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A Brief and Curious Enquiry Into Moment Marketing

Let your audience do the work for you

Moment Marketing is, quite literally, capitalizing on a moment. When you are able to make your message relevant to the next ubiquitous news-piece, you not only make your campaign more “sharable” but also deepen the association of your brand in a storm of triggers.

One iconic example of this would be the Rahul Bose incident from 2019. The infamous video posted by the actor on Twitter citing his grievance as a customer for being asked to shell out Rs.442.50 for for 2 bananas at JW Chandigarh that sent microblogging sites and marketing teams of agile companies into a frenzy to capitalize on this topic! It was followed by #RahulBoseMoment going viral all over the internet and especially Twitter.

A short recap of the incident

The actor had ordered for just two bananas to his room through room service. When they arrived, he was past stunned upon looking at the bill. He was charged a whopping amount of Rs 442.50 for them, and just in case that you didn't have the foggiest idea, a dozen of bananas cost around Rs 60. This clearly left twitter in a condition of craze.

Everyone started sharing their own Rahul Bose moments while some even trolled the actor and the hotel for the turn of events that took place. But it was the Indian brands that took the internet by storm. Once the story went viral, multiple Indian brands took to Twitter to post memes trolling the hotel. They started pushing out marketing campaigns around it. From Oyo Rooms, Pizza Hut, Godrej’s Nature Basket to related competitors of Marriott like The Park, Taj Hotels, etc, even Eastern Railways, every brand posted a meme on Rs 442.50 bananas and they are hilarious.

A communication with a twist of humour-filled creativity helps catapult companies to prominence and creates top of the mind re-call through the identification of topics, trends, and issues and have served as a pedestal for brands to rise from the clutter and inspire ‘relevance’. This has taken shape for many tactical marketing companies making moment marketing evidently the name of the game!

In this entire charade of #RahulBoseMoment, clearly there were many winners but one loser– JW Marriott whose marketing and customer handling team must have surely faced a backlash from the management. An incident that costed them a huge loss in Brand Reputation over two mere bananas especially coming from a renowned celebrity! A massive mistake indeed.

Picking cues from this direction, by now you might be wondering if there’s any recent incident where brands used moment marketing at its best. Moment marketing is used more so often than we can imagine. Remember when MS Dhoni a.k.a our most beloved captain cool ‘Mahi’ announced his retirement this year on the 74th Independence Day? His exit definitely gave some great content for the brand creatives to catapult on!

It sent the entire country into frenzy. And rightly so did a lot of brands jumped onto capitalising on it in their marketing campaigns. Companies like Google, Amul, Parle-G, KFC India, PayTM, Amazon Prime Video IN, Netflix India, Manforce Condoms etc. posted their own narratives capitalizing on this ‘moment’. But one brand that stood out in this was Zomato by releasing whooping 100% discount on food orders upto Rs. 183 for all the orders coming from Ranchi. Why Rs. 183 one might ask, well 183 signified Dhoni's top score in ODI cricket, against Sri Lanka in the year 2005 and this was a gift from Zomato ‘to the city that gifted the country a legend’. Zomato had plenty of iconic marketing campaigns but this definitely stole the cake.

Speaking of brand creatives, unless you have been living under a rock, you must have seen the ‘Rasode’ memes taking rounds all over the internet. The viral meme is a scene from Indian TV serial 'Saath Nibhaana Saathiya’ that sent the entire internet itching to know “Rasode mein kaun tha?” Even Yashraj Mukhate wouldn’t have expected that his lyrical meme wouldn’t just be all over the internet but also be leveraged by brand creatives online!

“Rasode mein kaun tha?” became the question of the month on social media. Answer: Rashi. This is where brands bounced in to make their own story, utilizing the humor associated with the circumstance.

Rasode memes stole the thunder in 2020. All thanks to moment marketing and the good Samaritans of the internet.

Marketing is full of new ‘fundas’ and it is always fun to understand what exactly goes behind each of them turning them into successful marketing campaigns. So what exactly is it that makes moment marketing a great strategy to ‘newsjack’ the eyeballs of your target group?

Several studies show that humour increases memory recall and strengthens bonding. This makes humour the godsent tool for every marketer, and memes are the cheat-code. You place yourself in a narrative that your audience relates with, thereby making your brand a ‘relatable’, approachable friendly figure.

In his research-heavy and industry-acclaimed book Grown Up Digital, Don Tapscott highlights

“[Netizens] look for corporate integrity and openness when deciding what to buy and where to work. …Net Geners make sure company values align with their own.”

While the book was published in the year 2008, digital and social media marketers know the resonation of that fact still rings true.

To center yourself in the good books for this generation’s loyalty, it is imperative to establish yourself as a relatable friend. Therefore, the best way to establish that your brand’s values align with your audience’s is by using your “sense of humour” to manifest into a meme, perceived like a bronudge to the arm.

So now that you have resurfaced your presence in their mindspace and placed yourself as a loyal friend, you realise that banking on the opportunism of moment marketing is an inexpensive method to generate very lucrative gains.

About: MBA from IIM Kozhikode | Certified Digital Marketer & Marketing Analyst | Branding, Communication and Strategy | Ex-TATA Steel, Accenture

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