Only a few events capture the nation’s (and much of the world’s) attention — royal weddings, inaugurations, major sporting events and entertainment awards. By their nature, they attract large audiences and an abundance of media attention. In February we experienced two blockbusters: Super Bowl XLVII, with the San Francisco 49ers falling to the Baltimore Ravens, and the Academy Awards, with its impressive lineup of 2013 Oscar winners. With the explosion of social media use in recent years and the nearly 150 million people combined tuning into these events on television while participating in conversations about them online, marketers are taking notice in a new way – real time marketing.
During this year’s infamous power outage at the Super Bowl, Oreo set itself apart from the crowd and literally changed the game of real time marketing on social media by crafting the clever tweet below.
This single tweet was shared more than 16,000 times and the image was “liked” on Facebook more than 20,000 times – making Oreo’s marketing team one of the game’s big winners (along with the Ravens). Ironically, during the most expensive advertising event of the year, Oreo reached a savvy audience for free via social media.
“We had a mission control set up at our office with the brand and 360i [Oreo’s agency], and when the blackout happened, the team looked at it as an opportunity,” 360i president Sarah Hofstetter told Rachel Sanders of BuzzFeed. “Because the brand team was there, it was easy to get approvals and get it up in minutes.”
Looking to create some Oreo-like social media magic, numerous brands including JC Penney, Special K, Stella Artois, Sharpie, Visa, Heinz, US Cellular, Twix, Sprint and Starbucks (tweet from the Oscars included up front) attempted real-time marketing during Sunday’s Oscar broadcast, with varying degrees of success. From congratulating winners, promoting products and sharing photos, these brands sought to engage the millions of people watching the Oscars and promote their brands simultaneously. Come Monday morning, many critics thought a few of these companies missed the mark and were posting content just to post it.
Personally, I’m excited for the next big event to come along – whether it’s the season finale of ABC’s The Bachelor or March Madness – to see how brands will continue to use real-time marketing to comment on events as they are happening while positioning their brands.
A little bit about me: Born and raised in Las Vegas, I’m a San Francisco newbie. I love my family, friends, food and sports tremendously. Anything that helps me stay connected to these things (and combine them) as much as possible is a welcomed addition to my life.