As eclipse mania reached its peak this afternoon, the frantic jostling of spectators trying to get a good view was matched only by the brands seeking a social boost from the event’s popularity. Here are some of the tactics brands used, to varying degrees of success:
Going official: Being the “official snack” of a tent pole event would normally be a costly investment. But when there’s no one who can charge you for the privilege, it’s a savvy social strategy. While Hostess is relegated to the Feeble category in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Food, the brand’s Twitter moves today suggest that it may be staging a comeback. Not only did Hostess declare its Golden CupCakes the “official snack” of the rare event, but the snack maker even got sassy with commenters, a move straight out of Wendy’s playbook.
Having a sale: J. Crew offered a steep 50% off its Factory site today, promoting the discount as a “total eclipse of the flash sale” and urging customers not to “be left in the dark.” The brand, which has struggled financially despite scoring in the Gifted category of L2’s Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail, seems to be trying to use those digital assets to boost revenue.
Or just giving stuff away: Viewers needed special glasses to watch the eclipse, so Warby Parker offered a free pair to anyone who stopped into the retailer’s locations. The move makes clear that the DTC e-commerce pioneer also knows how to draw customers into its stores, although given the significant cost involved in producing safe eclipse glasses, the marketing stunt’s success ultimately hinges on how many of those potential customers were also convinced to buy regular glasses en route to their viewing sessions.