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  • Clayton Smith

Dominoes Newsjacking Masterclass

Its been a while but I'm back in black in the blogging saddle and here to stay.

Quick note before we get into it, we've got our next Grill The Marketer live event on August 12th, real and in the flesh, no Zooming required. Super excited, check out tickets here.

Today, let's break down a newsjacking masterclass by Dominoes Australia.

What is newsjacking?

Pioneered by marketer David Meerman Scott in 2011, Scott defines newsjacking as;

"the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story so you and your ideas get noticed."

In other words, grab a recent news story and turn it into marketing content for your brand.

The News Story - Bunnings Karen

A video of a woman in a Melbourne Bunnings arguing her case against wearing a mask recently made headlines, and the internet quickly dubbed her 'Bunnings Karen'.

The video was filmed and uploaded by Bunnings Karen herself. Pretty Karen thing to do I reckon.

Not only was the internet its usual merciless self, crushing Bunnings Karen in thousands and thousands of comments across all platforms, any and every television and radio show with a panel of any description weighed in. She was everywhere.

This "everywhereness" is key to a good newsjacking.

Quick Karen Explainer

'Karen' has become a term used to describe a person demonstrating certain pain in the ass behaviours, usually middle aged, of a certain gender with a certain haircut that always asks to speak to the manager.

It has now come to includes full on white privilege tendencies and racist behaviour. Think of it like a kind of a niching down of 'boomer'.

Dominoes Opens Its Arms To Karens

Dominoes Australia published the below post last week on their social media channels, and it went to the moon in no time.

Here's the full version of the copy:


"It’s a tough time to be a Karen.

Karen the nurse, Karen the teacher, Karen the mum, Karen the neighbour, Karen the mask wearer – we’re all in this together, but a vocal minority who believe rules and laws don’t apply to them have given the name “Karen” a bad rap this year.

At Domino’s, we know there’s plenty of Australians named Karen that aren’t, well, “Karens”.

Let us know if you're one of them by completing the form via the link below. We may send some pizza your way! : "

As mentioned, it went to the moon. Thirty five thousand comments, thirty thousand post reactions and over ten thousand shares in a week.

How Dominoes nailed a perfect newsjacking

Here's four aspects that were crucial ingredients the secret sauce of this awesome newsjacking by Dominoes.

1. Hyper Fast Turn Around

Speed is crucial with news related content, and Dominoes had this post up as fast as their delivery drivers have pizza to your door. Your newsjacking content needs to be up before the original story is old news, otherwise your content will be irrelevant.

2. The Old Switcheroo

The way Dominoes were able to flip a negative, awkward and confrontational story into a positive, feel good piece was masterful. No Karens were hurt in the making of this social media post.

3. Minimal Self Interest

I love how they made it a straight up giveaway. It was not related to a new product launch or a new deal, it was a simple handout. All people had to hand over was their email address to enter. It makes the sentiment of the post, to actually help out the nice Karens of Australia, feels more genuine. It also means Dominoes can avoid the "your taking advantage of a news story for your own greedy goals" argument that is a real danger for all newsjacking content.

4. Perfectly taggable

For a post to go viral or at the least get traction, users tagging their friends in the comments is a foundational element. Tagging a friend called Karen not only alerted the friend to their ability to enter a competition for free stuff, it also was calling out their friend as one fo the good ones. That's a perfect two for one tagging opportunity right there.

Some negative fallout in New Zealand

Dominoes New Zealand shared the same post, but it copped serious criticism, forcing the company post this apology due to a lack of context;

In other words, nobody in New Zealand knew what the hell Dominoes was talking about.

Fascinating to see the potential pitfalls of newsjacking in the exact same post from the exact same company just in a different location.

Another Newsjacking Example - Aviation Gin vs Pelaton

Aviation Gin's response to the recent controversial Pelaton ad is definitely another fave newsjacking of recent rimes.

Fancy exercise bike company Pelaton had this ad go viral for all the wrong, creepy prisoner wife kind of reasons.

Aviation Gin fired this ad back within a week or two using the same actress from the Pelaton ad, and it made headlines around the globe. I remember seeing the actress on some breakfast show with Aviation Gin owner Ryan Reynolds, discussing the Aviation Gin ad. Boom.

Newsjacking Can Be Super Powerful

A well executed newsjacking can generate big reach and engagement and even free press, but it's not for beginners. You need to be timely, relevant and nuanced with the right news story for your biz.

Thanks for reading! Keep rocking and remember, put on some goddamn country music this week! Looking forward to Grill The Marketer event next Wednesday 12th August, see you there for drinks and marketing chats.



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