In this instant world, the media is always seeing who can lunge first to deliver breaking news. At the same time, brands are always on their toes waiting for major news to break so they can use it to their advantage as well. This is called newsjacking.

Newsjacking, as defined by David Meerman Scott’s, is “the process by which you inject your ideas or angles into breaking news, in real-time, in order to generate media coverage for yourself or your business.” DiGiorno Pizza recently went under fire because they were too quick to newsjack on social media. Long story short, the brand’s Twitter handle tweeted a joke and included the trending hashtag #WhyIStayed, apparently unaware victims of domestic violence were using it to describe their experiences. Marketers often wrestle with ethical issues, but this could have been easily avoided with a little research. Thankfully, there have been numerous success stories that have resulted from newsjacking.

Oreo and Super Bowl XLVII

Everyone remembers when the power went out during last year’s Super Bowl, right?  And we’ve all heard of Oreo’s famous “You can still dunk in the dark!” graphic they almost immediately released.  Take a look. It was very simple, yet effective and on-brand.

Denny’s and Auburn Fans

Perhaps one of the best thought-out newsjackings ever (or maybe just my favorite) followed the 2014 BCS National Championship Game in January. Denny’s took advantage of Auburn University fans’ emotions and deployed a genius tweet after the university lost to Florida State. The company mapped out a route from Pasadena, California, where the game was played, to Auburn, Alabama, where the university is located, highlighting 47 different Denny’s locations along the way. The tweet read, “If it’s any consolation Auburn fans, there are 47 chances to win on the way home.” This is one of my favorites because it was original, direct and focused on their brand being a positive connection in that time of anger or disappointment among Auburn fans.

Kit Kat and Felix Baumgartner

Jumping (literally) back to 2012, you may remember when daredevil Felix Baumgartner freefell from outer space for more than four minutes. Leading up to the record-breaking jump on October 14, the stunt had been delayed multiple times due to weather. Kit Kat was quick to interject their brand into the story and actually sent a Kit Kat bar 22 miles into the sky, and there’s video footage to prove it. In addition, Kit Kat tweeted a clever graphic that positively promotes their brand’s theme, “Have a break.” And, of course, they congratulated him too.

Have you seen any recent newsjackings on social media? What are your favorites (or least-favorites)?