IT ALL, Ca$h Out in SHE TWERKIN, Kid Ink in SHOW ME and Juicy J in both SHE KNOWS and SHELL SHOCKED.
In almost every one of its mentions, Rolex was used by artists to show off. They were also often associated with customized jewerly.
With lyrical appearances in 15 songs, Mercedes-Benz was by far the most common Brand to be mentioned in music.
Interestingly, not all the mentions were positive. In DRINK TO THAT ALL NIGHT Jerrod Niemann boasts of having “a black Ford, not a white Mercedes”. Also, in SANCTIFIED, Rick Ross spoke of Mercedes-Benz as cheaper alternative to a Ferrari.