How Brands Highjack Trending Topics, featuring Fifty Shades of Grey

Jul 24 • Front Page, Social Media • 9038 Views

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Today marks the highly anticipated, long-awaited official trailer release for the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey.


Not only is the event trending on Twitter, but major corporations are also taking full advantage of the mass interest and targeting fans with their campaigns. And why wouldn’t they? This is prime marketing time.


Let’s look at Tide. The brand released a racy tweet this morning referencing one of Fifty’s overall themes: dirty sex.



This tweet was extremely well executed — it completely relates to the brand itself and the movie trailer. Tide cleverly utilized social media to market their product and connect to a worldwide event, thus appealing to an extremely large amount of consumers.


The innuendo-filled tweet not only stopped fans in their tracks, but simultaneously placed Tide as the official front-runner for “cleaning up” after a romp in the sack. Personally, I will forever think of Fifty Shades of Grey every time I pass bottles of the laundry detergent in the supermarket, which I suspect was the brand’s point.


Next brand to jump on the Grey bandwagon? Victoria’s Secret.


A sexy brand on its own, but when it connects with a movie trailer such as Fifty Shades of Grey, the marketing possibilities are endless. Victoria’s Secret published a tweet this morning with the not-so-new hashtag #whatissexy and a link to the movie trailer accompanied by an enticing image of a scantily clad VS model.



The lingerie brand needs zero assistance with sexy marketing, but a clever social media expert understood the relevance of today and made a smart choice to join the conversation on Twitter.


One brand completely disconnected from the sexual implications of the movie is Tidy Cats. The brand cleverly disassociated its marketing from all things sexy and dirty, and focused on its actual industry: pet care.


With a fun play on words, Tidy Cats promoted its kitty litter by commenting on the grey cat hair that can surface on a pet lover’s clothing.



Although not completely “selling” the Tidy Cat litter, the brand managed to place its name in the middle of a relevant conversation on social media today.


Even though Fifty Shades of Grey appeals to a very particular set of emotions, the popularity and fan base gives marketers prime real estate on social media platforms. With worthy, clever and relevant content, nearly any brand can take part in the online conversations while inadvertently executing smart product placement.


Remember, social media can be free marketing. Sometimes, popular worldwide events create the perfect platform to track major improvements on your social ROI.



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