The story of Maybach, Lorde, her hit song Royals and unintended consequences [UPDATE]

Update: ChoiceStream e-mailed to clarify some errors in our post, so we've updated the text below. ChoiceStream also let us know that "Maybach is not a client of ChoiceStream. ChoiceStream measures advertising audience trends via its Audience Cost Calendar Index, which tracks more than 300 specific audience segments for trends within the advertising buying and selling ecosystem on a monthly basis. Maybach happened to be one of those audience segments, aligned with the luxury vehicle category, which is why ChoiceStream identified the anomaly in the data correlating to the rise in popularity of Lorde's song."

People who read this site might be interested in Maybach because it spent almost all of its last revival in the Intensive Care Unit, and its next Lazarus act is expected to commence this November. But so-called millennials who know nothing of Maybach and have no interest in it beyond the curious have driven up the price of digital advertising for the luxury brand more than two-fold, at the same time as they're providing more lessons for Big Data.

A line in New Zealand singer Lorde's song "Royals" released last summer that goes, "But everybody's like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece," has all kinds of kiddies trying to figure out "WTF is a Maybach?" According to online ad platform ChoiceStream, the spike in searches – even among a demographic "who are totally unqualified" – sent the cost of online advertising targeting potential Maybach buyers up by 233 percent compared to the cost of advertising to all demographics; this even as Google Trends tracked the continued decline of the search term "Maybach." Meanwhile, other luxury automotive brands were paying 148-percent less compared to the price of general advertising in order to reach their target demos.

ChoiceStream said part of the cost increase was due to the fact that it was millennials doing the searching, and because they're so hard to reach, ads delivered to them command a premium. A ChoiceStream exec told us it has algorithms to detect such anomalies, such as when prized eyeballs boosting the ad value of the product don't provide any benefit to the advertiser, but other advertisers might not. Said the exec, "whoever is running ads for Maybach will be the ones to address the issue." Even with the ad-servicing cost, the snafu is a problem that Cadillac, mentioned in the previous line in "Royals" – "We don't care, we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams," – would probably not mind having.

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