For many of us, watching the April 8, 2024, eclipse was a wonder of nature, a rare and spectacular event to tuck into the memory bank. For marketers, however, it was a rare and spectacular event of another kind…the money-making kind.

Forecasts were that the eclipse would bring in $1.5 billion in revenue from everything from eclipse glasses and eclipse-themed hats and t-shirts, to travel and lodging for eclipse-chasers, to merchandise with eclipse-themed labels slapped on it for the occasion.

There was eclipse-themed beer.

There was eclipse-themed wine and spirits.

There was eclipse-themed ice cream.

Heck, there was even eclipse-themed water.

(Last Friday’s Around the Web rounded up more eclipse-themed food and drink. —Ed.)

What do all of these have in common? Smart marketers who capitalized on an opportunity.

It just begs the question. What other events, including local ones, present similar opportunities? Local music festivals? Car shows? How about the annual Shenandoah Apple Festival in Winchester, Va.? Or the 2024 ATX Crawfish Kickoff Festival in Austin, Tex.?

Just how big does an event need to be in order to justify its own short-run, limited edition label? Only as big as necessary for each individual customer to sell enough of its products to gain brand recognition at turn a profit.

Those opportunities are out there, and the eclipse just reminds us of that. What are printers doing to find or create them? For example, if you are near the annual Grange Agricultural Fair in Centre Hall, Pa. (which draws over 100,000 visitors every year), consider how, for the 10 days of the event, a local brewery might create different brews to represent visitors’ favorite animal:

  • “Ewe Brew” for sheep lovers
  • “Moo Brew” for cow lovers
  • “Billy Brew” for goat lovers
  • “Hoppy Hare Ale” for rabbit lovers
  • “Swine Stein” for pig lovers

Attend the fair and wash down your burger with a beer themed with your favorite critter. How about Grain Grinder Expresso or Bale Buster Blend for your morning cup ‘o joe? The possibilities are endless.

(Wonder AI can’t spell Tractor or Trail, but you get the point.)

The merchandise bonanza generated by the eclipse can also be a creative bonanza for printers looking to create value for their customers and opportunities to keep their presses busy, too. No matter where you are, there is a special event coming to a market near you. So why not channel the creativity (and sometimes even audacity) of eclipse marketers and bring the idea of limited-edition, event-themed merchandise to your customers? Sometimes, nothing has to change but the label.