In 1990, after 11 years of iron-fisted rule as Britain’s PM, Margaret Thatcher was challenged within the Conservative party for the leadership. Her political capital all but spent, she failed to win her first-ballot nomination outright, and so bowed out of the race and the Prime Minister’s office.
A few hours after the announcement, the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong carried a full-page ad for Nescafe Instant Coffee (that’s how we rolled back then folks). There was a pack shot plus a big headline that read:
“At least there’s one thing that won’t leave a bitter taste in her mouth.”
It generated Nescafe, and our ad agency, mountains of buzz.
We had the idea the day before the vote, and had to have to 2 ads ready, one in anticipation of her actually winning. It was a big spend for the client and an exciting night.
The marketing minds at Oreo demonstrated a similar clear-headed attention to their surroundings on Sunday when they tweeted this during the Super Bowl blackout.
Clicking on the link took you to this image.
I love how fast they reacted and responded. There was no way to plan for the blackout, so this ad was no doubt in the can already. But someone, somewhere had the antennae up and jumped at this opportunity.
This is advertising at its best: fast on your feet, opportunistic, relevant.
What did the tweet cost? Relatively nothing. And the return on that investment was incalculable attention during a moment when everyone was, like a San Francisco receiver, wide open.
The Brand Interventionist Recommends
Put Opportunism on your business’s Monday morning agenda and remind everyone in your company that anyone can come up with the big idea that links what you do with what’s going on outside.
If you’re not looking for it, you’re going to miss it.
With an instant gratification platform like Twitter, your fun idea can generate buzz as fast as you can come up with it.
There are dangers here too, but that’s for the next post!
(Mrs. Thatcher image courtesy The Telegraph)