Mindshare: What You Can Learn From "Carpool Karaoke"

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This week, on Mindshare’s Culture Vulture Live, Ann Kelsey explores the success of "Carpool Karaoke" and the lessons for brands.


From Adele to Sia to One Direction and more, the biggest stars in music are taking a ride with late night TV host James Corden on CBS' "Late Late Show." If you haven’t seen it, "Carpool Karaoke" is exactly what it sounds like. Corden drives around town with a famous musician and together they sing in the car. Sometimes they make pit stops, too -- like when Justin Bieber took Corden shopping.

The segment has become a viral sensation, with each one driving millions of views online. In just a few weeks, the video with Adele became the most-watched late-night YouTube video of all time. Today it has over 77 million views and counting.

The series is also having an impact on artists’ music sales. For example, after Steve Wonder participated, his greatest hits album shot to number one on iTunes in the U.K.

For brands and marketers, there’s a few different insights that we can take away from the success of "Carpool Karaoke." One of the reasons viewers love these videos is the level of authenticity and inclusivity. These clips give the audience an inside look at these celebrities. Instead of seeing them onstage, it’s a more casual setting that creates a real sense of intimacy with the viewers.

There’s also something to be said about the power of nostalgia. The artists don’t just promote their new material; they sing their own classic hits, and their favorites from years ago. Like Chris Martin belting out some David Bowie, or Bieber singing Alanis Morrisette’s “Ironic.” And who can’t relate to that?

As a marketer, if you can harness nostalgia in an authentic way, and create content that shows viewers a good time, you’ll have a smooth ride toward brand engagement.

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