Opportunistic Marketing – Because Moments Matter!

by Shilpan Vaishnani  |  10th Jun, 2017 in Marketing
Opportunistic Marketing – Because Moments Matter!

“When opportunity presents itself grab it, Hold on tight and don’t let go”

Remember the spotlight moment of Oreo at the Super Bowl’13? It was just a Tweet that said “You can still dunk in the dark.” Timed perfectly during the thirty four minute hiatus of blackout that happened at the Superdome, this Tweet led to a much bigger payoff than the actual Super Bowl ad that cost Oreo millions. It will take a long time for people to forget this spotlight moment.

Many companies have leveraged such opportunities to position their brands in the right way and the right moment. But it is Oreo that has set the gold standard when it comes to real time marketing.

Opportunistic marketing often happens accidentally. However, it does not mean you keep waiting for the right moment to get into the spotlight. Preplanning authentic responses to external events is not always possible. If you do, your efforts will only end up being perceived as phony. What Oreo did was spontaneous and yet this spontaneity hardly mattered to the customers. That said it is possible to plan up your opportunistic marketing strategy in an authentic way.

NASA found Kepler452b (Earth 2.0)

When NASA found Kepler452b (Earth 2.0) a planet very similar to earth, many brands got carried away. They called it by names such as Lost cousin and Big Brother.Housing.com, a startup, came up with an interesting visual for this lost cousin, with a tweet that said “We may have just found our long lost cousin. Hey #Kepler452b! @NasaKepler





Idea Cellular also made most out of this opportunity by putting up a question for its fans – “NASA has found a twin Earth in the Milky Way which scientists say ‘would feel like home.’ Ready to move? #Kepler452b






Nasa mashable

When Nasa published one of the photos of Mars taken by Curiosity rover, where a long spoon-shaped rock was seen hovering over Mars, Zomato immediately rose to the occasion with its spoon logo with its Tweet – “Told you we’d make it there soon enough”


Sometime during February 2015, the color of a dress became the subject of discussion on the internet. It all started with Caitlin McNeill, the Scottish singer, posting a picture of her dress and asking for consensus on Tumblr about the color of the same. Although the original color was black and blue, many interpreted it as white and gold.

Many voiced their opinions on social media channels and even national news stations about their interpretations of the color of that dress. Within no time Brands also joined this #TheDressdiscussion…

Blue/Black and White/Gold glazed donuts were posted by Dunkin’ Donuts…

LEGO found a way to help its fans have both blue as well as gold

Tide claimed to resolve the issue through proper laundry care

Oreo made sure the solution it offered made everyone happy

And finally Adobe gave a scientific explanation as to how the colors were Blue and Black.

If you run a search you are going to find many such timely, clever and opportunistic real-time marketing campaigns. There is one thing that is common among all these successful campaigns – Humor. Keeping humor in the focus, all these brands have come up with content that relates to their brands. It is all about thinking creatively, finding humor and most importantly about taking risks. One thing you just can’t miss is the timing.

There are three things you would need to create an opportunistic marketing campaign:

  • A dedicated creative team that is tuned to grabbing the right opportunities at the right time
  • An approval process that is super-fast
  • A strong intention to make it big on social media

It is these three things combined with good planning that can lead your brand towards magic.

Opportunistic marketing campaigns are not long in-depth campaigns. In fact you won’t really have the time to create such campaigns if you want to take advantage of the timing. Often a clever, witty Tweet can do the trick.

For instance, Demonetization in India was not something people had expected. Yet Paytm came up with the right response exactly 3 minutes from the time the news went public. It was just a one-liner that said – “We have got two words for you – Paytm Karo,” and from then on that’s exactly what the public did. The solution was offered to them at the spur of the moment. This is called opportunistic thinking. It doesn’t involve expensive campaigns. Nor does it take too much time. It is just a solution that you offer in a simple way, at the right moment. But yes, it has to be relevant to your Brand.

Moments like these are very important and valuable. Nevertheless, very few marketers actually make use of them to the maximum extent. Most have no idea how to use the moment to their advantage. Here are a few tips that can help you grab the right opportunities at the right time:

  • Understand your target audience thoroughly – the events or topics they may be interested in, their interests and passions, the problems they want solutions for, and so on.
  • Make a list of events or external factors that impact your business. For instance, if you are selling rain coats and umbrellas, weather-related events will affect your business.
  • Come up with a list of content ideas for each such event. The content has to be creative, while connecting your brand to the event. It should also be unique.
  • Get them pre-approved so that you can take the right action at the right time without having to jump through hoops.
  • When the moment arrives, make sure you review the content and check for its relevance. Understand the kind of response it would generate before you go on and publish it.
  • Engage with your audience once you have put it out there. Make sure they get the right message and give you the right response.

It is these moments that can help you outwit your competitors, if you take the right action. For this you will have to adopt an opportunity-oriented mindset that will work really well. Working with this mindset day in and day out will enable you to seize the opportunities and make the most out of them, before the others have even put a thought to it.

The inspiration might strike at any moment. Be ready to put your brand out there in the wackiest way.


Ahmedabad, India
Shilpan Vaishnani is one of the prodigious musketeers who co-founded Litmus. He is the man of better Resource Management and Production Output. His ‘No-nonsense’ temperament keeps the brevity in internal and external communications alive. Vendor Management is Shipan’s forte and his market understanding knows only yields. Shilpan’s philosophy is upheld on a single outlook that ‘everything is possible if done and nothing else.

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