In September there were more obvious narratives driving engagement for Amazon, whereas in previous months we saw lots of individual stories receive high interest. While the latter is still true, there was a significant focus on Amazon Prime’s new prequel series, “The Lord of The Rings: Rings of Power.’
Out of the top 250 stories about brands, there were 42 (16%) that mentioned Amazon, and 12 of those discussed the LOTR series for different reasons. A couple of stories recognized the series for drawing 25 million viewers on its debut, but what truly caught the public’s attention were stories about the mixed reviews fans were voicing based on the diverse casting of characters.
Some fans remarked that the casting didn’t properly portray J.R.R. Tolkien’s original vision, but three cast members from the films came together in support of the diverse additions, as seen from Elijah Wood’s tweet. This resulted in Amazon temporarily shutting off reviews on Prime, stating that this was meant to weed out comments being made in bad faith.
While the LOTR series was no doubt a popular subject for publishers writing about Amazon, other narratives that emerged in September include stories about multiple rooftop fires that forced the tech giant to shut down solar panels that were suspected to be the cause, NFL star JJ Watt disapproving of how many times Amazon Prime played Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s injury, and a Twitter quarrel between Jeff Bezos and a Carnegie Mellon professor over the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Other key takeaways from the month:
1. UPS makes headlines for human interest story
UPS has been featured in our rankings for multiple months in a row now, although previously the brand turned heads due to an employee related crisis that unfolded over the summer. In September, however, UPS had one of the most engaged brand stories overall, but this time it was a soft news story about dogs that captured interest.
A UPS driver in Iowa was praised for rescuing two dogs who were trapped under the cover of an above ground pool. This was heavily covered by local publishers in various states, but the top story about the driver came from KSLA and earned over 139k engagements.
2. Tesla owners’ issues earn public interest
Tesla often appears in these blogs due to the actions of Elon Musk, but this time it was the product itself that featured prominently. One of the top stories of the month was about a Canadian man being locked out of his Tesla, while one catching on fire and slow charging for the car all featured in the top three stories.
3. Fox and Business Insider battle for top publisher
We have seen Business Insider perform highly in these analyses before, as the publisher tends to be among the most engaged destinations to learn what’s going on with brands. But this time Business Insider saw some competition for the top spot from Fox Business.
Though Fox Business had less than half the number of articles in the top 250 that Business Insider had, its seven articles saw roughly the same engagement as Business Insider’s nineteen.
Fox’s top stories looked at a variety of businesses, including the Tesla locking out incident, a Ford electric vehicle plant in Tennessee, and Amazon temporarily shutting down solar rooftops due to fires. These three stories were all in the top ten brand stories overall.
While Business Insider slightly lost out in terms of engagement, it did have the most stories in the top 250 overall, with pieces including complaints about Airbnb, Bank of America’s new mortgage, and Starlink linking up with iPhones.
You can read more about how brands were covered online in our August blog here.