November 8, 2023
July 12, 2023

Advertising and Big Events: How to Capitalize on a Viral Moment

Ellen Savatski
Customer Team Lead

Brands are constantly looking for ways to reach their target audiences and engage with them in meaningful ways. According to Digiday, 84% of adults in the US scroll through their phones while watching TV "sometimes," while more than half of those reported to do this "always" or "often."

One of the most effective ways to take advantage of this new habit among audiences is by capitalizing on viral moments and trends. Viral moments are those that quickly spread across social media and generate a lot of buzz. They can be anything from a funny video to a celebrity endorsement.

Trends, on the other hand, are more general patterns of behavior that are popular at a particular time. They can be related to fashion, music, or anything else that people are interested in.

There are a number of examples of when brands have successfully capitalized on viral moments and trends using social media and programmatic advertising. TikTok dances, try-ons, and get-ready-with-me videos have quickly become one of the most popular ways brands can utilize these trends to engage with customers.

Influencer marketing is also one of the best options for consumers to feel connected to the recommendations of a well-known celebrity or influential figure to build a connection to a brand. Taking stock of big events where a brand is a sponsor, or their target audience is also interested in such events, is another great opportunity to take advantage of more audience engagement.

Here are some tips on how to capitalize on a viral moment:

Monitor social media trends

The first step in leveraging viral moments for your marketing campaigns is to keep an eye on social media trends. Use social media listening tools to identify trending topics, hashtags, and memes that are gaining traction online. Social listening will help you stay on top of the latest viral moments and ensure that you can capitalize on them while they are still relevant.

Create timely content

Once you've identified a viral moment, it's crucial to create timely content that is relevant to the trend. This content should be engaging, shareable, and aligned with your brand's messaging. Use social media to distribute this content, including platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, to ensure maximum reach.

Leverage influencers

Influencer marketing has become a critical component of many digital marketing strategies, and it's especially relevant when it comes to viral moments. Reach out to relevant influencers in your industry or niche and collaborate with them to create content that aligns with the viral moment. This content can be shared across social media and programmatic advertising channels to maximize reach.

When a brand is able to capitalize on a viral moment, trend, or big event, it can generate a lot of free publicity and exposure. This can lead to increased brand awareness, website traffic, and sales. We are most often seeing brands leverage these trends across social media, as the medium is usually where the trends originate and have a quick turnaround. When brands get involved in viral trends, people feel more of a connection to the brand.

Spaceback allows brands to take the wonderful content they are posting across social platforms to capitalize on these viral moments across the open web with programmatic advertising. Across programmatic, brands can target their ads to specific audiences based on their interests and demographics outside the walled gardens of social. This means that brands can ensure that people who are most likely to be interested in what they have to offer are seeing their ads.

Here are a few examples of Spaceback clients who have leveraged viral moments with Spaceback creatives:

Travis Mathew

Travis Mathew promoted one of their sponsors (Jon Rahm) once he won the Masters. We used some of the congratulatory creative to promote Travis Mathew and Jon Rahm with programmatic creative. See the creative demo here.


Aeropostale accessed various TikTok influencers with try-on and shopping videos to promote fashion outside of the walled gardens of TikTok. You can view the full demo here.

Washington Wizards

Washington Wizards created ticket-sale-promoting creatives using highlights from recent games with fast-turnaround.

Ulta Beauty

Ulta Beauty took advantage of the GRWM (Get Ready With Me) trend to use Instagram Reels content and promote their Ulta Beauty Collection sale. View the full demo here.

Digital advertising always has to stay on top of the current trends to stay relevant and be impactful to consumers. Keeping up with viral moments and big events is a great opportunity for brands to connect with people and share more meaningful content.

While we are seeing many brands do this across social media, there is a great option for brands to take this content and utilize Spaceback to help share these trends programmatically across the web.

Walled Gardens
User Experience
Social Display
Media Strategy
Influencer Marketing
Digital Advertising