Go topical or go home

When Meghan Markle married Prince Harry in 2018, the world’s eyes were on this royal union — and when I say the world, I really mean it. Celebrities, politicians, common folk, and of course, brands. Clever copy, witty puns, and eye-catching designs took over the internet, with thousands of creatives paying homage to the wedding of the year.

Now, you might be wondering what these brands had in common with a celebrity couple’s personal milestone? Well, the royal wedding was nothing short of a landmark event with millions of people rooting for Meghan, who was going to be first-ever African-American in the British royal family. Emotions were running high, and it was the perfect opportunity for brands to connect with their audience.  

Simply put, in a crowded marketplace where brands are striving to say relevant, each has something to gain by leveraging an event that has caught the popular imagination. And one way of doing this is by putting out clever communication around these happenings, and tying it back to the brand’s product or service — be it through words or visuals.

Sounds interesting, right? Here are my top tips for you to get started on in-the-moment marketing and ace your brand communications: 

Be on top of your current affairs. 

Timeliness is vital to the success of topical marketing. In this fast-paced digital age, quick deployment of your creative is the need of the hour — because nobody wants to know your brand’s stance on outdated news. So my suggestion is,  stay on top of all that’s new and trending. News apps, social media, and newspapers are your brand’s friends. For all you know, the next piece of breaking news could have your creatives going viral!

Research. Research. Research. 

Research the foundation for any successful marketing campaign, and moment marketing is no different.  So go the extra mile — see how your competitors are speaking, get a feel of public opinion on the issue before you work on your communication, analyse what works and what doesn’t. Sure, it seems obvious, but you’ll be surprised at how many take this aspect lightly!

Think smart. Choose smart.

Often, people are sensitive about burning news — which is why, it’s crucial to be careful while crafting topical marketing campaigns. One wrong step can cause irreversible damage. As a marketer, the big picture, lay all the facts in front of you, see what news event or messaging works for your brand, and make an informed decision. Last year, a multinational e-commerce giant leveraged Bollywood actor Rahul Bose’s overcharged banana moment by drawing comparisons between the expensive bananas and all that they offer for the same price. I must say, the creative was brilliant! But here’s my pro-tip — don’t latch on every news event, trying to connect it back to your brand. After all, you don’t want to dig your own grave!

Make humor your best friend. 

I’d say if you can make your audience laugh, it’s a job well done. Though humor is subjective, it’s definitely not rocket science. I believe that if you know your customers well, it can add heaps of value to your brand. Over the years, I’ve observed that juxtaposition of two similar things work like magic — however, it’s just one way. You can always try new approaches, such as pop culture references, memes, etc. And most importantly, don’t forget to test your creatives on a sample audience. If your humor is going to bomb, you might as well know it beforehand and make amends, rather than fail colossally in public. 

Now you have all the tips you need to leverage every possible moment —  so go ahead and carpe diem! 

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Tina Garg
Founder and CEO at Pink Lemonade, an Integrated Marketing & Communications agency in Bangalore.
Tina launched the company in 2011, and today, it is known for its award-winning work in creative & business communications, and digital services. She comes with extensive experience in the creative industry, and is passionate about empowering women entrepreneurs.

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