Definition of Newsjacking

Newsjacking refers to the practice of leveraging trending news and current events to promote one’s brand or product. The goal is to generate media attention and public interest by connecting the brand with a hot topic or news story. By doing this, marketers can improve brand visibility, increase engagement, and ultimately boost sales.


The phonetic pronunciation of the word “Newsjacking” would be: /ˈnuːzˌdʒækɪŋ/Using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), the breakdown of the word is:/ˈnuːz/ for “news” – like the word “new” but with an “s” sound at the end/ˌdʒæk/ for “jack” – like the name “Jack”/ɪŋ/ for “ing” – the standard “ing” sound in English words like “running,” “walking,” etc.

Key Takeaways

  1. Newsjacking is a powerful marketing strategy that involves capitalizing on the popularity of current events to promote a brand, product, or service.
  2. Timing is crucial for successful newsjacking – it’s essential to respond quickly while the news is still fresh and maintain relevance to the audience.
  3. Successful newsjacking requires creativity, thoughtfulness, and a good understanding of the target audience to create a compelling and relatable context for your brand.

Importance of Newsjacking

Newsjacking, as a digital marketing term, holds significance as it allows marketers to capitalize on the momentum of trending news stories, generating increased visibility, engagement, and relevance for their brands.

By swiftly reacting to breaking news, marketers create and share content that seamlessly integrates their brand into ongoing conversations, ultimately amplifying their message and reaching a wider audience.

This strategy fosters brand awareness, showcases industry expertise, and builds credibility, paving the way for improved customer perception and loyalty.

Moreover, newsjacking, when executed creatively and respectfully, can boost the brand’s online presence, resulting in enhanced organic search rankings, social media virality, and media coverage—compounding the positive impact on the brand’s overall digital marketing success.


Newsjacking serves as a valuable digital marketing strategy that involves capitalizing on the popularity and immediacy of current news stories, trends, or events to bolster a brand’s visibility, relevance, and authority. The primary purpose of newsjacking is to create and share content that resonates with the target audience by riding on the wave of trending topics, and in turn, gain amplified brand exposure and consumer engagement.

With attention spans becoming increasingly shorter, businesses proactively scout for opportunities to craft content that keeps them fresh, relevant, and part of the conversation so that they remain top-of-mind for their target market. To put newsjacking into action, digital marketers actively monitor news platforms, social media, and industry publications to identify breaking stories or emerging trends that are highly relevant to their niche markets.

Once an opportunity arises, marketers quickly jump into the fray by crafting thoughtful, engaging, and pertinent content that leverages the buzz generated around the news. This could take the form of blog posts, articles, social media updates, or multimedia assets like videos, images, and infographics.

By timing it well and adding value to the conversation, brands can effectively draw eyeballs to their content, fostering increased brand advocacy, conversions, and online growth.

Examples of Newsjacking

Newsjacking is the practice of capitalizing on the popularity of a news story or trending topic to amplify one’s marketing efforts or message. Here are three real-world examples:

Oreo’s Super Bowl Blackout Tweet (2013): During the Super Bowl XLVII, there was a power outage that caused a 34-minute delay in the game. Oreo quickly took advantage of this unexpected incident by tweeting “Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark.” The clever and timely tweet, featuring an image of an Oreo with the caption, went viral and received over 15,000 retweets and 20,000 likes on Facebook. Oreo successfully newsjacked the Super Bowl blackout, gaining significant attention and engagement on social media.

Arby’s Grammy’s Tweet (2014): During the 2014 Grammy Awards, musician Pharrell Williams wore a unique and oversized hat that drew a lot of attention on social media. Arby’s, a fast-food restaurant chain whose logo features a similar hat, quickly newsjacked the situation by tweeting at Pharrell, “Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat back? #GRAMMYs.” The tweet went viral with over 80,000 retweets and added buzz to both Pharrell’s hat and Arby’s brand.

Volvo’s “Greatest Interception Ever” Campaign (2015): During Super Bowl XLIX, Volvo launched its “Greatest Interception Ever” campaign. Instead of running an expensive ad during the game, Volvo encouraged viewers to tweet using the hashtag #VolvoContest whenever they saw a car commercial from a competing brand. Volvo then selected random winners from those who participated and awarded them a brand-new Volvo. This newsjacking effort successfully redirected attention from competitor’s ads to Volvo without spending on a traditional ad slot.

FAQ: Newsjacking

What is newsjacking?

Newsjacking is the process of injecting your own brand, product, or perspective into breaking news stories in order to gain media attention and raise your brand’s awareness. It involves capitalizing on the popularity of a news story and associating it with your marketing efforts.

Why is newsjacking important?

Newsjacking is important because it helps your business to stay relevant and participate in current conversations. It’s a cost-effective marketing strategy that drives traffic, engagement, and potentially helps to increase your customer base and brand visibility.

How do I identify newsjacking opportunities?

To identify newsjacking opportunities, follow these steps:
1. Monitor the news and trending stories relevant to your industry.
2. Assess the potential impact of the stories on your target audience.
3. Identify stories that align with your brand’s values and marketing objectives.
4. Quickly develop content and marketing messages related to the news event.
5. Publish and promote the content on your website, social media, and other relevant channels.

What are the risks of newsjacking?

Newsjacking can be risky as it involves leaping onto a trend or story that might evolve or change quickly. It is important to carefully assess the situation and understand the news story completely before capitalizing on it. Inappropriate or insensitive newsjacking can lead to negative publicity and damage your brand’s reputation.

What are some examples of successful newsjacking?

Examples of successful newsjacking include Oreo’s timely tweet during the 2013 Super Bowl blackout and brands capitalizing on the popular Game of Thrones series for marketing purposes. These instances allowed businesses to connect with their audiences by demonstrating their relevance and creativity through timely content.

Related Digital Marketing Terms

  • Real-time Marketing
  • Trending Topics
  • Brand Exposure
  • PR Strategy
  • Content Amplification

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