7 Examples of Expert Newsjacking by Ecommerce Brands

Posted by Hannah Stacey 21 Aug 15

When thinking about newsjacking (capitalising on the popularity of a news story or current event to promote your brand), big-budget Paddy Power-style publicity stunts are often the first thing that springs to mind (that, or brands trying to jump on the latest Twitter trend and failing horribly).

But newsjacking doesn’t necessarily involve grand budgets or taking big risks. Ultimately, it’s all about making your marketing more timely and relevant in a world where stories break on social media before they reach news outlets, and a single tweet can turn a brand or individual into a viral online sensation in a matter of minutes. It’s about making your marketing more responsive and ‘agile’.

Here are seven great examples of how ecommerce brands are using newsjacking in their marketing.

Arena Flowers: Ashley Madison tweet

The wonderfully witty Arena Flowers was hot off the mark following the leaking of thousands of personal details from infidelity dating site Ashley Madison, earning itself over a thousand shares and favourites with this cheeky tweet (we tried using the discount code, and it works!):


Diving into controversial issues is something that should be approached with extreme caution, and the same goes for attempts at humour. Having said that, Twitter is a great medium for commenting and sharing posts on current events, and a well-written, well-timed tweet has the potential to go viral, and fast.

Amazon: Prime Day

Black Friday never fails to conjure up a media frenzy (often for all the wrong reasons) each November and Amazon used its notoriety to great effect when promoting its inaugural Amazon Prime Day, framing its entire campaign around  the ‘more deals than Black Friday’ angle.

Impressively, Amazon pulled this off so successfully that practically every piece of news coverage drew the Black Friday comparison:


Tying campaigns (especially if you’re launching a new initiative) to big-headline events can be a great way of getting noticed and creating a buzz.

ASOS: Teen Choice Awards

The guys over at ASOS are leading the way in ecommerce content marketing, creating brilliant, timely content, expertly tied in with ASOS’s own product offering. How do they do it? By knowing their target audiences inside out, and piggybacking on any event, news or celebrity gossip that they know will be interesting to that demographic.

For instance, the tweet below leads to a post on ASOS’s ‘Style Feed’ about Jason Derulo’s outfit at the Teen Choice Awards, skillfully linked to similar ASOS products to recreate his look.



Keep a diary of any upcoming events that will be of interest to your target audiences, and build them into your content calendar. Likewise, setting up Google Alerts can be a great way of staying up to date with news on particular celebrities, events or trends that are relevant to your brand.  

Lakeland: Great British Bake Off

Nothing, it seems, gets the great British public going quite like the prospect of Mary Berry reducing grown adults to tears over a botched buttercream icing.

Following the airing of the hotly-anticipated first episode of this season of the Bake Off, Lakeland sent the email below, advertising its GBBO ‘exclusive range’.


Getting your timing spot on is one of the most important elements of newsjacking - when planning a campaign, ensure that it’s timed to best capitalise on the hype surrounding an event.

Annoushka: Rihanna

Having a celeb sport your products in public can be massive news, particularly for up-and-coming retailers.

Jewellery brand Annoushka makes the most of celebrity endorsements by regularly featuring them in their newsletters, like below when Rihanna was spotted wearing their earrings to the British Fashion Awards party.


Make the most of every piece of publicity that your brand gets by building it into your email and on-site content strategy as important social proof.

Oliver Bonas: TV appearances

Staying on the celebrity theme, social media can also be a great place to capitalise on a famous person being spotted in your gear.

When TV personality Gaby Roslin wore an Oliver Bonas dress in an interview on a popular morning show, the brand was quick to jump on Twitter, tagging both Gaby and the show in question, and crucially adding a link so that people could buy the dress themselves.


If you want your newsjacking to contribute to bottom line, it’s important to create clear links between the news and your product (like Oliver Bonas and ASOS do). This can be as simple as including a link to a corresponding product page!

Missguided: Kardashian edit

No celebrity endorsements? No drama! You can still tie your marketing in with whoever is making headlines this week.

Barely a day goes by without a new story emerging about the Kardashian family, and Missguided expertly taps into their notoriety by creating a Kardashian-themed edit that it promotes on social and in email (below).

Happy newsjacking!


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Topics: Ecommerce examples

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