All too often marketers for brands large or small will find themselves staring at a blank Facebook post menu, suffering from writer’s block as they wonder what they’re about to write. Here’s a tactic to dish out when the presses are running full-pelt that can earn a little bit of audience kudos in response.

The case study I’m going to work with here is Oreo’s Daily Twist campaign back in 2012. Since the biscuit turned 100 that year, a collaboration of agencies working on the project used the opportunity to create 100 images based on headline news stories, pop-culture developments and key historical anniversaries to be posted consecutively between 25th June and 2nd October. The ‘twist’ (so named after the slogan, ‘twist, lick and dunk’ was that each image would have an Oreo situated somehow within the image to connect the story to the product.

The mission statement was this: to help everyone around the globe celebrate the kid inside. Parent company at the time Kraft Foods wanted to showcase the still-playful imagination of the brand by turning current-day events into cookie-friendly machinations. In this campaign they really went to town, responding to developments as fast as possible to maximise on the potential of relevancy for each image. Photographers and graphic designers were collaborating to turn a news story into a picture within the same day, sometimes completed within as little as six or seven hours.

Here’s the results: 433 million Facebook views with a +280% increase in shares, creating another 231 million impressions. Over 2,600 media stories were created recognising the campaign, giving Oreo the largest PR-buzz increase of 2012 (+49%).

Facebook’s director of global creative solutions Mark D’Arcy had this to say:

“If you orchestrate around creative and content… and design the marketing structure in keeping pace with the way the world works, it’s a far more in-tune, dynamic, exciting media relationship and far better [positions] that brand to do better at everything.”

So what can we learn?

Obviously, small brands don't have enough funds to support a group of agency photographers to create a newsroom-like environment of constant image producing for three months. However, there are takeaways to be adopted right away. What Kraft Foods used to create this content was an innovative way of combining current media with their own brand, which can be done on a much smaller scale for much smaller brands.

I'll refer you to Netflix' twitter, who do this at a much simpler level by combining internet memes with TV-show references with great results. It's about combining something you have with something that has a shelf-life; make it work while it's still current and the media response will be positive. 

However, make sure you know when fads have expired - many marketers fail to notice the changing trends of popular culture and release content designed to tickle the fancies of crowds who have long since moved on, which can be damaging and embarrassing for the brand. That's how you end up with the Emoji movie.

Be creative and find fun ways to entertain your audience by tying the big news stories into your brand. Like Mark says, it creates a great relationship with your crowd when done right and puts you in a much stronger position moving forward.


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