The Beast From The East Or So-Called Storm Emma’s Best Media Reactions!

As always, when a major weather event hits our shores or has the potential to hit the island of Ireland, the whole country goes MAD!

‘Weather’ it be the apocalyptic rush to the supermarket to get every loaf of bread and litre of milk in sight, or the preparations to get the best hiking boots as you go about your travels trekking to and from work (or your local!).  

It is up to the media savvy bunch to be there to react to every trending event and make sure that their brands are top of mind and relevant to the current cultural moment.

For this blog I was going to pull together some of the best reactive media activations that happened in the last week for Storm Emma (the biggest storm Ireland has seen in the last three decades). However, now that the storm has past and the snow has melted, it is clear to see the real winner in all of this is Old Mr. Brennan. The hysteria for Brennans Bread over the last week went viral like no other. Even before the storm hit – the memes and desperate bids for Brennans Bread were in full force.

Our very own Mindshare Invention team were on-point from the get go to take on the bread supply shortage across Irish supermarkets. Even before Storm Emma showed her full force.     

During Storm Emma, Brennans had their most engaged Facebook post (12,000 reactions, 2,000 shares). There were also two games made about the brand by a fan (handy), and shared on the Brennans Bread Facebook page, among countless other posts shared and posted by fans. Brennans also got onto the Late Late Show. The stack of Brennans Bread that appeared on the show was donated to the Peter McVerry trust. Brennans Bread was also the #1 most sold product across the week according to BWG.

In Ireland as a country we are lucky to come across so many viral ‘Irish’ trends that gather momentum like quick fire. For brands if you are fast enough, you can take full advantage of the trend before it becomes nauseatingly annoying and played out. Once something is viral in Ireland be it bread, don’t make unnecessary journeys, or the latest meme, its life span is only so short.

For brands today, it is all about relevancy. It is up to us to spot the trend before it even becomes relevant or hits the mainstream Facebook news feed. This was done brilliantly with Brennans Bread.

Opportunities are there - with unprompted events to execute relevant and on-the-mark bursts of activity.

It certainly makes us craft our annual media plans for our clients differently. Having budget on hand for reactive media activations is a must and should be a line item on any plan.

With all of this however it is important to have a strategy in place for when events like Storm Emma occur. The Mindshare P4A (Planning For Agility) framework – which when put into practice enables speed, agility, intregation and clarity of platform – helps brands execute on point activations for fluid moments like Storm Emma.

Instead of waiting for a viral trend to appear on your personal (targeted) news feed – there are different ways to be ahead of the curve;

 1. Subscribe to blogs, news sites and social profiles - The easiest way to stay on top of viral trends is to completely immerse yourself in the news that gets shared all over the social web. It is important to follow people who aren’t just of interest to you but who are relevant to different ages and interests, not just your own.

2. Use social news sites - Examples of social news sites include Reddit Ireland and Hacker News. These are sites that display community-driven news stories, which have been submitted and voted up or down by the people who use the site. Getting active on social news sites can give you the upper hand on discovering viral content when it's new and fresh.

3. Keep an eye on the 'trending' sections on social networks - You can also discover a lot on your own just by paying attention to trending sections on social media/YouTube.

4. Set up notifications for specific keywords – There are a few different ways you can effectively set up notifications via text message, email, social media or some other medium. One of the easiest and most common ways to be alerted of certain topics is to set up Google Alerts.

5. Use a premium news tracking service - You can also sign up to use a premium news tracking service. There is a wide variety to choose from, these allow you to discover trends and news stories before they've even broken out online so you can analyze and monitor them as they unfold.

6. And of course check the weather!