It's always interesting to look back at the topics that garnered the most Google searches over the course of the year. Sometimes they reflect important events that happened or major milestones. For example, last year's top results included the World Cup and the names of several well-known individuals who passed away. 

This year, however, the most searched term is 'Disney plus.' That's right, the newest entry in the streaming wars was the topic that most captured our attention. That is, online, at least. 

We'll get back to that in a minute, but it's worth mentioning that many of the other top searches this year included people who made the news for various reasons. Cameron Boyce, Nipsey Hussle, Antonio Brown, Luke Perry, and Jussie Smollett were all in the top 10. Also included was Hurricane Dorian, and a few of the things that entertained us, like Avengers: Endgame, Game of Thrones, and the iPhone 11.

Also, for what it's worth, both Baby Yoda and Baby Shark beat out the royal baby. 

Which I guess somehow brings us back to Disney+. One of the astonishing things is the fact that the brand-new streaming service has been around for barely more than a month, and yet it managed to dominate our curiosity more than anything else.

Which, considering it's Disney, isn't exactly a surprise. There's no company on earth better at finding its way into the mind of an audience than Disney. 

Of course, it didn't hurt that Disney+ was everywhere. In fact, the most common related searches were about its partnership with Verizon that gave unlimited data customers a free year of the streaming service and the bundle with Hulu. Those trends show that Disney's marketing created intense curiosity around the service and its launch. 

And people are inherently curious. In fact, in many ways, when taken as a whole, curiosity is the thread that runs through the most-searched topics from this year. Many of the top searches are related to events that happened in our communities or our world that affected people with whom we have a connection--often in tragic ways.

For example, three of those names listed in the top 10 were of people who passed away this year. The other two were associated with allegations of criminal behavior. Another top search trend was related to one of the most powerful hurricanes recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. The reality is that people are naturally curious about bad news.

At the same time, people are driven by curiosity toward the things for which they have affection. In the case of Disney+, people have a natural affection for the brand and the stories that have, for many people, defined their childhood. I wrote earlier this year about the fact that more than 40 percent of people said they would sign up for Disney+ just because it reminded them of their childhood

The lesson here is that cultivating curiosity is one of the most powerful marketing strategies. Creating brand awareness is one thing, but creating curiosity is far more powerful. Instead of hoping your brand is top of mind when your customer makes a purchasing decision, curiosity means they seek you out.

Given the fact that 10 million people reportedly signed up for Disney+ on launch day alone, that seems like a pretty good strategy.

Published on: Dec 13, 2019
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