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Episode 73 - Negative Newsjacking a Bad Idea - Brand Archetypes Skip to content

Episode 73 – Negative Newsjacking a Bad Idea

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Brand Archetypes
Brand Archetypes
Episode 73 - Negative Newsjacking a Bad Idea

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about Newsjacking, but for our listeners, Newsjacking is when a brand or firm mentions or creates a campaign centered around a major, well-discussed news item. It’s slightly different from a publicity stunt in that the news item is leveraged in marketing while a stunt might acknowledge news within a public venue or place of business.

If you want to learn more about this concept, there is a great book by guru David Meerman Scott called “Newsjacking.” 

Amazingly, it’s been ten years since he wrote the book but we think the concepts are still perfectly valid and it’s definitely a book we would recommend to our listeners. In the book, David gives guidance on how to effectively ride the wave of coverage and viral spread when news events happen.  And, we don’t know if you’ve noticed, it seems like there have been just a few newsworthy things that have happened in the past half dozen years.

So our podcast today takes a look at some examples of brands that are successfully (and not so successfully) riding this free wave of public discourse.

Here are links to the examples we talk about:

Here is the article from The Washington Post (titled “Every pandemic-themed TV commercial is an empty advertisement for advertising”)

Rules for Newsjacking

Here are a few things we think are mandatory if a business takes on a marketing concept like this.

    • Stay withing brand
    • Be authentic.  Inauthentic marketing is not just a waste of time and money, it can also be harmful to your brand.
    • Avoid tapping into negative emotions.  One of the benefits of archetype branding is that the emotions are all; powerful, easy to understand, universal, and POSITIVE.

Listen to the whole episode to get Amy and Kevin’s take on political ads, newsjacking the pandemic, and more.


  • If you’ve seen any marketing that just seems dangerous, or you think is a flat-out mistake, we would LOVE to see it.  Presenting lots of examples is one way our viewers learn not just what to do, but what NOT to do. 
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Marketing Mayhem

Check out this Ad that Kevin and Amy discuss on this week’s Marketing Mayhem

 Marketing Mayhem - Alcoa Aluminum

Kevin & Amy

Kevin Skarritt and Amy Zander are the co-creators of the Brand Archetypes podcast and co-authors of the book by the same name. Explore the world of Brand Archetypes and find out how they can transform your company!

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