Absentee Event Marketing

Stephanie Barba

November 8, 2018

More often than not, leveraging a specific event for marketing purposes requires a presence at said event—it’s hard to talk about a part unless you’re at it. For the savvy, there’s a workaround: just talk to people already at the party and get them to leverage on your behalf.

In a recent interview, Jessica Robinson, VP marketing for portfolio brands at Heineken USA, revealed that the best way for smaller portfolio brands with little budget to get in front of their audience is to connect with consumers in the moment—remotely tapping into events.

Robinson mentions two recent situations where her marketing team connected with consumers through an event:

  1. During the latest Winter Olympics, the Jamaican Bobsled Team had their coach quit and threaten to take the team’s bobsled away. Red Stripe (a Heineken USA brand) offered to buy the team a new bobsled via Twitter. And they did.
  2. While the world watched the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Queer Eye cast member Antoni Porowski celebrated with a Strongbow (another Heineken USA brand with strong ties in England). Yes, technically this is more influencer than event marketing, but the opportunity came about because of the event itself.


In 2018, event marketing does not necessarily mean being present at the Olympics or a royal wedding. Tapping into any event through a social media or influencer approach can be just as effective.


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