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Total eclipse of the marketing strategy

A rare opportunity is store for retailers tomorrow as they jump on the bandwagon for the ‘all-American’ eclipse. Certain retailers have especially planned marketing stints to celebrate the first solar eclipse in 38 years.

A rare opportunity is store for retailers tomorrow as they jump on the bandwagon for the ‘all-American’ eclipse. Certain retailers have especially planned marketing stints to celebrate the first solar eclipse in 38 years.

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A solar eclipse is a type of eclipse that occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, and when the Moon fully or partially blocks the Sun. The August 21st eclipse (American time) will see the blocked shadow move from coast to coast until it reaches South Carolina.

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Like most large events or special occasions, retailers are cashing in on it, offering deals, suggestions and new eclipse themed marketing schemes to fully utilise the hype that is surrounding the event.

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Although usually the product is what retailers focus on, this time making a memory tangible and real is the experience these retailers are delivering. The human need to collect mementoes as memories is still relevant, but retailers are doing this through marketing rather than selling collectables.

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In researching what retailers are doing to celebrate the Solar Eclipse, most are focused on selling specialty products that day. Here is a list of marketing campaigns that are tailored to the eclipse.

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Krispy Kreme:

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Krispy Kreme will debut the first-ever chocolate version of the chain’s iconic original glazed doughnut to celebrate the solar eclipse.

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Chiquita Bananas:

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The banana brand’s deal only really impacts New Yorkers, as it is giving away free eclipse glasses near the Flatiron Building in Manhattan on Sunday, August 21. 

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More interesting is the fact that the company is claiming to be responsible for every solar eclipse in history, or, as Chiquita refers to the event, every “banana sun” of all time. 

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Nike:

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Nike is promoting black shoes and clothing as “solar eclipse picks.” 

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“On August 21st, take your look from day to night to day again in all black,” the company’s website reads.

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Denny’s:

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On Monday, August 21, Denny’s is celebrating $4 All You Can Eat “Mooncakes.”

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“Inspired by the upcoming solar eclipse, Denny’s is celebrating this once-in-a-lifetime event with delicious, moon-shaped Buttermilk Pancakes,” the company said in a release. “The Mooncakes will be available for one day only, but America can continue to experience Denny’s regular pancakes — which look a lot like the moon — every other day of the year.”

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It doesn’t matter if the companies have nothing to do with astronomy — everyone is eager to find some kind of connection to the solar eclipse. 

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Meanwhile, over 50 retailers are selling (and sold out) approved eclipse viewing glasses. Retailers including Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy have sold of their eclipse glasses online, although Amazon has recalled thousands of pairs that turned out to be counterfeit.

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NASA alone as given out 1.5 million solar glasses for free in the hopes people will be more careful with their viewings, as staring into the sun isn’t overly great for your eyesight.

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This is the big opportunity for retailers who have have long used special events and holidays to build business. But occasions like the solar eclipse are rare (once every 38 years) so retailers have time to plan but also have a small window of opportunity to use the event in their marketing. 

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