How Top Brands Leverage Moment Marketing And How You Can Too (Examples & Insights)

How Top Brands Leverage Moment Marketing And How You Can Too (Examples & Insights)

Marketers are constantly trying to find new ways and means to connect with their customers and have begun to turn to moment based marketing to get their message across with more relevance. Brands have been prudent in making use of the trends to catch peoples’ attention since long, as you’ll see in the examples below. But first,

What is Moment Marketing?

Moment marketing is the ability to take advantage of ongoing events and creating communications & marketing collaterals around such events. This is used by brands to insert themselves in the ongoing conversations bring relevance to how they market.

Now, what exactly makes moment marketing work?

Two reasons,

  • Customers are already part of the 24/7 news cycle, thanks to the immediacy and richness of content available today on demand.
  • Brands want to insert themselves into the daily conversations of their users and since people talk about trends, making use of these trends automatically removes the brands’ guess-work.

People are always plugged in and just a few taps away from finding and forwarding the latest content, be it a meme, a viral video, a social media post or a tweet. In fact, half of YouTube subscribers between the ages of 18 and 34 say they would drop whatever they were doing to watch a new video from their favorite channel

In this article, we will quickly go over why you should consider incorporating moment marketing into your arsenal, give you a few insights into what makes for good moment marketing, share moment marketing examples and draw your attention to brands that are doing it well.

  1. Why you ought to consider Moment Marketing?
  2. Moment Marketing > Interruption Marketing
  3. How Marketing Automation tools can help you land your message right?
  4. Ways to design a Moment Marketing campaign that works

Why you ought to consider Moment Marketing?

If you are no longer satisfied with rolling out predictable, standardised campaigns and want to move away from generic messaging to reach your target audience, consider using moment marketing to build memorable communication around popular events and topics on trend.

These are campaigns that brands create by hijacking a trending topic and weaving clever content around it. Brands aim to catch people’s attention by becoming part of a conversation around a trend.

A Deloitte digital trend report defined moment marketing as, “The ability to take advantage of an event to deliver relevant and related, seemingly spontaneous, and often fleeting interactions with customers in real time.”  

What makes moment marketing different from other approaches is its requirement for both agility and accuracy. 

A lot of marketers struggle to move quickly enough to disseminate timely messages on multiple channels, while some others struggle with the creative back and forth required to go to market with a relevant and on-brand campaign. But those who are able to do both are assured of riding the wave of consumer attention. 

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Here are 3 distinct ways in which moment advertising could be helpful to you.

  • Embracing the moment and publishing creatives that cleverly riff on whatever is happening in the world at a given moment, certainly gives you an edge as a marketer allowing you to stand out and be memorable.  
  • Joining the conversation in this manner can make your brand familiar. 
  • Becoming a part of people’s newsfeeds organically ensures that your marketing message reaches them when they are most receptive, and willing to listen or interact. 

Moment Marketing > Interruption Marketing

Moment marketing wins over traditional interruption marketing because unlike a typical TV commercial or skippable YouTube ad, brand communications that references current TV shows, events, or news, feel less forced and artificial, and more real and engaging. 

80% of people dislike pre-roll video, and 82% of people have closed a web page because of an auto-playing video ad. Click To Tweet

People are more likely to ignore a non-contextual salesy message or get annoyed by a pushy ad that interrupts their day. Why then run the risk with a direct plug or cookie cutter ad, when you can start off a friendly conversation with your target audience, instead?

But reaching the right customers, on the right channels, with just the right message, can be a challenging task. This is where marketing automation software can help!

How Marketing Automation tools can help you land your message right

Event oriented, agile campaigns were hard to pull off, until now. But a surge of new, automated platforms are now offering brands a suite of sophisticated tools to help them launch campaigns, effortlessly, quickly and efficiently. Today, there are far fewer limitations on how quickly or by how much you can scale your business, without hiring a full-fledged creative agency or without a large team of in-house resources. 

For instance, brands can now go live with digital ad campaigns and build 1000s of professional looking banner ads or even videos in mere minutes, using easy to use image and video automation tools. And marketers, with absolutely zero technical know-how, can create complex cross-channel engagement campaigns using simple drag-and-drop editors of marketing automation platforms. These platforms even help in creating trigger-based lifecycle campaigns to send out highly contextual messages & collaterals based on specific user actions and events.

Now that we have talked about how you can go about the creative production and marketing automation problem, let us take a look at some creative approaches to moment marketing and the brands that made it work. 

How to design a Moment Marketing campaign that works

Here are some moment marketing ideas and examples of timely, relevant and personalized marketing that managed to grab consumer attention while reinforcing the core brand proposition.

  • Seize the time

Oreo’s ‘You Can Still Dunk In The Dark’ tweet during a 2013 Super Bowl game will go down in marketing history for being one of the most successful instances of real-time marketing. The brand capitalized on a half hour long power outage with a timely tweet that riffed on the game and was retweeted over 18,000 times quickly becoming a viral talking point amongst audiences all over.

Oreo Moment Marketing Example | WebEngage

  • Keep sales at the centre of your campaigns

Make sure your communication ties back into your product offerings so you can spur sales. For instance, Target was prepared to take advantage of the buzz around who wore what during a previous edition of the Emmys and helped customers shop Tina Fey’s look by drawing attention to specific pieces available in store and online. 

Target's Moment Marketing Example | WebEngage

  • Use humour

Brands acquire a loyal following by putting out content that captures their brand personality consistently. Netflix does a good job of channelling its sassiness with always on point, tongue in cheek humour sparking spontaneous conversations with their audience. And they never forget to use customized marketing to suit local tastes, like here.

Moment Marketing by Netflix Example | WebEngage

  • Create event-led or occasion-specific communication

Adidas roped in 56 of the world’s biggest names from the world of sport and entertainment and attempted to reengineer the way advertising is delivered with a highly personalized video campaign around the FIFA world cup. The ‘Create The Answer’ campaign featured one long video that could be chopped into multiple narratives, chosen to be shown to customers based on their individual profile. 

Ryan Morlan, Vice President of Brand Communications at Adidas said, “We are co-creating our story of sport and creativity with our consumers by reacting and responding to their preferences, attitudes, passions and geographies. Athletes in New York will get a different experience from those in London.”


  • Ride the pop culture wave

Remember when you couldn’t scroll more than a few seconds without stumbling upon a Game of Thrones related piece of content? Well, brands made good use of the audience’s collective obsession with the show by creating social media posts that were an inside joke, only for the whole of the internet. Riding the pop culture wave is a good way to grab customer attention and build in virality into content. 

Game of Thrones Moment Marketing | WebEngage

Source: Askcareers

  • Make use of existing memes or make your own 

According to Google Trends, “memes” are becoming a more popular search term than “Jesus”, so God save you if you are still unconvinced about the power of meme marketing. Memes are a great way to reach millennials who spend over 200 minutes online every day. These same millennials also hate traditional advertising so using memes to make people laugh with a casual reference to your brand is a great way of getting your customer’s attention without getting obvious and overly promotional. Like Chipotle, here. 

Chipotle Meme Marketing Example | WebEngage

  • Stay true to your core brand message

Don’t run the risk of diluting your brand message or compromising on values you stand for, in order to chase an event, a season or micro-moment. 

For instance, Patagonia separates themselves from other brands by pointedly staying away from offering a Black Friday sale. In this example, the brand, which stands for conscious buying, urged people to NOT buy during Black Friday to drive home their point against mindless consumerism. They used this occasion, instead, to draw attention to their commitment to environmental sustainability, thus managing to score more points with their loyal fan base. 

Patagonia Moment Marketing Example | WebEngage

Source: Pinterest

  • Engage in banter

Brands are known to engage in some good-natured banter,  have clever comebacks and engage in  Twitter wars amongst themselves to keep audiences hooked. These instances also help brands earn press coverage and seed PR articles. See how Kitkat did this by inviting Oreo to a playoff to win a fan’s attention in this tweet below.

Kitkat Moment Marketing Example | WebEngage

  • Put customers first

Brands that truly care for their customers and put people first, win in the long run. Now that the world is in the grips of the Corona pandemic, many brands have come forward to put out responsible messages and do good for the community at large. This is a great way to cultivate customer loyalty that will outlast tough times. 

Executive Creative Director of Global PR heavyweight, The Romans, Joe Mackay-Sinclair says, “Creativity has never been more vital […] When 99 per cent of the news is about one subject, how do you possibly cut through without an idea? Social media usage is through the roof. Despite (or because of) the crisis we’ve never craved conversation and connection more, and that’s got to be a huge opportunity for brave clients looking to weather the storm.”  

But the key for all brand communication at the moment is, “Not to appear like creative ambulance chasers,”  warns Kev O’Sullivan of award-winning British agency FleishmanHillard Fishburn. He cautions that brands should stay away from trying to exploit this opportunity to drive sales and cautions communication heads to be sensitive, empathetic and respectful. 

For instance, Burger King does this well by changing up a sign in Belgium urging their customers to stay home and practice social distancing. 

Burger King Moment Marketing Example | WebEngage

Source: Twitter

  • Don’t try too hard

And lastly, don’t try too hard. Customers can smell fakery a mile off and brands that try and force a topical connection or try to exploit a moment for its promotional potential get swiftly called out on social media. So try and stay authentic and keep it real!

Don'ts of Moment Marketing | WebEngage

Source: Twitter

To wrap up,

These were the best moment marketing examples and ongoing campaigns by some of the world’s biggest brands just go to show that moment marketing is much more than a fad and a phenomenon which is here to stay. For smart marketers, moment marketing can help them reach out to a large number of customers spontaneously and at a low cost. This could help them improve recall and form a deeper connection with audiences over the long term.

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  • Created: 22 May 2020
  • Last Updated: 22 May 2020



Preeti PrakashCreative Consultant, Agrahyah Technologies

Preeti Prakash is an experienced creative campaigner, brand marketer, video maker and writer who creates content to engage audiences across different platforms. She writes about marketing automation, personalization in the context of eCommerce, and disruptive technologies in business.

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