Denny’s, Nokia, and Samsung Take Advantage of Apple’s iPhone Announcement

dennys newsjackAll is fair in love and war. That saying could apply in many cases when it comes to marketing. You’ve likely heard the news from yesterday by now that Apple announced two new models of its flagship iPhone 5, the 5c and the 5s. Nokia and Denny’s were waiting to pounce on social media to take advantage of the attention Apple would get (and is still getting) concerning their announcements on Tuesday.

Free Media Attention? Hitch a Ride

The marketing and advertising folks at Denny’s, Nokia, and Samsung sure know how to take advantage of a good opportunity when one rolls around. The Apple event yesterday is still being talked about all over the internet, as is usual for one of their events. This time those three companies launched their own ads mocking or taking advantage of the attention Apple is receiving.

Nokia’s Clever Tweets

Nokia UK’s Twitter account set to work posting two separate tweets aiming at grabbing some of the attention from smartphone fans that Apple was reaping. As Seth Firgerman writes on Mashable, Nokia “thinks the new devices look a little too familiar” and proceeded to post images of their Windows phones (which do look rather familiar) with the statement “imitation is the best form of flattery” written above.

In addition to this clever tweet, Nokia managed to hit on two hugely popular symbols of pop culture by combining Breaking Bad with smartphones, and tweeted an image of Heisenberg from the hugely popular series and a quote in the tweet that says “Real gangsters don’t use gold phones.” This was an obvious jab against Apple’s new colors for its 5s model. Well played Nokia, well played.

Denny’s Brilliantly Crosses Pancake Promotion with Apple Marketing

Denny’s, believe it or not, actually took advantage of the buzz Apple was creating. As Chris Taylor reminds us on Mashable, “brands have been aiming to react quickly to the day’s news” and that can be a creative challenge at times. When I heard Denny’s was mocking the iPhone 5s I thought, “No way, how could that be effective?”

But Denny’s managed to come up with a clever ad it posted on Twitter. The company posted a photo of its delicious-looking pancakes with the phrase, “Pancakes, Always available in golden.” The best part of this is the box framing the s, as Apple does with its 4s and 5s phones. Great work, Denny’s.

Samsung Takes a Different Approach

Samsung is Apple’s biggest competitor. A huge announcement from Apple is something that Samsung has to respond to. Their performance lately has been excellent, and when it came to responding to Apple’s latest announcements, Samsung took a different approach.

As Tim Peterson reports on AdAge, “Samsung plastered well-timed banners across several of the prominent outlets reporting on the new iPhone.” He’s serious about prominent, with many of the biggest news sites and newspapers getting the Samsung ads. Samsung even went so far as to sponsor sections of the larger websites, so that information and articles about the Apple event would have a “sponsored by Samsung” somewhere on the page.

Lessons to Learn?

While not every business has the capability to dump tons of money into a targeted and brilliant ad sponsorship campaign like Samsung did, the previous two examples from Nokia and Denny’s shows that creativity can easily hitch a ride onto popular news events. It doesn’t take millions of dollars or a large marketing team to create those ideas and the fact that Nokia and Denny’s are getting attention for their efforts is proof enough that thoughtful and high-quality efforts do get attention.

Who do you think had the best strategy to take advantage of the media behind Apple’s latest announcement? Has your business tried news-jacking?

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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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