What is Topical Advertising and Why Your Business Should Be Using It.

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what is topical advertising and why your business should be using it

Topical advertising is taking advantage of a news story or something current. Then creating an advertisement based around it.

Topical advertisements can gain extra coverage for a business that they wouldn’t have received ordinarily. As it’s something people are interested in and talking about.

Linking adverts to news stories can also allow the brand to show off their sense of humour. To show that they’re on the ball and in some cases if the advert is particularly clever, funny or controversial the advert may even become part of the news story.

In order to create your own topical advertisements you need a team who can all act quickly to get the advertisement created as soon as possible. If you leave it a few days or a couple of weeks it will be old news and people won’t be interested in it anymore.



Over the past few months we’ve been treated to some brilliant tactical advertisements. Especially with London playing host to the 2012 Olympic Games.



Specsavers South and North Korean flag advert

Specsavers are no stranger to topical advertising. So took advantage of a mistake which saw the South Korean flag being shown instead of the North Korean flag before a women’s football match.

The next day their advert appeared in national newspapers showing both the North and South Korean flags and ‘Should’ve gone to Specsavers’ in Korean.



Braun Get Winning Sideburns advert
LOGOC enforced strict rules about what non-sponsors could do to advertise or promote themselves in relation to the Olympics.

Braun, ignoring the rules, took advantage of Bradley Wiggins gold medal and famous sideburns. Then created an advert which showed Wiggins with his Gold medal and the words ‘Get Winning Sideburns’ in the 2012 Olympic font.



Lynx "Sorry Harry" advert
Prince Harry’s incident in Las Vegas was a talking point in worldwide news for weeks.

Lynx took advantage of the story by creating an advert where they apologised to Prince Harry. In case the whole thing was caused because the Prince was wearing Lynx.


Social Examples

With the rise of social media, advertising is no longer limited to print, TV or radio. If a brand updates their status, that’s considered advertising as it reminds someone of the brand. Just as reading a newspaper advert would. Here are a couple of great examples of brands using topical advertising on social media.



Oreo iPhone 5 advert
While not strictly an advertisement, Oreo did a great job of taking advantage of news stories for their Daily Twist social media campaign.

For their 100th anniversary Oreo uploaded an image everyday for 100 days of an Oreo, and sometimes a glass of milk. Which represented a big news story or an anniversary.

The images brought the brand a lot of attention and created a huge amount of engagement. Oreo’s director or marketing said that images which were part of the Daily Twist campaign saw a 110% increase in engagement on Facebook.


Kit Kat

Kit Kat Felix Baumgartner advert
When Felix Baumgartner’s trip to space was postponed due to poor weather. Kit Kat took advantage of his wait and suggested he ate a Kit Kat to pass the time.

The day before Baumgarnter’s jump finally went ahead, Kit Kat made their own ascent and sent a Kit Kat into space attached to a balloon.


Are you already doing it?

If your business is already using social media, the chances are you’re already doing some topical advertising. If there’s a news story which you can relate your business to, you might talk about it or create an image linked to the story.

Twitter makes this easy by showing you Trends. Which are topics which are popular on the site at the moment. The chances are that if you notice a trend which you can talk about, you’ll create a tweet straight away. Then use the hashtag to increase the chances of it being seen.


Why not take a look at some more of our marketing blogs?

If you want some help with creating a marketing strategy, why not see if our approach is for you, or call us on 01543 495752 for more information.

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