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Using pop culture as a marketing tool

The significance in incorporating current events and popular trends into your marketing.


We all as individuals have our interests and a preferred topic of conversation and it’s significant when you talk about the same things with another person. Whats even more significant is if you can get everyone to talk about the same thing -and that is the buzzing sensation of pop culture. You might not be able to get the whole world talking about the same thing, but if you get in on the conversation, you just gained a sense of relevancy to your content. There are a lot of pros that come with using pop culture for your marking but also a lot to consider to use it correctly.


The appeal of pop culture

With every pop, culture topic comes the world’s contribution of jokes, opinions, and statements on the designated topic. The desire to give your two cents on a subject is that same yearning to be in on a joke that everyone is a part of.

hand shake graphicHumans crave inclusion:

In the midst of attempting to climb up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we as humans yearn for feeling like a part of something. The main appeal in pop culture is that you are a part of a unifying conversation.



Establishing savviness: 

There’s a lot you can do with a piece of pop culture in your hands, and there’s a certain art to showing people how you craft a unique post about a popular topic. Using pop culture for your marking will show that you are well immersed in the world of all things trendy and up and coming.




The only thing humans crave more than inclusion is their opinions being considered. When controversy arises, it’s a race for online users to vocalize their thoughts.



Utilizing the appeal for your marketing

  • Align it with your brand:

The current fad might not be relevant to your brand, but figuring out a way for it to come up through your posts will score you some engagement points. Whether it’s simply referencing a viral “meme”/ internet sensation.

  • Humanize your business:

Chiming in on a worldwide conversation gives your brand a stand on the current pop culture topic. Additionally, addressing a current event gives your brand voice that your consumer can relate to. As we know, inbound marketing is the process of developing a relationship with strangers that will result in leads. By using pop culture for your marketing, you are relating to your audience and developing a relationship amongst them.

  • Give your brand humor:

Prove to your audience that you aren’t a humorless robot and add some personality to your posts. DiGiorno Pizza did a great job of this is in 2014 by relating the Superbowl to their brand in a comedic and relatable fashion


  • Engagement catalyst:

Spark a conversation on your posts by posting a question or statement regarding a fad. Due to the natural tendency for people to vocalize their take on a situation, your audience will be eager to jump in on the situation.


Keep in mind…

  • Negative controversy:

When it comes to current news that is controversial it is important that you:


1.) Aren’t the one that initiates the controversy:

Aren’t the one that initiates the controversy: we can learn from the mistake of a billboard for “Red Shoes & the 7 Dwarfs”. This parody of snow white created an ad of which drew a negative connotation to being overweight. The ad got extreme backlash for their body shaming message. Sure, the movie made its way into conversations of those who wouldn’t bother discussing the movie before the controversy. However, the buzz was not positive and did not improve the movie’s success at the box office.



2.) Proceed politics with caution:

Proceed politics with caution: don’t get “starting a conversation” confused with mindlessly addressing a serious topic for the sake of relevancy. We can’t forget the infamous Pepsi Commercial released in April of this year. While supermodel, Kendall Jenner did not disclose a specific political stance in the commercial, the message did not sit well with users. What Pepsi did wrong is they made too light of the situation.  



  • Brand fit:

It’s beneficial to relate your content to what’s buzzing in pop culture, and if you can tie it to be relevant to your specific brand then you’ve hit the jackpot. It’s not too often you see people talking about the outdoor goods retail company, but they had the world buzzing over their successful take on the popular TV show “The Walking Dead.”



All in all…

You might think that using pop culture for your marketing might be a reach for you to tie to your brand. However, being able to successfully and seamlessly relate it to a specific topic demonstrates your brand’s creativity and wit. Being able to talk about trendy topics as a brand makes your audience relate to you as they would with one of their friends. In result, this develops a relationship between you and your customers in addition to an appealing online presence.