In an era where social media never sleeps, marketers are becoming more agile, often working around the clock to produce excellent reactive marketing campaigns. Thanks to social media, brands now have the opportunity to interact, engage with customers and become more transparent, they are given 24/7 access to what is going on in the world. So the question is, are you flexible enough to produce great reactive marketing!?

From major sporting events and tv highlights to news and competitor activity, anything which is already ‘generating a buzz amongst the audience’ is a potential topic for reactive marketing. are our top tips and our favourite reactive marketing campaigns from the last few years.

Top Tips for Reactive Marketing Campaigns

Social Media Monitoring: you may be monitoring your social media on a regular basis, however to successfully create a reactive marketing campaign you will have to up your monitoring game! Through real-time monitoring, you can keep your finger on the pulse and quickly identify opportunities to develop reactive campaigns. Take a look at Hootsuite and Tweetdeck - these can be used for free, making it easier to monitor trends and conversations as they unfold.

Key Event Planning: if you’re looking to boost your business profile, it is more important than ever to be aware of key industry trends and major holidays to really make the most of your marketing budget. Twitter is on hand to help you out here and has designed the #OwnTheMoment calendar, providing users with access to all key events, sample tweets and ideas on how you can make the most of each occasion.

Think Fast: to capitalise, you need to be able to think fast! Although popular with with public, reactive campaigns only trend for a short period of time so you must be original and ‘on the ball’ to really capitalise.

Run with ‘out of the ordinary’: the best reactive marketing campaigns have stemmed from the strangest of things. If it feels right, is expected to boost the profile of the business and generate a buzz on social media, run with it, no matter how random - think outside the box!

Stay True to the Policy: with the quick fire nature of reactive campaigns, you must be careful not to offend anyone in the process or breach company rules. It’s vital to follow social media policy whether a full or a relaxed set of guidelines specifically designed for reactive campaigns.

Oreo, Superbowl and Dunking in the Dark

In the midst of its 100th birthday celebrations and with the objective of ‘being as relevant today as they were 100 years ago’ Oreo’s #DunkInTheDark campaign was born. Thanks to a well architected social media strategy, the Oreo team were ready to react to whatever the Superbowl threw its way, which in 2013, was an unsuspecting power outage! Developing the advert ‘you can still dunk in the dark’, Oreo put reactive marketing on the map and with 15,000 retweets and 8,000 followers overnight, Oreo became 'the talk and tweet of the Superbowl’ cementing itself as an effective real-time marketer. This campaign established a record as the most retweeted brand at the time and went on to win 12 awards including two Cannes Lion Awards.


Greg, a security guard at BHS sent his holiday request to his line manager who accidently circulated it around 3,500 employees! Leaked to the press, this unusual  turn of events sparked interest on Twitter and the #GiveGregTheHoliday was born. Trending on Twitter ahead of the European election, superb examples of reactive marketing began rolling in! Trek America began with “We’re taking action and have decided to #GiveGregTheHoliday. A Trek America mini break with flights to Vegas #GregGotTheHoliday”. Elemis and Vo5 followed by donating hair and beauty products “Nice one Greg, you’re off to Sin City, here’s some stuff to fill your baggage allowance #GiveGregTheHoliday #VegasBaby”. (Satisfied with his expenses paid stay at Chessignton World of Adventures, Greg donated everything to the Stephen Sutton charity foundation, well in Greg!).

Waterstones, Lock-in and Airbnb

Visiting London on holiday, you expect to see the sights don’t you? Well American tourist, David Willis took a little adventure of his own and spent the evening in Waterstones Trafalgar Square - after being locked in by staff!

Following David’s unfortunate event, Airbnb spotted an opportunity and joined forces with Waterstones in a bid to capitalise on the positive publicity and to continue the social buzz. Customers were asked to send in their book of choice when locked in a bookstore, with the 10 best entries winning an overnight stay in Waterstones’ flagship store, Piccadilly.

Becoming more popular with brands, reactive marketing is only effective if the brand acts fast and if it remains relevant! The unexpected, the simple and the perfectly timed are a recipe for successful reactive marketing.

Want more?

Check out Specsavers’ ‘Ball Boy, Sainsburys ‘Tiger Bread’, and We Buy Any Cars ‘’ for some great examples of reactive marketing!

Do you have any favourite reactive marketing campaigns? Share them with us!