Oscars’ Hindsight is 20/20 Thanks to Specsavers

Specsavers capitalizes on the Oscars' mixup with viral Facebook post

Warren Beatty should’ve gone to Specsavers.

This week’s digital marketing success story is about the Optometrist Specsavers Australia and how a simple Newsjacking went viral on Facebook.

What on Earth is Newsjacking?

A term popularized by David Meerman Scott (he wrote the book on it here), Hubspot describes Newsjacking as the following:

The practice of capitalizing on the popularity of a news story to amplify your sales and marketing success.

When there is breaking news with a lot of attention, you know like someone reading the wrong card for Best Picture at the Oscars, you quickly and cleverly inject your company into the conversation to ride the wave of public interest. Basically, anyone searching about that event will hopefully find you.

When Newsjacking on Facebook, you put out a Facebook post (one or more) to gain more exposure for your business’ Facebook page. This hopefully gets new business and picks up new followers that come back after the story is over.

Specsavers Australia makes the case every business should try this.


What we Learn From Specsavers Australia: A simple and effective way to execute ‘Newsjacking’ on Facebook.

Example: The Specsavers Australia Facebook post released only hours after the Oscars Best Picture announcement mix up.

Viral Facebook post by Specsavers after Moonlight Oscars' mix up

In case you missed it, this is what inspired Specsavers’ Facebook post:

Why Was Specsavers’ Facebook Post Effective?

It got over 4,000 shares and 25,000 likes because it was:

  1. Funny — Not just the blurry picture but the post description above it. La La Land was originally announced as the Best Picture winner.
  2. Timely — Released almost immediately after the Oscars mixup,Specsavers got in at the beginning of news coverage and public interest on the topic.
  3. A perfect fit for their marketing message — After a bad sports call, how many times have you heard someone say, “How was that a foul??? Get that ref some glasses” or “A strike?! Get your eyes checked”. Specsavers has been putting out funny content around this idea that people do crazy or funny things when they have bad vision, therefore, they should’ve gone to Specsavers. The video below is from 5 years ago, where a vet might have reached the wrong diagnosis:

The Bigger Picture: When the Right Newsjacking Opportunity Hits, Strike

News is happening all the time.

Not quite to the Oscars mixup threshold, since it’s such a big pop culture event, but opportunities routinely and predictably present themselves.

Remember when the lights went out at the 2013 Superbowl? Oreo responded very quickly and it was said they won the marketing Superbowl.

Oreos tweet on Twitter during the superbowl to dunk in the dark

Both Oreo and Specsavers Australia displayed agility and creativity with their Newsjacking efforts. Each company’s picture also was in context with their respective marketing messages.

Specsavers with should’ve gone to Specsavers and Oreo with dunking cookies in milk (I could taste an Oreo while I wrote that).

Agility and creativity are in the very DNA of every small company. If deployed against Newsjacking, you might be able to come up with generic ideas that if news somewhat related to your product or service happens, you strike.

Other Thoughts

Blueprint for Newsjacking by Hubspot

If you are interested in a detailed blueprint on Newsjacking, click here for Hubspot’s in-depth guide.

Bonus Oscars’ Newsjacking From None Other Than The Miss Universe Pageant

If anyone remembers that moment when Steve Harvey made his famous mistake, you will appreciate this tweet in light of the Oscars’ screw up.

Miss Universe Tweet after the Oscars' mistake with best picture announcement

Also, this is another viral example of Newsjacking. Notice the number of Retweets and likes.

Bonus Meme

Miss America Tweet to Oscars after Steve Harvey and Oscars' screw up

Tips from the Trenches small business blog by ERP 101

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