Solar Eclipse 2017: Best & Worst Digital Marketing Tie-Ins

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Digital marketing professionals are always looking for a way to tie national events to the organizations they represent and the services and products they market. The 2017 solar eclipse has the United States buzzing, with people organizing viewing parties and marketers trying to cash in on this rare phenomenon.

Personally, my feeds have been filled with solar eclipse related posts for a while now, so I started to track what I saw as the best and worst digital marketing and social media ties in for this astronomical event.

The best: Krispy Kreme’s Chocolate Glazer

For years, Krispy Kreme enthusiasts have been clamoring for a chocolate glazed donut. The donut chain jumped on the eclipse to launch such a product. Not only does the donut somewhat resemble a darkened, eclipsed sun, but it also has a fun pun for a name. Citing a “total sensory experience,” I’m sure that social media users will be taking to Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms to document their reviews of the new confection. Plus, Krispy Kreme has added a FOMO element to the promotion, only selling the product during certain hours on August 19 and 20th. Prepare yourself now – the glazed donut posts are coming!

Honorable Mention: Paper Optics

If your company makes disposable 3-D glasses, it’s pretty rare that you can find a direct tie into a national event. However, an eclipse is the equivalent of the super-bowl for Tennessee based Paper Optics. The company has been working hard to meet the demand for low-cost glasses that can be used to observe the eclipse. As you can imagine, the company generally doesn’t get this much attention on the web, so they are learning to adapt. On Monday, as your feed fills with selfies of your friends wearing glasses to watch the eclipse, remember Paper Optics and give them some kudos for a great product!

The Worst: Chiquita

Chiquita bananas launched a campaign titled “We Are Bananas,” attempting to tie the eclipse to their brand. What’s their hook? That the moment before the eclipse and the moment after making the sun look like a banana, hence, they are responsible for the eclipse (as a joke, of course.) While I give them points for creativity, this is quite the stretch to tie a fruit to a rare astronomical event.

Dishonorable Mention: Oregon Marijuana

A Portland, OR area cannabis dispensary tried to cash in on the eclipse with a new strain of pot it called “Moon Puppies.” Of course, Oregon is right along the total eclipse path, making the state a sudden tourist destination for viewers. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission believes there will be a run on recreational marijuana use around the eclipse. For all of those marijuana enthusiasts that use social media, this could be a true holiday. Just remember, while it may be legal in Oregon, your social media posts could still get you in hot water with your employer and the Feds.

Do you know of any other cool digital marketing or social media tie-ins for the eclipse? Share them in them in the comments!

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Seth Anthony

Communucations Manager, Varsity


Seth works for Varsity, a boutique advertising agency dedicated to products and services for seniors and the mature market. He holds degrees in psychology, human resources and organizational management, giving him a unique perspective on how people communicate and interact. He specializes in telling brand stories to niche audiences.

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