3 Brands That Aced Real-Time Opportunities

Handling Comms During COVID-19? We've compiled our best resources.

With so many voices speaking to your audience, what can your brand do to stand out from the crowd?

If you’re not leveraging real-time events, your competitors will…and they’ll own the conversation.

Real-time opportunities span trending topics, events and breaking news and provide a shortcut to gain authority, engage audiences and lead industries. Reaction time is key to leading these conversations, but positioning will ultimately determine your success.

With social listening tools, you’ll be equipped to uncover which opportunities to leverage and determine what actions to take in real time.

Looking for inspiration? Here are three brands that identified a real-time event, successfully leveraged it at the right time with the right approach and reaped the benefits of leading a conversation:


When the media reported that Apple’s iPhone 6 was prone to bending, the news went viral on Twitter with the #Bendgate hashtag. Smartphone competitors rushed to point out the superiority of their products, while brands like Ford and Delta Lights discussed the positive side of bends.

Rather than making a comparison to the company under fire, KitKat highlighted how it differs from the rest. Not only did their #Bendgate tweet beat Oreo’s famous ‘Dunk in the Dark’ tweet in retweets and favorites, KitKat kept the momentum going.

A day later, KitKat expanded the campaign to Tumblr, asking users what other objects would bend or break. Since the original real-time event, KitKat has expanded its marketing strategy by exploring over 70 ways of “breaks” to coincide with its strapline and stay relevant with its audience.

MARCH TS_Real Time Influence_v2_Blog- CTA

Salvation Army

When BuzzFeed published “What Colors Are This Dress,” the Internet obsessed over uncovering the truth. Everyone from scientists to graphic designers to brands gave their two cents on the debate.

The Salvation Army in South Africa went one step further by changing the direction of the conversation to focus on domestic abuse.

Only hours later, the ad garnered 16,000 retweets and media mentions from Cosmopolitan and “Good Morning America.” The Salvation Army was able to not only target and engage its own followers, but those already involved in the trending conversation to take action and discuss another hot topic issue.

Jamba Juice

When Ellen DeGeneres had Adele play a prank on Jamba Juice employees, the hilarity that ensued immediately made an impact across media sites and social media channels. Jamba Juice took note and responded with a publicity stunt of its own.

Within six hours of the TV segment airing, Jamba Juice developed a campaign for the imaginary English juice company referenced in the video, Swishy Chug.

From the pun-filled website to a coupon for a “Rolling In The Beets” smoothie to an active Twitter account, Jamba Juice not only jumped on the opportunity, but kept the conversation going.

CSE SEM_Ad3_728x90

Image via Pixabay: 1

About Katie Gaab

Katie Gaab is a content marketing specialist for Cision. Previously the senior editor for Help A Reporter Out (HARO), she enjoys connecting audiences to exciting, new content. She's a dancer, avid concert-goer, foreign language nerd and book worm. Find her on Twitter @kathryngaab.

Recent Posts

Cision Blogs

  • Communications Best Practices

    Get the latest updates on PR, communications and marketing best practices.

  • Cision Product News

    Keep up with everything Cision. Check here for the most current product news.

  • Executive Insights

    Thought leadership and communications strategy for the C-suite written by the C-suite.

  • Media Blog

    A blog for and about the media featuring trends, tips, tools, media moves and more.