The data behind May’s top brand stories

June 14, 2022

Written by Benedict Nicholson

From the Twitter takeover to the economy’s impact, May was a big month for coverage of brands in the media, and the public interest in those stories. 

In the first of a recurring monthly series, we’re going to take a look at the top 250 stories about America’s biggest brands, and analyze some of the themes and trends that emerged. 

If you’d like to see our piece covering the key takeaways, here’s where you can find that.

Brand coverage

May was a month for Elon Musk, from Tesla to Twitter and back again. Our analysis of the top 250 most engaged articles about America’s biggest companies showed that Elon Musk and the companies he is directly involved with have been responsible for almost exactly a third of the top stories. 

The chart below focuses on the number of mentions of the top ten most written about brands.

A chart showing the amount of times brands were mentioned inn the top 250 stories in May 2022, with Tesla topping the chart

Most of those concerning Tesla were not directly about the brand but rather Musk’s position as CEO, though an online spat with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is a Tesla owner, was somewhat of an exception to this rule. 

Unsurprisingly, the baby formula shortage in the US was a major topic of concern, and Abbott was the major recipient of this coverage, after one of its factories was forced to shut down for not meeting FDA standards, leading to the formula shortage. This appeared 15 times in the top articles, in various guises and narratives. 

The rest of the most mentioned brands were big retailers and the tech giants, with Walmart, Apple, Amazon, and Ford all appearing.

Themes of brand coverage

When it comes to the themes of the top 250 stories, there are ones that can clearly be tied to specific brands, such as the Twitter buyout, and the formula shortage, which correspond to Twitter and Abbott respectively. Eagle-eyed readers will note that there is actually one more story about the Twitter takeover than about Twitter itself, and that’s because one story focuses on Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s partial funding of the move, making Oracle the primary brand mentioned for that story.

Chart showing the article themes about brands, with the economy at the top in May

The two most frequently occurring topics in the list, though, were the economy and product highlights. 

Talk of the economy was wide-ranging but mainly focused on inflation and cost-of-living. Brands were pulled into this conversation in numerous ways, particularly around gas prices and rising costs of goods and services, with a number of household names mentioned frequently in this context. Overall, the economic conditions of May 2022 were responsible for a fifth of the total top brand articles.

Product highlights cut one of two ways, and were roughly evenly split 50:50 between positive and negative stories, though they slightly tended towards positive coverage. The articles that looked at a specific product from a brand made up 36 of the top 250 articles. 

The other two big topics looked at the intersection of politics and brands, as well as the Twitter buyout. Together, these four topics made up more than two-thirds of the total top articles. 

Outlets writing about brands

Finally, we’d be remiss not to talk about the outlets who wrote the most engaged articles about the top brands.

Chart showing the most frequently appearing publishers for the top 250 brand stories in May 2022

Many of the top articles came from conservative outlets such as the Daily Wire, and these were often critical of mainstream culture and trends, or praised the likes of Elon Musk for certain statements or behaviors. 

Business-focused outlets such as Business Insider and Fox Business were particularly successful, while major mainstream players such as CNN and NPR also made the list, with a handful of articles each.

We’ll be back in a month for the June edition of the top brands, but in the meantime, if you’d like to see what news is resonating about your brand, you can get in touch with us here

Related articles

How Pinterest dominates the Thanksgiving recipe scene

How Pinterest dominates the Thanksgiving recipe scene

It’s rare that Pinterest is the dominant force in any social engagement conversation, with Facebook and Twitter the typical big drivers of engagement for web links, especially to the news.  Where Pinterest shines though, is food and fashion, and Thanksgiving is...

read more

The NewsWhip Daily

A weekday round-up that uses NewsWhip’s technology to predict the top stories of the morning, and show you the news you need to know to start your day. Insights are delivered direct to your inbox at 10am EST.

Daily newsletter

Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial