Solar Eclipse 2017: The Shortest Marketing Opportunity in 38 Years

Imagine this – it’s August 21, 2017 and everyone in North America is staring up into the darkened sky. People pointing to the moon as it blocks out the only sun we’ve ever known. Children screaming as though it’s the end of civilization as we know it.

It sounds like a scene from a science fiction movie. But experiencing the first total solar eclipse in 38 years does something to people. It is that same experience that’s driven people to go on shopping binges for products they wouldn’t normally purchase. You may have witnessed the frantic search for special solar eclipse glasses that will protect our eyes from the sun’s incendiary light.

Did you buy solar eclipse glasses for the 2017 Solar Eclipse? If not, you’re probably in the minority. The 2017 Solar Eclipse could be one of the shortest and best marketing opportunities for anyone looking to make a quick buck.

A search on Google provides a vast array of solar eclipse supplies. Everything from traditional looking cardboard 3D movie glasses to solar eclipse paper plates (no, seriously). In fact, the market was so quickly saturated with eclipse glasses, some news organizations like NBC’s Today Show (video below), delivered reports on how to spot “fake” solar eclipse glasses so that viewers wouldn’t burn their retinas.

Needless to say, the short-lived marketing opportunity created a frenzy for all types of products. Even manufacturers like Goal Zero, an innovator of easy-to-use portable solar power products that allow users to charge or power almost anything from sun, jumped on the solar eclipse bandwagon. Check out an email they sent out to customers, with the comical call-to-action of charging and lighting the temporary solar energy outage during the 2 1/2 minutes we will be without the Earth’s closest star.

So what does this teach advertisers about marketing?

The answer is actually very simple – Never underestimate the power of timely marketing opportunities. This probably goes for everything in life, but applies specifically to what we see with this example. Like all humans, we tend to get caught up in current events. It’s inevitable. That means you should think of ways to engage with customers in a fun way, that speaks to their needs at that specific moment in time.

And while we always lecture on marketing integrity, there are always people out there ready to take advantage of unsuspecting customers. So for all the humans out there who are consuming goods and services like the ones in this story, be vigilant. Do your homework when shopping for these types of time-sensitive products, especially when current events are driving sales. If you do, just like the NBC report on counterfeit solar eclipse glasses, it could save more than just your hard earned money, it could save your eyesight.

Want more examples of solar eclipse marketing?

Advertising Age wrote an article about some interesting marketing efforts from Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme, Royal Caribbean, Airbnb and more. Check it out at the link below and let us know if you found any other solar eclipse marketing worth mentioning.