For the first time in 99 years, the moon passed in front of the sun, engulfing a 70-mile wide strip of land stretching from Portland to South Carolina in darkness throughout the morning. The last eclipse of this magnitude occurred in 1918, so this was a never-before-seen chance for digitally active brands to work with nature to build engagement and awareness.
Food And Beverage
Nothing rouses the appetite quite like rare celestial events, so it’s no surprise that food brands like Hostess, Chiquita Banana and Krispy Kreme attempted to cash in.
In a bold statement, Hostess named its Golden CupCakes as the official snack cake of the solar eclipse, citing the unmistakable resemblance between the celestial event and their cream-filled baked good, and providing a handy reference image:
Not to be outdone, Chiquita Banana decided to brand the sun, claiming that while the rest of the country wasted time with the “total(-ly overrated) solar eclipse,” they temporarily transformed the crescent sun visible before and after the eclipse into a banana. If you missed this one, they have scheduled another transmogrification for April 8, 2024.
Krispy Kreme overshadowed the solar shadow with their exclusive product announcement—a chocolate-glazed version of their famous doughnut. The limited-edition doughnut was available during “Hot Light” hours the weekend before the eclipse and the day of, after which point, like the solar system, Krispy Kreme reverted to its normal functionality.
Corona used it fortuitous brand-name correlation by associating the company with the “corona”—the only part of the sun that was visible during the total eclipse—by releasing a handy how-to video to help their customers make a pinhole eclipse viewer out of their 12-pack boxes.
Southern Pressed Juicery, located in Greenville, South Carolina, released a special “Black Sun Lemonade” for the celestial event. Made with activated charcoal, the drink turns completely black with just a few shakes.
As the path of totality missed many population centers and passed through numerous sparsely populated areas, hotel and campground bookings quintupled in the area. Vacation rental giant Airbnb and camping rental website Hipcamp took advantage of the jump in the interest of pushing their services, and even mattress manufacturer Casper temporarily threw its hat into the hospitality ring.
Airbnb, partnering with National Geographic, put out a contest earlier this month to find a tenant for a special campsite in Bend, Oregon. After a night in the geodesic dome bedroom, guests flew on a private jet over the Pacific ocean to witness the eclipse as the sun rose.
Meanwhile, Hipcamp worked with NASA projections for the path of totality and set up an interactive map of campsites to best witness the full eclipse across the country.
In a stroke of cosmic fortune, Casper mattresses found a town by the name of Casper in Wyoming right in the path of totality. Working with Under Canvas, Outdoor Voices and Alamo Drafthouse, they set up a luxury tent city, featuring food, movie screenings and a private eclipse viewing.
For those lucky enough to have vacation time during the eclipse, Royal Caribbean International created a week-long eclipse extravaganza cruise, featuring ziplines, surf simulators and—most of—a performance of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler during the total eclipse itself. The performance was an abridged version of her almost six-minute ballad, as the full eclipse only lasted for two minutes and 40 seconds.
MTV, partnering with Fooji, delivered eclipse viewing glasses and “astronaut” freeze-dried ice cream to celebrate the event and promote the VMAs on August 27 to those who tweeted with the hashtag #TotalEclipseVMA and the female astronaut emoji.
Both Volvo and Mitsubishi sponsored livestreams of the eclipse on Monday morning, working with CNN and ABC, respectively.
Mitsubishi’s event involved the brand attempting to include both the solar eclipse and their new car, the Eclipse Cross, in the same photo. They were also the exclusive sponsor of Good Morning America’s eclipse coverage and provided footage of the eclipse for the show.
— Toshiba Innovation (@ToshibaInnovate) August 21, 2017
Toshiba, partnering with NASA, displayed the space agency’s livestream footage of the eclipse on an enormous monitor in Times Square.