Tag Archives: Oreo

What is Real-Time Advertising? Opinions Vary — A Lot

I’m starting a report covering real-time advertising.

To kick off my research, I conducted an unscientific poll of my connections on Twitter and LinkedIn and asked them to define the term. The results make it clear that no one agrees what real-time advertising is. That’s not surprising in these early days; for a term as precise as “real-time” seems to be, it encompasses a range of advertising and marketing opportunities.

The variations in the definitions I gathered tell me that there is a great opportunity to analyze the role of real-time advertising not only in the real-time marketing ecosystem, but in the larger digital ad business and in the even larger  traditional ad business.

Here are some of the definitions I received:

“Brand interactions with cons. in the moment. Hungry = “Here’s a deal, try this.” Watching a film? = “Similar film coming.” ”

“Oreo.”

“a real time adv is where the contents are delivered by checking the current status/choice of the customer.”

“taking owned content that’s a response to a current event (eg oreo/Super Bowl) then promoting that content via paid media.”

“When you check out reviews of SLR camera lenses on Amazon, then see an ad pop up for SLR camera lenses just minutes later on another website.”

“Twitter postings playing off events everyone is watching, such as the Super Bowl or presidential debates.”

“Traditionally it’s been the newsjacking approach. Quick, reactive advertising based on topical themes that may be newspaper headlines (in the UK Virgin and Specsavers have mastered this approach). Increasingly (similar to the pressures on traditional printed news), this is becoming more of a case of ‘in-the-moment’ rather than ‘after-the-moment’. It’s now a case of proactively being relevant before and as the moment of audience interest is being realised, rather than during and after, but with ads that feel created in the moment as opposed to pre-planned. In essence it should feel less like traditional agency art, and more like community constructed content, just from a commercial source.”

You probably want to know which definition I agree with. I’ll come back later with a definition — after I finish my report.

Advertisements

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.

What the Oreo Daily Twist Campaign Accomplished

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.