Case Study

Genevieve Shaffer                                                                                                                       October 22, 2015                                                                                                                             Social Media

The Bad Blood Campaign: A Case Study

Overview of the Campaign:

Taylor Swift a well-known musician who started off as a country star turned pop singer put out a new album entitled “1989” and off that album came three singles. “Bad Blood” the third single that came off of “1989” would draw more attention than any of her other singles. This would mark the kick off of the “Bad Blood Campaign.” Taylor knew the video for the fourth single would need to be promoted in such a way that would please the fans while drawing more fans and listeners. This single was a huge opportunity for Swift and with it came her plan to alter her image overall. When the video finally had its debut, Swift had made sure to choose the perfect moment which was the Billboard Music Awards, a large viewing audience which also holds a large fan base not to mention numerous viewers.

Understanding Audience:

The target audience for Swift’s campaign “Bad Blood” though not directly stated in the campaign is most clearly the teen girl population likely between the ages of 14-28. Her songs tell a story mostly involving heartbreak and moving on. The lyrics are relatable to this age range, but by having celebrities in her video for her single she decided to take this opportunity to extend her age range by including two celebrities from an older generation. By including celebrities, Ellen Pompeo and Mariska Hargitay both respected celebrities known for Greys Anatomy and Law and Order: SVU they would reach an older demographic.

Strategy and Content:

Although, without strategy behind the scenes of the campaign who knows if it would have been as successful. There were many people involved in its success including those who were featured in the final product. By including other celebrities in her campaign such as Cara DeLevingne, Swift was able to reach out towards their fan base as well. Each celebrity was featured on a poster as the character they would be playing in the video. So when Cara Delevingne shared her poster on her Instagram account her followers and fans saw it. Delevingne received 600k likes on her photo, and all of those likes are fans who now will want to see Swift’s video because they are a fan of Delevingne and she is featured in the video. This in turn will increase the number of viewers for Swift’s video. Delevingne is just one celebrity that Swift chose to be in her video, now picture all of the other celebrities that shared there poster for the video on their social media, the viewers will sky rocket in numbers. Swift must have had quite the editorial calendar planned out leading up to the videos release.

Each post promoting the release of the music video was strategically planned out, most likely in an editorial calendar. Posts were going out up until the release of the video. What was probably the best move for the campaign was not releasing a video teaser and keeping the video under tight surveillance until its reveal so that it wasn’t leaked. This helped in terms of increasing the excitement leading up to the videos release. Finally the big moment, the release. Swift couldn’t have picked a better moment to unveil her project, the Billboard Music Awards, one of the largest music events with some of the largest number of viewers. During the promotional period for the video Swift posted photos of the various celebrities involved in her video and wrote statements to get her fans excited. Taylor Swift chose to use various platforms to promote her video for “Bad Blood’ and expanded her reach through her fellow celebrities. Some of the platforms were Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and personal websites. When information was shared on twitter by fellow celebrities Swift’s fan base grew as well as her expected amount of viewers.


In order for Swift to measure the interest level of the public, in relation to the Bad Blood Campaign metrics were studied. Metrics are measurements that help develop strategy for a campaign, develop goals, and provide results to analyze the outcome of the campaign. There are three types of metrics: activity, interaction and performance. By measuring the activity level of the campaign Swift will be able to tell whether more information needs to be relayed to the public, in terms of social media posts etc., in order to increase the campaigns popularity and fan base. It’s also important to measure the interaction levels in relation to the campaign. The interaction level is the discussion between the public and Swift and her campaign. To examine the interaction level can help the campaign in terms of knowing whether the public is communicating about the campaign and let’s Swift know if she needs to reach out to the public more in order to increase the excitement leading up to the release of the video. Finally the performance, what were the results of the campaign? Did the campaign produce the results Swift was hoping for upon the release of her video? These questions are answered when examining the results post performance, and with the results Swift can make sure that any future campaigns can be even more successful.

Ethics, Theory, Issues:

From the text “Likeable Social Media,” there are multiple ethical and theory considerations to take into account for the campaign. Some of the points in this text that stand out in relation to the campaign are entitled “activate your brand ambassadors, truly valuing all your customers, develop an authentic voice, and just like dating: the more open you are the better…to a point.” Swift made sure to address each of these points before her campaign, during her campaign and even when the final product was released.

Swifts brand ambassadors were those who were featured in her video such as Cara Delevigne, Selena Gomez and more who have a huge fan base and can post on social media, publicizing the release of the video which supports the campaign. Then there are also the brand ambassadors who may not be considered famous but are fans of Swift who may have some reach in their community or have a large set of followers on social media. Which leads to “truly valuing all your customers.” Swift has sixty-five million followers on twitter and fifty-one million followers on Instagram. In those numbers Swift has some very loyal fans, fans that Swift reaches out too with her various social media platforms, especially Tumblr. By thanking her fans and reaching out to them in the slightest way is positive feedback for her fans, encouraging them to continue to support her in her endeavors. This is why it is important for Swift to have an authentic voice, to express that she really does care for her fans and to remain open with her fans so that they feel they have a personal relationship with Swift. The closer her fans feel towards her the more likely they are to support her and interact with her on all platforms as well as helping to advertise for her campaign. Swift has developed a large fan base that is continuously growing, her success attributed to not just her talents in the music industry but for her abilities in public relations including; various communication platforms and her ability to be “influential and change perceptions.”

Social and Cultural Issues:

The Bad Blood Campaign really depended on the use of social media in terms of the various platforms to reach the audience and promote the video. Although Swift did make a huge change in her availability of her music. She decided to remove her music from a huge platform for music Spotify, which is linked to other social platforms. Her motives behind this were to increase album sales, essentially forcing people to buy her album. This was a big move by Swift but her latest album “1989” has outsold both of her previous albums. In 2014 3.611 million albums were sold and in 2015, 844,000 more copies were sold. Although it upset some of her fans that she removed her music from the easily accessible music app, this was beneficial for Swift, increasing her sales and increasing her notability in the music industry.

Analysis and Recommendation:

The campaign for Bad Blood was excellently executed. Taylor Swift not only gained more fans after the campaign and release of her video for Bad Blood but she managed to change her image as well. Swift produced content that was expedited over a long period of time which increased the excitement for the release of the video and increased the discussion over the various platforms. Swifts team did an excellent job in making sure the video was not leaked ahead of its release day and by not having a video teaser the unknown kept the audience on the edge of their seats. Although, a con mentioned in this campaign was how long the campaign was leading up to the final product. Since it took so long for this videos release the viewers were expecting something larger than this small music video. So although time can be a positive for the campaign it can also count as a draw back. In summary, this campaign was well thought out and planned well. Swifts public relations team worked hard and managed to produce good content and reach the goals set for the outcome of the campaign and the videos release.


“Likeable Social Media” Chapters 6, 8, & 9

Shotwell, J. (2015, May 15). Article. Retrieved from:

Revis, L. (2012, April 12). Article. Retrieved:


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