Shrenik Gandhi
Guest Article

The job of moment marketing...

Reena Patil is en route to her home from her office, in a metro. Her boss shouted at her for something which was not her fault. So, clearly she is not only tired with her routine day, but also frustrated. She wants to break away from this and she taps on the Instagram icon on her phone. Dozens of friends are posting about their happy moments, their stories and their day's highlights.

Reena has a smile on her face, but deep down in her heart, she is upset. She is unable to connect with those friends and their nearly perfect lives. She comes across a post from her favourite doughnut brand. This brand has spoken about her favourite OTT show. Not just spoken, but also integrated the episode which came in earlier in the day and subtly sold their product with a quirky copy. She stares at the post for 15 seconds, smiles, shares with a couple of folks and gets into a conversation with them.

The above incident summarises the job done by moment marketing. The generation addicted to social media is tired of seeing the nearly perfect lives of their friends and family. During tough times, if one browses through stories, one becomes a lot more frustrated. This is the worst time for a brand to sell to the audience. That's why 84 per cent millennials don’t trust traditional advertising.

But, if the brand speaks the language of the audience, speaks in jargon they will relate to and about topics they are actively conversing about while they see the post, the brand becomes a part of the moment and if it manages to bring a smile to the face, it is moment marketing done right.

There are different types of moment marketing and there are hundreds of brands practising it and a few dozen who have mastered it. Here are some of the different kinds -

Meme Marketing:

Meme marketing is basically a dialect, shown with a relevant image or plain text and is unapologetically funny.

Netflix India does a fab job with meme marketing.

Here’s an example:


Audiences love it when they see two of their favourite brands talking to each other. It is the most real the brands can get online, and it is loved a lot more when the same is quirky, interesting and full of humour.

Text it:

There could be times, when it may not be possible to create an image, a video or a meme for sheer lack of time or lack of context. In such cases, let the copywriter alone don the hat of text-based moment marketing. This is generally used to cash in on an opportunity or a news event. The best text-based moment marketing example I can think of is Paytm, immediately after the demonetisation announcement.

Classic, in the moment:

There are news channels screaming and shouting about various news topics, 24 hours a day. There are hundreds of news pieces which are out daily. Yet, some manage to break the clutter and become a part of the conversations. Be it elections, Bollywood gossip, sports or any event.

If the brands see a fit, they must make sure they put out a simple post, wherein they speak about the event and also plug in the brand. Please note, the brand need not give information about the event. That is not the reason why an audience on the brand page wants to consume content on the brand. The audience has already consumed that news/event story and wants to consume more of it and hence when the brand posts about it, the audience would love to engage. Here’s a classic moment marketing example:

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The elephants belong to House Fevicol! #FevicolKaJod

A post shared by Fevicol (@fevicolkajod) on

Rules to keep in mind for making your brand successful in moment marketing:

Timing: Timing is probably the most crucial rule of Moment Marketing. No one would like to hear a post about the ‘Dancing uncle’ or ‘Kolaveri Di’ today. Moment marketing lives in the moment. It makes no sense if posted after 48 hours.

Keep it Simple: Don’t complicate. Moment marketing need not be your brand manifesto. Keep it simple, yet effective.

Keep it Short: Don’t make it very long. It has to be short enough to strike a conversation. It has to be short enough to send across the message and it has to be long enough to make one laugh.

Relevant: Don’t be a part of all brand wagons. It's okay to miss out on some trends. It okay to miss out on ALL trends if your brand is not a conversational brand or doesn’t aspire to be a conversational brand ever.

But don’t talk about topics which are not at all relevant to your audience.

Don’t Hard Sell: No one likes to be sold to. No one likes to be sold to, on social media. No one likes to be sold to on social media, via memes. Don’t hard sell, stay conversational, stay true to the moment, ROI will follow.

The art of Moment Marketing is an ever evolving one and a brand might master it today, yet it has to keep practising it forever to stay relevant. Platforms will come and go, but the subtle art of humour and the inherent desire to laugh and converse among your audience shall stay forever. As a brand, moment marketing is a gateway to your audience’s laughter and hence to their conversations.

Make sure moment marketing makes your brand something to be laughed with and not laughed at. Lastly, moment marketing has to do a single job: Stop Thumbs, Bring A Smile.

Shrenik Gandhi is Chief Executive Officer and Co- Founder, White Rivers Media, a digital marketing company based out of Mumbai.