What Makes Good Reactive Marketing?

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Sep 17, 2021

Want to find out how your business can make an impression using reactive marketing? With the right creativity and consistency, we can help you do just that. Just give this article a read.

Reactive marketing. The type of campaigns that make noise, gain engagement and, most importantly, leave an impression. Don’t know what reactive marketing is? Putting it simply, this strategy allows businesses to find their upper hand against their competitors or those from a similar industry. But in a way that isn’t bitter but humorous… In most cases.

Usually, the social media outrages take place on Twitter, the number one social media platform to spark conversation. Reactive marketing uses proactive marketing tools for the best return. Social media managers will need to be present and on-game if they want to jump onto trends. Of course, these trends are often short-lived, but they’ll always stay in a viewers memory.

In today’s article, we’re going to delve into the world of reactive marketing, as well as give you some of our favourite examples of this effective marketing strategy in motion.

Reactive Marketing In More Detail

Reactive marketing is often seen from some of the biggest brands in the world. Heinz, McDonald’s & even Ford UK. It’s an easy way to acquire engagement from a brand’s following, but it can also come with some risks. Not only do you have a short time frame to jump onto that specific trend, but you need to do it creatively & in a way that doesn’t come across as spammy. Because who likes spam, right?

Once a fluctuation in your market begins, you need to be vigilant. This can work for every type of business, provided it’s done right. For instance, you’re a medium business specialising in car cleaning products. Then, Car Supermarket uploads a photo of a dirty car. You reply with a witty remark, and voila! That is reactive marketing.

Now, humour isn’t the only way you can gain attention. You can also do it through debate and meaningful conversations. However, we’re, of course, going to highlight some of the funniest reactive marketing examples we have seen so that you can begin flowing your creative juices for your own.

  • Beanz On Weetabix

You read that right. Weetabix uploaded a gimmick Twitter post that stated, “Why should bread have all the fun, when there’s Weetabix? Serving up @HeinzUK Beanz on bix for breakfast with a twist.” This caused an outbreak of reactions from some of the leading brands in the UK: Superdrug, X Factor and even Specsavers. 

And it didn’t end there. The banter between the complimentary and almost irrelevant brands went on for days. This led to thousands of retweets, comments, likes and everything else. Next minute, you could find the stream of posts on LinkedIn and Facebook because it delivered comedy and a means for debate. 

  • Free Cuthbert

Next up, we have another food-inspired reactive marketing strategy. We all know and love Colin The Caterpillar, right? The tasty, chocolatey goodness that you find in M&S, a leading UK supermarket. Well, as Aldi usually operates, they brought out their own version of Colin. Cuthbert was his name, and Cuthbert looked a little too similar for M&S’ liking. 

Usually, brands turn their heads when Aldi rips off their packaging and, most importantly, products. Look at Lurpak and Little Moons. Aldi has their own version for both, as well as many others. They’re quick, know what they’re doing, and usually don’t get bitten in the back-end for it. But not this time.

Marks & Spencers decided to put forward a court case against the supermarket. While this may seem detrimental to Aldi in the world of PR, it was quite the opposite. They started their very own hashtag #FreeCuthbert which caught on fast for the nation. What’s more, they even ripped off M&S’ catchphrase by posting, “This is not just any court case, this is… #FreeCuthbert”. Fantastic marketing efforts, even with the risk.

The saga then continued for days in which Aldi suggested teaming up the cakes for charity, while M&S stuck to their roots and suggested Aldi brings out a carrot cake instead of old Cuthbert. While this was all so very clever reactive marketing, was it all one massive PR stunt? Was there really a court case? Who knows. Either way, Aldi bagged themselves an immense amount of engagement, so it was worth it.

  • #BendGate

Last but not least, we have interactive or reactive marketing with Twitter from Heineken. Apple is churning out new iPhones every single year. Whether they get better or not, that’s another question. But one thing is for sure, reviewers and owners are quick to judge each model.

The iPhone 6 came out in 2015. Owners were pretty furious once they noticed that the expensive handset had a slight bend in the centre. So, in comes Heineken. They made a pun, and they smashed it. The Twitter post consisted of a Heineken bottle cap that had been bent with the slogan “No worries… It happens to us all the time.”. 

There was no need for Heineken to jump on board this scandal, yet their efforts paid off.

Tips for Reactive Marketing

Now that we’ve given you some great examples of reactive marketing, it’s time to provide you with our top tips for pulling off such a marketing campaign:

  1. Be fast, but smart

Look, you may constantly be checking social media, but if you don’t come up with your own creative flair that’ll almost cause an outrage in the best way possible, stick to what you know

02. Use the correct hashtags

Once a trend begins, hashtags become very important. This way, viewers can easily find your post(s), and it allows for easy sharing & a way to inject even more humour into the mix

03. Stay neutral

If you’re an external brand jumping on the bandwagon, don’t always feel the need to pick a side. Simply add to the fun, banter and creativity that this campaign originated from 

04. Plan Proactive Content

Moving forward, plan content around this campaign. Keep it fresh, justified and relevant, and the ball will continue rolling until you want it to stop

We hope that we have helped you when creating your own reactive marketing campaigns. This strategy is a firm favourite for our social team here at Soshell. If you need help with your social media management, we have several social media packages available for your business that can help you meet your goals within social media. Get in touch with us today on 01482 697190, and we’d love to give you a hand!

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