Ride the wave of a current event for marketing impact
#FreshTip: Tying into current events with a message that aligns with your brand is a great way to reach your audience.
Hoping everyone has recovered from the amazing Solar Eclipse 2017. As a lover of all things marketing, I tend to observe life events through a marketing lens and the eclipse was no exception. I live in a media market that served a geography that fell within 100% totality, so it was hard to escape the science and the solicitations that #SolarEclipse2017 provided.
Three marketing topics in particular attracted my attention:
Every large event provides standard and unique merchandising opportunities. Some merchandise is practical, like this year’s eclipse glasses, a must have accessory for any eclipse viewer. Some items are standard: apparel and glassware (solar eclipse shot glass, anyone?). Added to the mix were activity books, luggage tags and totes. Still need that solar system dress or phone case? You can find those too.
Special kudos to Bonnie Tyler, who celebrated the solar eclipse by singing her 1983 hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart” on a cruise ship, a performance covered by CNN, The Today Show, Good Morning America and The Los Angeles Times. (FYI – the song hit number 1 on iTunes this week, eclipsing (pun intended) Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito”). Her bump is a great reminder of how we can create a merchandising and publicity opportunities from past productions.
Creating an event that ties into a local, national or international event is a great way to attract publicity for your business. Minor league baseball teams have executed this for years and #SolarEclipse2017 was no exception. Teams all across the country hosted fans in their stadiums, stopping play as totality approached. Many teams created special jerseys. In the case of the Columbia (SC) Fireflies, their special glow-in-the-dark jerseys will be auctioned off with the funds supporting area STEM programs.
— Columbia Fireflies (@ColaFireflies) August 18, 2017
Science museums throughout the country, who often take a page out of the publicity stunt books to promote touring shows, created VIP events for their members, as well as generated publicity by promoting their scientists to the media to discuss this natural phenomena. The Statesman Journal reports that in Salem, Oregon, the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI), created an event featuring lecturers, musicians, scientists and more will welcome eclipse viewers as early as 6 a.m. at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. Upwards of 9,000 people were estimated to attend, said Andrea Edgecombe, director of events for OMSI. (Statesman Journal)
Kudos to all the science museum professionals who proudly wore their organizationally branded golf shirts while being interviewed by local and national media. Tying into these events is only one piece of the marketing puzzle. Marketers must appropriately brand their staff and event to truly take advantage of this type of opportunity.
Social Media definitely had a seat at the marketing table for #SolarEclipse2017. Twitter and Instagram recorded some of their highest usages in a 24 hour period as the United States was swept with Solar Eclipse fever. Below are a few graphs from the website Ritetag, illustrating the Twitter hashtag usage over the past week.
I hope you enjoyed #SolarEclipse2017 through whatever lens you chose.