Monthly Archives: February 2013

What Others Are Saying Right Now About Real-Time Marketing

The Oscars have spurred a lot of intense commentary about real-time marketing, pro and con. Here are some of the links I’ve gathered; will add more as they become available.

Five Fast Truths About Real-Time Marketing (opinion piece by Ian Schafer, of Deep Focus)

When Did Twitter Grow Up? (Ad Age)

Most Oscars Real-Time Marketing Falls Flat (Digiday)

Oreo Tries Super Bowl Tweet Strategy at the Oscars (Adweek)

How the Marketing Community Lost Last Night #OscarsRTM (by David Armano, who created the hashtag)

I’m not sure who is behind the “Real-Time Marketing Sucks” Tumblr that was set up last night, but you can see some examples of Oscars real-time marketing here.

Update (2/26/13)

Time for Real Introspection on Real-Time Marketing (by Scott Monty of Ford)

The Script of Improv: What Is (and Isn’t) Real-Time Marketing (by Rohit Bhargava)

Not Every Major Cultural Moment Deserves an Immediate Response (by Sarah Hofstetter of 360i, the agency behind Oreo’s Super Bowl tweet)

 

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Did Oreo Create a Monster?

What a difference a few weeks makes.

At the start of this month, the ad industry was falling all over itself to laud Oreo for its real-time marketing moment during the Super Bowl power outage. When the brand posted a picture of an Oreo with a sassy comment, it was as if the collective lights went ON among the marketing community:

“Real time is hot!”

“Real-time is the answer!”

“I need some real-time, stat!”

And then came the Oscars. And we saw, unfortunately, what happens when brands try too hard to jump on a trend. Most of the marketing I saw posted on Twitter during the Oscars was content that was already developed, “canned” so to speak, or simply deployed at an opportune moment. Only a few marketers took it to the next level, developing creative that was actually timed to what was going on during the telecast.

A hashtag set up by Edelman Digital exec David Armano to track the Oscars real-time marketing, #OscarsRTM, saw discussion quickly change from a few industry intelligentsia talking about the pros and cons of real-time marketing (myself included) to a mass of naysayers eager to bash everything they saw. To be sure, there were a lot of hamfisted attempts at being “relevant.” But the negative reaction will no doubt send many brands and their agencies back to square one when it comes to using real-time marketing. Some will probably not return, and deem the concept a flash in the pan. This couldn’t be further from the truth; there is so much to  be learned about what it means to be responsive, reactive and relevant, for brands. As I tweeted yesterday during the aftermath of the Oscars,

Advertisers Get Real (Time) For the Super Bowl

Nothing like a little power outage to get advertisers’ creative juices going, and boy, did they ever take advantage.

Marketers ranging from Oreo to Tide posted tweets and status updates on Facebook, delivering catchy responses to the unusual situation.

Ever since Oreo conducted its “Daily Twist” campaign last year, I had been waiting for the brand to come up with something else in the real-time realm. When the blackout happened, Oreo and its digital agency, 360i, quickly came up with a four-word tweet and an image, and posted it to the Oreo Twitter account.

The quick response happened because Oreo and 360i had planned ahead and gathered a team of agency and brand marketers to “listen to and optimize the chatter on the Internet,” 360i’s president, Sarah Hofstetter, told the Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog.

In another example, Tide and its agency, Digitas, posted a tweet and an image with the words “We can’t get your blackout but we can get your stains out.”

Other brands such as Walgreens sent out timely tweets but didn’t take the time to develop new creative. But after seeing the creative executions from Tide and Oreo, merely tweeting a few words in response to a situation now seems too easy. These brands have stepped up the game, and the response to the tweets shows that people appreciate the effort. The Oreo tweet was retweeted more than 15,000 times as of this morning, while the Tide tweet has shown less traction, with 1,300 retweets. For what it’s worth, Oreo’s post went up three minutes before Tide’s did. First mover advantage?

Expect more marketers to take steps to shorten the creative development process to better take advantage of a moment. For Oreo and Tide, a 34-minute blackout gave them an opportunity to deliver a message that was relevant both to the brand and to the situation. And they got a lot of free publicity to boot – neither one bought an ad on Twitter to promote their blackout-themed tweets; they simply let the Twitter community — and a lot of journalists — do the work.