April 16, 2019
Utilizing Current Events for Marketing Purposes
The Red Cross recently had a brilliant marketing scheme. In an effort to drive up blood donor numbers, the nonprofit organization leveraged the upcoming season premiere of the hit HBO series, Game of Thrones, for its marketing campaign.
“Bleed for the throne.”
The slogan was paired with a red-tinged artist’s rendering from a Game of Thrones scene and the font associated with the show’s title letters.
At the very least, the campaign accomplished one goal: to start a conversation. Game of Thrones, with its millions of loyal fans, has a marketing power that other brands are attempting to harness. But this is a smart strategy! Leveraging current events can often be the fresh air that a brand needs to spin out some new marketing materials.
So how does a brand take advantage of current events for marketing purposes? Of course, this has to be done in good taste (unless a brand simply doesn’t care about reception and simply wants to make a splash — that is a different conversation!).
What Makes Sense?
First, not every current event is a springboard for every brand. For example, the Red Cross had a perfect “in” with Game of Thrones because the show, well, sheds a lot of blood. It may be a bit of a graphic association, but the connotation still worked well.
So, when strategizing on the best current events to align a brand with, take into account the overall message and target demographic of the brand. Let’s use the example of a recent partnership between Halo Top Creamery and ABC’s The Bachelor franchise.
The partnership also made sense, simply given the target audience of both brands. The partnership was announced at the end of the 2018-2019 season of The Bachelor, with Halo Top officially signing on to have several show alumni endorse the brand. The brand also made an appearance on the season finale, which aired with a live studio audience.
Dating apps such as Hinge have also boarded The Bachelor train, and with their recent “Designed to be deleted” campaign, the brand has seen marked success in reaching its target demographic. Brands need to be on top of trends and truly know what their audience is seeking when it comes to aligning themselves with current events or trendy topics.
If there is a current event or trending topic that makes sense to align a brand with it, then it’s time to get creative. Marketing campaigns should be designed to grab attention, to elicit a reaction from the reader. Ideally, that reader will then take action and engage with the campaign in some way, perhaps even becoming a customer.
So think outside the box a bit when it comes to devising a viable marketing campaign. Is a major sporting event coming up? Maybe the Final Four of the annual March Madness college basketball tournament is approaching. Is there a way to design a “final four” contest for your brand? This is a simple way to take advantage of the bracket game and gain some new followers during this time.
At any given time, there are a multitude of current events happening that are just waiting to have another spin made by a creative marketing genius. The next big campaign could be for your business — it just requires a bit of creativity and a nose for the right current events.