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Momentology: 4 PR campaigns that have created lasting impressions in one moment

by | Jan 10, 2024 | Marketing, Public Relations

Did you know that 7 in 10 PR professionals still struggle with creating content? As we enter a new year of PR in 2024, content campaigns will be the prime focus for the biggest brands on the market.

Not only are a digitally native audience most likely to engage with quick and catchy videos and interactive content, but social platforms, Google search and the newest devices are becoming increasingly focused on visual marketing.

As popular content platforms such as TikTok and Instagram Reels push PR teams to release quickfire content that catches attention in seconds, it could be time to consult the methods of momentology.

Momentology is the act of using an important moment or event to inspire a quickfire campaign. This form of marketing serves real-time scrollers and has the potential to go viral in minutes.

With this in mind, let’s delve into the practice of momentology and review some past campaigns that have created a lasting impression using just one moment. 

What is moment marketing?

According to experts at Google, “Moment marketing is an approach to marketing that focuses on targeting your business to consumers at the moment it matters—when they’re already looking for you.”

“Moment marketing” is a campaign that aims to target a specific occasion or trend that is likely to get consumers engaged.

By creating ‘timely content, ’ businesses can ensure that their PR efforts slide seamlessly onto social feeds and TV scenes at the most appealing time for their audience.

Moment marketing benefits a campaign structure in a number of ways:

  • Enhancing your brand’s voice: In a TikTok-powered, 15-second generation, there are always new digital trends cropping up in the blink of an eye. If your campaign is based on the latest season’s trends, it’s likely to enhance the reach of your brand’s voice on your target’s social feed. 
  • Saving time: Unlike other PR strategies, moment marketing does not take a lot of investment. With the ability to create a campaign in the making of a perfectly crafted Tweet, all your team needs is someone well-versed with the latest trends, and a keen eye for newsjacking.
  • Connection in real-time: Moment marketing gives your brand a chance to connect with your audience in real time. If you’re creating a timely campaign on social media, for example, you’re likely to see mass sharing and commenting almost instantly, in comparison to a slow-burning multi-media alternative. 

How can momentology be applied to PR?

Moment marketing can easily be applied to your digital PR strategy. With the average target consumer now of the Gen Z or Millennial generation, playing into the attention spans of your audience is essential when crafting a PR campaign. 

“The age of the buyer is trending down, which means content strategy needs to change.

One study from Forrester found that the age of the buyer is trending younger,” says Alisa Valudes Whyte, CEO of Merritt Group. “Gen Z is starting to saturate the market, causing marketers to be more aware of how to effectively deliver information and content to the growing demographic. We’re seeing content growing more interactive, users seeking more self-service and above all, more short and concise information.”

As a PR professional, the key here is to start listening to your audience. If you want to see success in your momentology strategy, social listening is essential.

In fact, in 2023, a third of PR pros used social listening tools daily. This number is expected to rise even more as we enter 2024. 

Better still, why not plan ahead for your moment marketing? Embracing seasonal occasions within your PR campaign is a great way to target your consumers at just the right moment. 

4 brands that have created lasting impressions through PR

Moving forward, it’s time to revisit and refresh your brand messaging. As Gen Z-targeted campaigns continue to center around important values, occasions and newsworthy moments, your ontology campaigns must emulate these values, occasions and newsworthy moments.

“The growing competitive nature of the landscape prompts organizations to revisit and refresh their brand messaging at a more rapid pace. We’re seeing many organizations requiring a message refresh every six months. Additionally, as Gen Z continues to expand influence and geopolitical issues stay top of mind, brands will continue making an effort to highlight their values and ideals in messaging.”

With this in mind, let’s have a closer look at four brands doing just that using a moment marketing strategy.

Uber: Thank You for Not Riding (2020)

During the lockdown of 2020, popular transportation service Uber released this great ‘moments’ inspired campaign after finding an opportunistic way to make an impact with their messaging and quickly catch attention.

Momentology: 4 PR campaigns that have created lasting impressions in one moment

(Image Source: Uber)

In a campaign called ‘Thanks For Not Riding With Us’, the brand released a series of short, impactful videos that were shared across their social media. As a part of the campaign, they rewarded frontline workers with free transportation while the rest of the world stayed at home.

Momentology: 4 PR campaigns that have created lasting impressions in one moment

(Image Source: Uber)

This is a great example of using a difficult moment to combine social responsibility and value branding to create a campaign that quickly catches attention.

Budweiser: 20 Years Later We’ll Never Forget (2021)

Using a sad moment to send out a heartwarming message is one way to take advantage of moment marketing. While sensitivity is a must, brands that want to help in moments of turmoil can use this strategy to get their message across.

Take Budweiser as an example. In 2021, two decades on from the horrific 9/11 attacks, the brand released a campaign called ‘20 years later, we’ll never forget.’

Releasing an updated version of its iconic “Respect” video ad that premiered first in 2002 at the Super Bowl, the band took the 20-year anniversary moment as a chance to play their heartwarming message once again.

Momentology: 4 PR campaigns that have created lasting impressions in one moment

(Image Source: New York Post)

The ad features the brand’s iconic Clydesdale horses pulling a red Budweiser wagon and bowing down to the Liberty Statue in respect, ending with a message of support for the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

Tesco: Together This Ramadan (2022)

Another fantastic example of moment marketing comes from Tesco in 2022, with their Ramadan-inspired billboard campaign. 

With over 7 percent of the UK population identifying as Muslim, this was a great way to target a specific audience group in a timely moment of celebration. 

The campaign called ‘Together at Ramadan’, showed a timelapse of empty plates slowly being filled up throughout the day as a tribute to those fasting. Better still, below the visual content was an explanation of how Ramadan works for those who don’t celebrate.

This was a great way to attract consumer attention all around, as well as promote important brand values using just one moment.

Dominos: Unfold The Universe (2022)

Successful momentology can be as quick as posting a piece of social media content that newsjacks a real-time moment.

Dominos did just that in 2022 after NASA released their new photos of the universe using the James Webb Space Telescope. This viral Tweet was finished off with the #UnfoldTheUniverse hashtag.

Momentology: 4 PR campaigns that have created lasting impressions in one moment

(Image Source: Twitter)

Like, among other brands, Dominos took this moment to Newsjack and created a quick-fire campaign based on a moment. 

Momentology: 4 PR campaigns that have created lasting impressions in one moment

(Image Source: Instagram)

Releasing just a singular piece of social content and a special deal for space lobing pizza eaters, they showed us just how quick momentology can be.  

Wrapping up

The power of one moment can really shape a PR campaign. As one of the easiest promotion strategies to adopt, brands that are struggling to see content engagement should consider moment marketing,

As we step into 2024 and a new year of ad campaigns, utilizing momentology could see your next campaign rise up to the top of the social feed. 

Rebecca Barnatt-Smith
Rebecca Barnatt-Smith is a UK-based freelance journalist and multimedia marketing executive.

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