If you follow football – or soccer as it’s known in these parts – then you would have most likely seen the story about Barcelona star Dani Alves taking a stand against racism by eating a banana thrown at him by the opposition ‘supporters’.

Racism has been on the rise for a long time in European football and Alves decided enough was enough. After the game he credited the banana for giving him extra energy to assist in 2 of the Barcelona goals that ultimately won them the game.

What followed was seemingly the football world taking a stand against racism. Within hours #weareallmonkeys was trending on twitter, led by Alves Brazilian teammate Neymar. who posted a picture of himself eating a banana with the hashtag. Footballers all over the world began following suit, showing their support for Alves and anti-racism.

Now here’s the clever bit. According to the newspaper AS in Spain, the hashtag #weareallmonkeys was the brain child of marketing firm Loducca and Brazilian marketers Meio e Mensagen, who had enlisted Neymar to front a new anti-racism campaign after the player had been racially abused during a previous Spanish league game.

The paper reports the plan was for Neymar himself to eat the banana thus starting the campaign in motion. The fact Alves ate it first meant they had to be ready to react – and they were.

Timing is everything. The story alone would have generated huge headlines, but the fact Neymar and the marketers were ready to react maximised the impact of their anti-racism message and turned it into a global story, with thousands if not millions of people uploading images of themselves eating a simple banana.

Being current and being able to react to situations can have a huge impact on helping you achieve your goals. The story of Oreo Cookies’ ‘you can still dunk in the dark’ campaign during a black out in the 2013 Superbowl is the perfect example. In the world’s biggest advertising event, one picture, timed to perfection, meant they got more coverage than companies who had spent millions of dollars creating a showpiece for the greatest sporting event on earth.

Seek Australian tried a similar tactic when it became clear Julia Gillard had been removed from her position as Prime Minister, tweeting her “Hey @JuliaGillard, we can help you out! ;)”.

Whether it was the right thing to do is open to debate but it generated coverage for Seek.com.au

Opportunities present themselves almost on a daily basis, It’s how YOU react to them that counts.