Over the weekend a car crashed into a Specsavers in Sevenoaks, an unfortunate incident in which nobody was hurt. The image of the car crashed into the Specsaver store immediately got the social media channels buzzing, with the image appearing next to the company's well known slogan – 'Should've gone to Specsaver'. The irony of this was not lost on many – some passersby were even wondering whether it was an intentional social media stunt! It wasn't, but this random incident has still given Specsaver some valuable brand profile online which can only be positive from a marketing perspective.
This highlights the opportunities brands have to turn unforeseen circumstances into marketing opportunities by being creative, thoughtful and very nimble. Reacting in the right way can generate lots of Facebook likes, retweets and Google + 1's – all very valuable to a brand online.
But for brands to get the most out of these sorts of opportunities, they need to have tactical marketing strategies in place to ensure marketing teams can react really quickly and in the right way.
Oreo is a perfect example of getting the most out of an unexpected incident. When the lights went out at the Super Bowl, they grabbed the spotlight with this tweet: "You can still dunk in the dark." The tweet, designed and approved within minutes, proved to be one of the most-electrifying marketing moments of the game, generating more attention for the brand than its TV ad. Within the first hour, the message was retweeted 15,811 times and got 19,610 Facebook likes.
It is important to point out that although this type of activity is very effective, it can also go badly wrong! Particularly, when companies 'newsjack' incidents where there have clearly been serious fatalities – not good practice!
Here are some of the early examples of brand coverage that the Specsavers incident has generated so far – it's a great example of why there are now endless creative opportunities for brands online.
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