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Making Moments Matter: Harnessing Trends for Brand Success

In 2019, Oreo and HBO teamed up to mark the final season of “Game of Thrones.” Oreo released limited-edition cookies showcasing the series’ main houses and recreated the show’s opening credits using 3,000 Oreos. This collaboration brilliantly tapped into the show’s cultural impact for brand promotion.

Let’s take another example.

In 2017, Pepsi’s ad showed a protest with signs like “Join the conversation.” It ended with Jenner giving a Pepsi can to a cop, implying peace. The ad faced backlash for trivializing serious issues and was pulled in 24 hours, highlighting the risks of moment marketing.

Both the brands here leveraged a promotional technique called moment marketing. This is described as the art of leveraging current events or trends to promote a brand or product. 

The Rise of Moment Marketing

With the proliferation of social media, news travels faster than ever. Brands have the opportunity to jump onto trending topics and weave their narratives around them. 

Moment marketing is essential for brands today. It harnesses current trends to foster a powerful connection with customers, enhancing brand awareness and driving engagement. Not only is it cost-effective, eliminating the need for hefty campaign promotions, but it also resonates with consumers. They feel heard and instantly relate, strengthening their bond with the brand.

When Moment Marketing Goes Wrong

However, not all attempts at moment marketing end in applause. Some missteps can lead to backlash, brand damage, or worse. Pepsi’s ad featuring Kendall Jenner is just one such example. 

While it’s hard to scroll through social media without encountering brands posting content on the latest trends, one might wonder, is this strategy truly effective?

The answer is a resounding yes but with a caveat. Engaging in moment marketing is undeniably a brilliant and cost-effective strategy to connect with your audience. However, its success hinges on its execution. 

There are two pitfalls to be wary of. The first is related to sensitive subjects. Brands that attempt to capitalize on sensitive or controversial topics without genuine understanding risk appearing insincere. The other has to do with authenticity. Here, consistency is crucial. If a brand’s current message contradicts its history or core values, audiences will spot the discrepancy. Authenticity shouldn’t be compromised.

Mastering Moment Marketing: Key Considerations

  • Stay Updated: While it’s essential to be aware of current events, it’s equally crucial to grasp the deeper context behind them.
  • True to Your Brand: Engage with trends that resonate with your brand’s ethos and overarching message.
  • Quick yet Considerate: While timeliness is key in moment marketing, it shouldn’t overshadow the importance of sensitivity and thorough understanding.
  • Seek Feedback: Before launching a campaign, gather opinions. An outsider’s viewpoint can often identify issues that might have been overlooked.
  • Be Prepared for Backlash: Even with the best intentions, things can go awry. Having a crisis management plan in place is essential.

Wrapping Up

Moment marketing is a powerful tool in the modern marketer’s arsenal. It offers the potential for virality and deep audience engagement. However, with great power comes great responsibility. Brands must approach it with a mix of enthusiasm, authenticity, and caution. After all, in the age of the internet, while good news travels fast, bad news travels faster.

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