Any comedian will tell you that, when it comes to capturing the moment, perfect timing is everything. And by taking advantage of current events, clever advertising campaigns can sometimes go viral. Especially when they're funny and well executed.

By Published On: June 25th, 2019

Extraordinary Free Media Coverage

Sometimes extraordinary free coverage for well timed advertising campaigns is possible. By choosing topics that people are interested in and timing to coincide when they’re talking about, media coverage occasionally gets amplified.

Clever viral campaigns can give exposure to brands on levels which normally can’t be acheived, even with the luxury of a huge budget. So here are three admirable campaigns from brands who capitalised, by perfectly seizing the moment.

KFC Advert

1. We’re Sorry But No Chicken!

Clever Apology From Kentucky Fried Chicken

When things are going really wrong don’t panic, because clever, well timed advertising campaigns can be quickly rolled out to save face.

In February 2018 KFC chose to appoint a new chicken supplier. Most people already know that KFC comes from an abbreviation of Kentucky Fried Chicken. It’s fair to say that selling chicken is important to them, so when they ran out of chicken it didn’t take very long for KFC to become the butt of everyones joke. Overnight they were forced to close nearly 900 UK stores.

2. Dividing The Nation Since 1902.

Marmite Ask What Kind Of Breakfast Would You Like?

First published on the 29th of March, 2019 in The Times, Telegraph, The Guardian and widely online. Marmite’s historic, simplistic and clever marketing was put to good use once again.

Marmite Brexit Campaign

Drawing parallels between its famous ‘love it or hate it’ slogan and the controversial nature of the Brexit debate in the United Kingdom. Marmite invited the public to opt for a ‘Hard Breakfast’, ‘Soft Breakfast’ or ‘No Breakfast’.

The tagline ‘dividing the nation since 1902’ playfully mocks the political dispute. But still manages to reinforce Marmites longstanding place amongst much-loved British condiments. This clever advertising proves that intelligent copy really does make all the difference.

3. The Lynx Effect

Was It Anything To Do With Us?

Here’s a cheeky example of opportunist, well timed advertising from Lynx during 2012. When Prince Harry was pictured naked during a private weekend in Las Vegas with friends. The images quickly appeared online at US celebrity site TMZ. They reported that the Prince had been playing “strip billiards”.

Sorry Harry Lynx Deodorant Advert

In the UK the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) acted quickly on behalf of St James’ Palace. Pointing out to the press that the pictures had been taken in private and publication would be an intrusion of privacy.

However The Sun newspaper chose to ignore the PCC and on the 24 August they chose to publish the pictures on their front page.

Complaints from the public quickly followed but at the same time a clever idea was developing. Lynx quickly decided to publish a tactical one-off press advert in The Sun on the following Sunday.

Using the same recognisable typeface as the British Government’s WW2 “keep calm and carry on” posters. It apologised to Prince Harry for the Las Vegas debacle. The brand joked that it may have been caused by the “Lynx Effect”. This cleverly tied it in with their long term strategy about its scent making men irresistible to women.

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