Trendjacking: How Brands Ride the Viral Wave

But should your brand be doing it?

By Kacee Johnson
Blue Ocean Principles

Every day a new hashtag, trend, or buzzword is born into the universe of content. The latest in marketing and PR is trendjacking. Most have never heard of it, or maybe they understand the concept but don’t necessarily know the name of the practice.

Trendjacking: The Milwaukee Brewers jump on #StarWarsDay

What is trendjacking? Essentially, trendjacking is simply the act of capitalizing on a present trend in the news or social media order to boost a company or personal brand. You could call it a cultivated form of viral marketing, but this term is going to be around for awhile. Trendjacking can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the context of the message and how your audience receives it.  If used correctly, trendjacking can equal free publicity and create a brand as a subject matter expert.

A prime example of trendjacking is Star Wars and the hashtag #StarWarsDay. The Milwaukee Brewers have been the most recent to hop on that hashtag. Social platforms had brands ranging from light bulb manufacturers, sandwich shops, and even Hootsuite jumping on the trend to forward their own message.