Total Eclipse: 3 Tips to Leverage Cultural Moments for Your Campaigns

Two human silhouettes stand next to a large telescope and look toward a total solar eclipse in the sky.

As today’s solar eclipse sweeps across North America, viewers will swarm to the path of totality to see this celestial event for themselves. And thanks to some clever marketing campaigns, those who can’t witness the eclipse can also enjoy the excitement. 

Leveraging major cultural moments like the eclipse is a savvy way to jump into the trending conversation and let your brand shine. But you’ll need a little planning and creative thinking to make the most of these unique marketing opportunities.

See (and Seize) the Moment

In order to make the most of these moments, you need to know when they’re coming — with enough lead time to develop and execute ideas you may come up with. To seize the moment effectively, you’ll need to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s trending: on social media, in the news, and in your own community and culture. 

An important part of this social listening is knowing what will resonate with your audience. If you haven’t already, establish a clear understanding of what excites, mobilizes, and influences them. If you’re not sure, go straight to the source. Survey your audience to find out what they like about your brand and use their feedback as inspiration and structure for your concepts. 

Once you have your audience’s interests as your guide, start thinking about what recurring events you might want to focus on. Of course, there are major sporting events like the Super Bowl and Olympics as well as awards ceremonies like the Grammys, but push yourself to consider events that happen less regularly. It’s worth a simple Google search in Q3 or Q4 to figure out what major moments are coming down the pike in the new year.

T1 Tip: When you and your marketing team see mention of unique moments throughout the year, note them in your calendar for next year. You never know when they might become relevant for your brand.


Even though events like a total eclipse are uncommon, there’s often precedent as to how they’re talked about in media coverage. That means you have an opportunity to research what some of your target media outlets have discussed in the past. Do they cover any uncommon annual holidays or observances?

Find a Way In

Even when you know your audience and you have some ideas for exciting cultural moments, it can be a challenge to know what’s worth the investment of your time and budget. Making that call comes down to two key differentiators for your campaign: authenticity and creativity.

More often than not, you want a clear, intuitive connection to the moment to make sure your marketing stunt or clever promotion is authentic and stays true to the values that your brand holds. A great example of two brands repackaging their existing offerings for the eclipse was Southwest Airlines and Omni Hotels offering a “Solarbration” Sweepstakes for travelers pursuing the path of totality. 

It’s possible that your brand doesn’t perfectly align with one of these big moments. Eyewear brand Warby Parker has a clear connection to the eclipse with their offering of free, ISO-certified viewing glasses, but not every brand is so lucky.

Warby Parker’s landing page for the solar eclipse is a one-stop-shop for all the information a potential eclipse viewer
would need to know,
including important safety tips.

Be brave. If you can get creative and collaborative with your teams to come up with a clever, unexpected tie to the moment, it could be your time to shine. From Jeni’s
themed ice cream flavors to MoonPie’s wrestling match, there is truly no limit to the ways your brand can jump into the cultural moment.

Make it Your Own

You know your audience. You’ve spotted an exciting moment. And you’ve found a connection with your brand. Now’s the time to bring everything together. Take this campaign concept as an opportunity to not only be creative, but also show your audience that you really understand them. 

For example, Jeni’s often creates clever, limited-edition flavors — it’s no surprise that they’re offering eclipse-themed options, but that doesn’t make the concept any less exciting for their dedicated fan base. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to what your audiences love about your brand.

Jeni’s didn’t just create unique flavors like Nebula Berry and Cosmic Bloom for
the total eclipse. They’re also offering up “collectible” branded eclipse viewing glasses.

This is your chance to lean hard into your brand values and personality. Ask yourself whether there are marketing approaches you’ve always wanted to try. These moments can be your opportunity to take a risk and branch out a bit from marketing business as usual.

T1 Tip: If you want to try a bold marketing approach, you can test it out with some quick content first. Especially for annual events, this can give you important insight as to whether a riskier tactic might work for your brand in the future.

And don’t forget to also consider the best marketing channels to make the most out of your campaign. Is this concept something that’s going to take off on social media (and you have the right digital assets to support it), or is it more of an earned media–led campaign? Even the best ideas may flounder if not distributed on the appropriate channels — and with these uncommon events, you don’t want to miss your moment.

Leave Your Mark

When big moments happen, people want to be there — and your brand has a unique opportunity to give them a piece of the action. By creating a product, brand offering, or unique campaign, you can capitalize on that excitement and share in the joy of the moment.

Want to make the most of cultural moments for your brand? We can help.

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