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The battle of the Christmas singers: Mariah Carey vs Michael Bublé

guitar with christmas hat

Michael Bublé and Mariah Carey are the King and Queen of Christmas. Each December, these two renowned singers come out hiding, with sounds of All I want for Christmas and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas echoing through festively decorated homes. Just like Turkey leftovers, you either love them to bits or can’t stomach them. But which of the two Christmas singers will reign supreme this year?

To find out, we ran the ultimate comparison. Firstly, we conducted a social media listening search for both “Michael Bublé” and “Mariah Carey”, collecting tweets that spanned across the month of December. We then uploaded this unstructured text data to Relative Insight – a text analytics software that leverages comparison as part of the analysis process.

With our unique NLP technology, we compared tweets mentioning one of the Christmas singers against each other, highlighting the words, phrases, topics, emotion and grammar that are more prevalent in one data set over the other.

This form of comparative analysis revealed a plethora of audience insights and uncovered the general sentiment towards these two megastars, who make the majority of their earnings over the festive period.

Michael Bublé

With over 16 million copies sold and four billion streams, Michael Bublé’s Christmas is the best-selling holiday album of the 21st century. When describing Michael Bublé’s sound, fans are 5.1x more likely to use festive descriptors such as jolly, merry and jazzy – positioning Bublé as a singer who is synonymous with Christmas.

insight card - festive descriptors to discuss Michael Buble's sound

While people on Twitter align Michael Bublé with Christmas festivities, they also find humor in it. This year, annual jokes about Michael Bublé defrosting in time for Christmas are out in full swing, with words such as defrosted and thawing 9.2x more likely to appear. Does this mean that people see Michael Bublé as solely a Christmas Crooner, who has little or no relevance for audiences the rest of the year?

insight card - defrosting jokes about Christmas singers

In comparison to tweets about Mariah Carey, the discussion on Bublé has a greater use of emotive language. People claim that Michael Bublé’s music is their favorite to listen to over the festive period, with one user saying: “Michael Bublé… yes that’s a whole vibe”. Bublé’s music makes listeners happy and ultimately sets the mood in the run-up to Christmas.

Insight card - setting a mood

Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey has long been celebrated the Queen of Christmas. But her loyal lambs view her as an icon all year round. Fans on Twitter describe Mariah Carey as legendary, iconic and timeless – words which were not used at all to describe Michael Bublé – suggesting that Mariah transcends the stereotype of being seen as simply a Christmas singer.

insight card - Mariah Carey is iconic

Mariah Carey is glorified for her impressive five-octave vocal range, which fans argue makes her the best vocalist of all time. In contrast to Michael Bublé, Twitter users are 12.6x more likely to compare Mariah Carey’s vocal talents to other prominent female artists such as Beyoncé, Whitney Houston and Rihanna. Again, this insight avoids Christmas cliche and implies that fans view Mariah Carey’s music more holistically than Bublé.

insight card - vocal talents of mariah carey

This festive season, Mariah Carey has collaborated with McDonalds (US) to promote the “Mariah McDonalds Menu”, which offers 12 days of free food. However, people who discuss the commercial express confusion over the partnership, commenting that it’s unlikely Mariah Carey eats McDonalds or fast food.

Brands and agencies often use Relative Insight to measure campaign effectiveness and understand how new advertising efforts or partnerships are being received by the public. When done effectively, celebrity brand partnerships can be a powerful form of marketing. However, celebrity endorsements must be authentic and resonate with the target audience. It seems that McDonalds may have missed the mark with their most recent Christmas advert.

insight card - McDonalds x Mariah carey commercial

Michael Bublé serenades his way into our hearts as if he was one of Santa’s elves; Mariah Carey’s vocal range impresses all who listen. But when it comes to the battle of these Christmas singers, it seems that Michael Bublé’s is integral to setting the festive mood, creating Christmassy vibes and providing us with merry tracks.

Relative Insight layers on top of social listening data, enabling you to run comparisons and uncover rich audience insights that frequency-based searching might not surface. Request a demo to find out how comparative text analysis can level up your insights game.

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