This month the world’s media focused on one couple and one baby – attracting hundreds of millions of consumers, to thousands of high traffic pieces of content. Smart brands leapt at the opportunity creating branded content and tactical media buys. Danny Meadows-Klue, president of the Digital Training Academy, highlights some of the strongest approaches from marketers capitalising on Prince George’s arrival: from Magnum to Oreo, Pampers to Coke. It’s a great illustration of what’s possible when you apply the Digital Acceleration Programme training – strong digital ecosystems let brands unlock leaps in reach and effectiveness, making any big cultural event an easy way to share your brand’s point of view.
Unlike most breaking news, the royal birth is one major news story that brands had months to prepare for, but minutes to execute.
According to Twitter there were over 421 tweets per second following the royal birth, so getting the message across the right audience in the right tone is key.
Here’s our pick of the top 10 brands that made smart use of tying their brand to the news via social media.
Pampers used a promoted tweet to push their new video ‘Every Baby is a Little Prince or Princess’, keeping the experience social and inviting followers to share their own baby pictures.
— Pampers (@Pampers) July 22, 2013
Oreo has been a pioneer in newsjacking, and the news of the new prince was another chance to push the buiscuit brand. Tweeting an image of a cushion with a baby bottle and Oreo on top. The ad was posted on Twitter with the tagline “Long Live the Creme”. Representatives at Oreo said in a statement that while the world was awaiting the royal birth, “we were thrilled to provide our own Oreo welcome in a way consistent with our brand’s approach.”
Prepare the royal bottle service! pic.twitter.com/Nlks2kT7Sw
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) July 22, 2013
Johnson & Johnsons
This clever dual photo from Johnson & Johnsons subtly depicts a baby with a bubble crown- a perfect fit for the baby bath brand. The ad was featured on Facebook with the caption, “Congratulations to the royal couple on their brilliant news.” The ad was posted before the birth announcement and yielded more than 1,500 likes and about 100 shares on the site by Wednesday afternoon.
Carling used YouTube and TV to distribute this amusing take on the royal birth. Arguably the most technically challenging production under time pressure, the beer brand managed to launch a high quality online commercial.
The tongue-in-cheek punchline to the ad, made by agency Creature, features a proud builder paying huge attention to detail in fixing up a palatial baby room – but accidentally using a pink colour scheme.
Charmin made a cheeky play on words to tie the news to its loo roll brand.
— Charmin (@Charmin) July 22, 2013
The drinks giant continued this summer’s ‘personalised name’ theme with Wills and Kate bottles calling for a royal celebration.
— Coke Zone (@cokezone) July 22, 2013
Nintendo used its own ‘royal baby’ to tie its console brand with the birth.
Peach is flattered that so many of you are talking about the Royal Baby today! pic.twitter.com/zBmFLksyii
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) July 22, 2013
Magnum Ice Cream
Magnum used the news to tout its own ‘mini royal’ Magnum wearing a crown, alongside its ‘parents’, naturally.
Cheers to Will & Kate on their #MiniRoyal bundle of joy! #RoyalBaby pic.twitter.com/xo7nJooXRb
— Magnum Ice Cream (@MagnumIceCream) July 22, 2013
Continuing the theme of turning branded products into ‘families’, Starbucks made smart use of their labelled coffee cups to recreate the new family. An updated one with ‘George’ scrawled in marker pen on the babychino is surely on the way….
And then there were three. Congratulations! pic.twitter.com/wzIDmfKsxH
— Starbucks UK (@StarbucksUK) July 22, 2013
Another play on words- this time the bread brand Warburton ran this ad in the press and on Twitter.
— Warburtons (@Warburtons) July 23, 2013
Tips from the digital strategists
Smart brands have created always-on comms strategies that combine content and conversation, in a way that flows through any digital touchpoints. The trick is to think like a publisher and design your ideas in a way that’s portable across platforms, so whether the delivery channel is Facebook, Twitter, websites, email newsletters, Pinterest, Tumblr or others, the content is in a form that’s easy for your agencies to adapt and localise. Although in most markets Facebook continues to dominate the social landscape, and provide marketers with an easy win for effortless message delivery, it’s easy to mistake Facebook as the one-stop-shop for social media. A stronger approach is to create a flexible framework that allows content and conversations to be rapidly deployed in any channels that are big for your audiences. As the noise within Facebook and Twitter increases, achieving reach will make them increasingly paid-for media channels, so brands should recognise this, budget accordingly and open up wider conversation territories.
Those with strong digital ecosystems in place – like Oreo or Axe or Knorr – once they develop a clear point of view on the world around them, can comment and respond brilliantly to anything in the news agenda. From Royal babies to seasonal events to weather – they’ll have a point of view, the right infrastructure to deliver it, and the right teams to create and land the message. That’s why investing time and energy in getting the right content and conversation strategy in place is key. CMOs shouldn’t confuse having a Facebook page with having a social strategy: the technology is the easy part, crafting the brand’s personality and deciding the conversation territories is the real challenge.