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How Brands Eclipsed Each Other With Marketing Campaigns During the Real Solar Eclipse

by Meghan Gabel

branding marketing social media

The 2017 solar eclipse happened Monday and people were *mildly* freaking out. ICYMI (or are living under a rock), this was a big deal because the last time a solar eclipse swept the entire continental U.S. was way back in 1918. 100 years later, people are still more fascinated than ever by the eclipse phenomenon. On the morning before the eclipse, #SolarEclipse2017 was already trending on Twitter, and brands wasted no time cashing in on the attention by tying in their own marketing campaigns to the news. Let’s take a look at some of the best brand campaigns and how they fared in…eclipsing one another.  

Chiquita

Not everyone thinks about the sliver of the sun during an eclipse resembling a banana, right? Well, that’s exactly what Chiquita wants you to think about. As part of their “We are Bananas” marketing campaign launched at the start of 2017, Chiquita went far enough to claim responsibility for the eclipse and dubbed it the arrival of the “Banana Sun.” The company states, “On the path of totality, you will see two distinct banana suns. The total eclipse occurs in between the two banana suns as a sort of lackluster intermission.” Teaming up with the website Funny or Die, Chiquita’s playful campaign is already quite successful and has racked up thousands of views on both Youtube and their live stream on Facebook. Silly yes, but needless to say some of us at the BIGoffice were pretty excited about it: 

Google

Google capitalized on the eclipse to launch the name of its latest Android update: Android O. Though the company has been teasing the name of the update for some time, it wasn’t until Monday morning that they made the official announcement that Android O stands for Android Oreo. This isn’t the first time Google teamed up with a beloved dessert snack; they previously partnered with Nestle for Android 4.4 KitKat. Surprisingly, Oreo did not seem to promote this publicity on their social platforms even though Android shared videos demonstrating Oreos eclipsing the sun throughout the day as a nice tie-in to the launch.  

Dunkin’ Donuts

As millions of people scrambled to grab a pair of protective glasses (we snatched some certified NASA glasses for ourselves) to look up at the sun during the eclipse, Dunkin’ Donuts offered an alternative viewing experience by posting a DIY video on how to make a pinhole projector from a Munchkins box. Leading up to the day of the eclipse, the brand also released a promotional video of a coming-soon AR app that lets you use a “Moonchkin” (moon Munchkin) to direct with your finger and block out the sun via your phone’s camera no matter where you are. Although this app doesn’t arrive until this fall, the campaign coincided well with the eclipse and definitely made us hungry for some Munchkins.

Royal Caribbean

Last but not least, Royal Caribbean upped the stakes by promising a live performance of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by the one and only Bonnie Tyler in collaboration with the band DNCE. The performance of course took place on a cruise ship during the exact moment the moon eclipsed the sun. Considering the song became the number #1 downloaded song on iTunes on Monday, this was a great ploy to gain thousands of views of the eclipse on Facebook Live and show off one of their new ships, Oasis of the Seas.

 

Other clothing brands such as Nike and J.Crew announced “blackout” sales on their websites and offered deals to consumers that coincided with the eclipse. All of these examples demonstrate how brands can capitalize on timely, breaking news events for a launch announcement, marketing or just a fun social media campaign. We are sure there are brands we may have missed, so let us know which ones caught your eye by tweeting us @BIGfishPR! And check out how we celebrated the eclipse on our Instagram.

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