Agile project management is something that many tech teams have adopted in the past few years, to rapidly build and develop new products, and to finesse existing ones. There is a focus on sprints, and on getting things done quickly. 

Increasingly, we are seeing the signs that marketing teams are also becoming more agile. Consider the amount of advertising and marketing that is based around a news hook. This is nothing new, but it seems to be on the rise.

Social media might be one reason why agile marketing is on the rise. Brands have spent the last few years figuring out how to react on the likes of Twitter and Facebook. They now know what works, in terms of the type of content they share and produce. Social media has also allowed a lot of brands to establish a new tone of voice: more human, more transparent, and – as we shall see – more humourous. 

The ability to react quickly on social channels is important, to nip things in the bud, and to encourage interaction and engagement. Many companies are now doing this well, and some have figured out that rapid response can be applied to marketing more broadly. If done correctly, it will be amplified on social media (note the number of ‘favourites’ and ‘retweets’ in the Super Bowl tweets below). Earned media FTW. 

I thought I’d compile a bunch of examples of agile marketing, although, by way of a caveat, some of these things may have been planned a little while in advance. While I can’t be absolutely sure of the processes involved or speed of execution, I do know that these examples are mainly ‘reactionary’, be that a response to a news story, to customer or user feedback, or to another brand. I have a bunch of ideas on how to structure an agile marketing team and the kind of processes to put in place, but I’ll explore all of that in a separate post. 

Ok, let’s check them out…

First up, three Super Bowl-related tweets. When the lights failed, some sharp marketers spotted an opportunity… 




Oreo also supported Gay Pride by posting a picture of a rainbow-coloured biscuit on Facebook. I’m not sure if it was planned well in advance or dreamt up the day before, but its backing of equal rights generated 300,000 likes and 90,000+ shares (as well as a lot of backlash from the narrow-minded, as you might expect). 

AMC Theatres

While we’re talking about Oreo, here’s AMC sticking it to Oreo. A little brand sparring on Twitter keeps people entertained… a rising tide floats all boats, right?


Kraft’s Jell-O Pudding giveaway

After the 49ers lost the Super Bowl Kraft launched a ‘consolation’ giveaway…


The optician had fun at Edwin Hazard’s expense, after the footballer laid into a timewasting ball boy

Meanwhile, Tesco (among other brands) made the news recently after some of its beef products were found to contain horsemeat. This has caused a lot of outrage, and much mirth, not least among marketers…




BMW vs Audi

Moving away from horses, this is probably my favourite outdoor ad campaign, a classic game of oneupmanship… 

Touche, Audi!

Ann Summers

One of the first implementations of a paid search campaign based around a news hook. Vaguely contextual, I guess! 

Howies’ #savebbc6music t-shirt

The clothing brand clearly loves good music and tapped into the campaign to save BBC Radio 6 by producing a t-shirt…


Bookseller’s Association: ‘We pay our taxes’

The association produced a bunch of buttons for indie bookshops to use, while taking a swipe at Amazon.


Gandul’s ‘Come To Romania’ ad

Following a Top Gear episode the Romanian newspaper created a print ad (one of a series) to promote tourism.

PaddyPower sticks two fingers up at LOGOC

Another cheeky slice of advertising from PaddyPower, which creates ads in response to user feedback. In this case, it sponsored an egg and spoon race – among other events – in London, France. 

Other brands decided to bend LOGOC’s draconian rules too…


Formal Focus Wear

Credit: @tompsk

Pepsi’s response to #CokeChase

Here’s Pepsi having fun at Coke’s expense… so much for ‘don’t mention the competition’.

LEGO’s feelgood factor

Check out LEGO’s response to this email from an 11-year old. You might file this under customer service, though good service makes for great marketing, especially when the customer (or his Dad) tweets about it. It generated a lot of positive sentiment, and made the ITV News ‘and finally’ slot. Agile marketing? In a roundabout way, yes. 

Greggs protests the ‘pasty tax’

The Greggs CEO rocked up to Westminster for a spot of protesting, which led to widespread coverage.

Morrison’s free hot or cold sausage roll giveaway

The supermarket chain also jumped on the ‘pasty tax’ news story by placing a voucher in The Sun. 

Sainsbury’s rebrands Tiger Bread

Another heartwarming tale, following a letter to the supermarket from a three-year old with excellent observational skills.

The supermarket also knows how to have fun on Twitter.

Newcastle Brown Ale vs Stella Artois

Its ‘no bollocks’ ad campaign pokes fun at a rival’s mealy-mouthed sloganeering.

Kellogg’s creates a new cereal brand

Tim Burgess made an offhand remark on Twitter featuring one of the worst phrases uttered in living memory, and the cereal manufacturer launched a new brand. Well, kind of

Old Spice

In what remains a remarkable campaign, Old Spice rapidly created almost 200 videos based around questions it solicited on social media sites.  

Golden Wonder

This is a bonus example, the 27th, as I spotted it just after I published this post. It’s from Golden Wonder, which has responded within three hours to the news that the Pope is to resign. Marvelllous!

If you have seen examples of ultra-fast marketing then be sure to leave a comment below!