In my initial conversations about real-time marketing, the same example keeps coming up: Kraft Foods’ (now Mondelez International’s) Daily Twist campaign for Oreo. In that campaign, which ran from June through September, Oreo delivered a new ad every day for 100 days to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and the oreo.com website. The twist (so to speak) of the marketing campaign was that each ad was created based on real-time information that Oreo’s marketers and agencies gathered. So news events played a role, as well as feedback from Oreo fans on social media sites. The ads can still be seen on a website set up for the campaign.
In an interview with The New York Times as the campaign was ending, Cindy Chen, marketing director for Oreo, said, ““Creating content in real time is not easy to do … But we’re happy to see that the content we’re creating has been found very relevant.”
After the campaign ended, Compete.com looked at the results. According to its analysis, the share of traffic in September 2012 from Facebook and YouTube to Nabisco.com increased – by 19.57 for Facebook and 29.97 for YouTube. 360i also included the campaign as an example of successful content marketing, in its whitepaper on that topic.
While some of the “twists” were certainly driven by real-time events, others seem to have been planned in advance (or at least they could have been). “Talk Like a Pirate Day,” for example, isn’t something that happened spur of the moment. On the other hand, “twists” themed to notable deaths (Nora Ephron, Neil Armstrong) couldn’t have been planned in advance. The campaign was certainly an example of how a marketer can bring several agency resources together for a common goal (it worked with multiple agency partners) and how advertisers can stretch their ability to be nimble and creative at the same time. But as an example of true real-time marketing it shows promise but also the limitations of what can be done on the fly. Creative execution takes time, and marketers can squeeze the cycle down, but a true real-time campaign would have taken even more immediate advantage of an event or trend.