When the birth of Prince George Alexander Louis was finally announced, the world breathed a collective sigh and moved on with life while companies jumped at the opportunity to somehow tie their brand to the announcement. This brand association strategy is known as newsjacking. You may be familiar with Oreo’s clever newsjacking during this year’s Super Bowl blackout. But companies practice newsjacking more often than you think. For some companies, the process is deeply ingrained as part of the public relations strategy in addition to the marketing strategy. It’s a great way to be associated with a hot topic and can go very well if done right. But sometimes companies also miss the mark. They are late to the conversation so their efforts go unnoticed or seem desperate. Sometimes companies try to newsjack a subject that is irrelevant to its brand. Case in point: Epicurious and the Boston Marathon or Kenneth Cole and the Darfur crisis.
However, companies for the most part do a good job at it. Take for example, the Royal Baby newsjacking by Pampers.
Pampers sells baby products. So it made perfect sense for them to do something. And what they did was spectacular. They appealed to parents and future parents by saying that all babies are little princes or princesses. Who doesn’t want their child to be compared with the likes of the Royal Baby? And just like that, the company’s tweet and video were shared and viewed by over 200,000 people.
You may be thinking, gee only 200,000 views? I’ve seen other videos hit over one million views! Well, while it is important to think about hits, it’s just as important to think about who you are targeting and make sure that you get to them. Hence the newsjacking. People who were following the Royal Baby news likely also have young children or know someone with young children. So it was a perfect strategy on the part of Pampers. They are a relevant brand, their messaging was good, and they did it in a timely fashion.