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The eclipse and marketing

By JAMES COAKES Published 20th Mar 2015
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The eclipse was rather disappointing for many, with cloud cover obscuring the sight over most of the UK. However, that did not stop brands taking on the eclipse meme on social media, with #eclipse2015 trending all through the morning.

Paddy Power chose to celebrate it with jokes; 'how does the sun cut his hair? Eclipse it' being an example. Oreos and Mr Kipling chose the shape of their cookies and Viennese Whirls to have some product related fun.

Oreos went beyond social media and took over The Sun, the newspaper, with a wrap around today's edition and this was one of the better uses of the meme because it stood out and showed real creativity.

This is one of the problems with trends on social media. It's difficult to stand out when everyone is doing the same and there are also diminishing returns. As with most emotions the humour button can only be pressed so many times before it stops working. The first eclipse Tweets were fun, but there was a point at which the bandwagon had passed and a few desperate social media managers found themselves repeating the same jokes.

So, what is the solution when it comes to being original when taking part in a trending topic? The answer, as with so many things, is preparation. If you saw the trend coming this morning and tried to join in it was already too late. However, if you had prepared weeks ago and come up with a great idea then you have the lead.

The brand that came out best today was Oreos. Their very clever idea to wrap The Sun was a traditional marketing idea but it gave them massive credibility which flowed through to their social media campaign.

However, if you missed the marketing opportunity or missed seeing the event because of cloud cover you have no need to worry. There will be another eclipse on 21 August 2017 and experts say that it will be even more impressive than today's. Get your thinking caps on.

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