As the “Big Game” approaches on Sunday, there’s been a lot of talk about real-time marketing gone bad.
Heck, we saw it on full display last Sunday during the Grammys, didn’t we? (see below–thank you Arby’s)
But, I don’t hear a lot of chatter about real-time marketing DONE RIGHT. Admittedly, it’s tougher to find, but I thought I’d go looking.
— QuakerOats (@Quaker) January 27, 2014
When I did, I found the seven following examples from the past year that I thought did a pretty nice job in terms of “real-time marketing”. Hopefully, brands will learn from these leaders this Sunday!
What can brands learn: Nothing overly sexy or cute here–just a solid message in support of equality and a gentle push. Sometimes shorter is better.
What can brands learn: Although this was a fairly polarizing campaign (ironic, considering what it’s about, right?), I loved much of the execution including Starbucks’ offer that week of one large coffee for those who randomly bought someone else in line their favorite drink (driving traffic in-stores). The lesson: Sometimes “doing the right thing” comes before profits.
— Walmart (@Walmart) January 26, 2014
What can brands learn: You know why this works so well? Because it’s simple and it drives traffic TO WALMART STORES! Imagine that, marketing that actually sells stuff. Huh?
Belize Tourism Board
What can brands learn: While this short note is clearly a PR play by a big agency based here in Minnesota (OLSON, in case you’re wondering), it’s a brilliant one. From the tone of the letter (not pushy, references specific characters, but also with a clear ask) to way they simply built off one line in one episode of one of the more popular shows of the last 10 years. Also: OLSON took it one step further recently with this real-time play off the recent #polarvortex (although I could do without the “one really cool idea” line at the end, I did love the concept).
— Verizon (@Verizon) November 15, 2013
What brands can learn: You don’t ALWAYS have to be the center of attention, brands. And, you don’t ALWAYS need to be selling. This wonderful tweet did neither, which is why it worked so well on that day in November.
What brands can learn: Clean, put powerful visual (look Mom, no Photoshop!) along with a subtle headline that gently pushes their product.
As the “Big Game” approaches this weekend, there’s one thing I always like to check.
No, not the money line.
The prop bets.
My favorites from this year’s crop include:
“Will Knoshown Moreno cry during the National Anthem?”
“Will Michael Crabtree mention Richard Sherman in a tweet during the game?” (God I hope not)
“Will the power go out in the stadium during the game?” (LOL Super Bowl)
But, after watching a funny conversation on Twitter with fellow Twin Cities PRs/social media marketers George Fiddler and Andrew Miller, I’m enthralled with a whole new category of prop bets: The Real-Time Marketing prop bets!
So, let’s get this going right now! Let’s have some fun with this. Here’s my line-up of 15 Real-Time Marketing prop bets. If you care to wager, please email me at arik@arikhanson. I am NOT kidding!
1–Number of worthless branded hash tags featured on ads during the Super Bowl: Over/Under–127
2–Number of different shapes Oreo will construe its cookie in for Facebook posts/Instagram pics/tweets: Over/Under–8
3–Number of “clever” tweets clearly written by advertising firm copywriters: Over/Under: Too many to count
4–Number of times the #beatspills (this is a real thing) tweet about Richard Sherman during the game: Over/Under 23
— Beats By Dre (@beatsbydre) January 27, 2014
5–Number of tweets by Carmax forcing the #SlowClap hash tag upon us: Over/Under 13
6–Number of tweets, Facebook post, Instagram pics, Snapchats, YouTube videos, Quora posts and Pins brands post congratulating the winning team: Over/Under: 1,452
7–Number of tweets by brands simply announcing the score: Over/Under: 8 (yes, I am predicting this will happen)
8–Number of brands who won’t be able to resist the chance to blantantly push their products in a tweet while trying their best to be relevant to viewers of the Big Game: Over/Under: 34
9–How many Vines will Dunkin Donuts post during the “Big Game?” Over/Under–16
The lights are going out on the last regular season game in San Francisco, and our players will miss the ol… https://t.co/LzRx7a9WPk
— Dunkin’ Donuts (@DunkinDonuts) December 24, 2013
10–Number of hash tags used that will exceed 20 characters: Over/Under–15
11–Number of times brands will reference the cold/snow/wind chill in an attempt to “connect with consumers”: Over/Under–23
12–How many times will SEGA use the hash tag #beastmode to promote the release of its newest re-claimed video game: Altered Beast 2: The Return? Over/Under: 7
13–Number of “jokes” brands attempt using the Omaha snap-count Peyton Manning’s been using all season long: Over/Under–45
14–Number of times Campbell’s will tweet about it’s Chunky Soup line using the #potroast hash tag during the game (nickname of Denver’s Terrance Knighton): Over/Under: 4
15–How many Photoshopped photos of NFL players will GoDaddy use in its tweets playing off this commercial? Over/Under: 8 (love this commercial, btw)
16–How many times will M&Ms (Mars) use the #whathappenedtopeanut hash tag (#buriedinsnow?) during the Big Game? Over/Under: 12
17–Will Bose attempt to pick a Twitter fight (hello publicity stunt) with Beats in the pre-game as Richard Sherman parades around Met Life Stadium with his Beats headphones on? Money line: 220/150
18–Number of tweets Toro will send during the game offering to help clean off Met Life Stadium (in the event it’s snowing during the game): Over/Under: 9
19–How many brands will tweet the following: “RT if you’re excited to watch the Big Game tonight!” in a lame attempt to gain RTs: Over/Under: 34
20–Number of times Hydrox Cookies will tweet at Oreo during the Big Game, continuing to claim that it was, in fact, the first creme-filled chocolate cookie: Over/Under: 21
21–Number of times Arbys will ask Bruno Mars when it can have it’s hat back (after Bruno Mars steals Pharrell’s hat and wears it during his live halftime show performance): Over/Under–7
Oreo. Say the brand name in a room for of marketers these days and you’ll quickly hear words like “OMG– love”, “real-time marketing experts” and “brilliant marketers.”
And I’ve been one of those people singing their praises in the past. I love some of the content marketing Oreo has done on Facebook, specifically.
If you’ll remember, Oreo has been rather adept at navigating these Twitter comebacks. Remember the AMC Theater back-and-forth?
Yes, Oreo has done some ground-breaking things when it comes to content marketing online and even “real-time marketing”, if you want to use that label. Maybe most importantly they’ve built a model with Nabisco where they can move and create content and responses in a very agile and fast-moving way–that’s definitely nothing to slough off as I have yet to see a lot of brands do this well.
But, should we really be ready to crown them (or their agency) as the greatest marketers to ever walk the earth?
I’m not so sure.
We’ve become so entirely swept up in the real-time marketing/quippy Twitter responses hype engine–and we have no proof any of this is actually working (outside of the top-line social metrics we can all see, which isn’t much).
Look back at those MediaBistro and AdAge articles–is this what constitutes “successful” marketing online these days?
And all this, for what? Because Oreo provided a couple clever responses to KitKat’s equally as clever a response? Again, this is what serves as “success” now in terms of marketing online?
I think the entire internet just threw up in its mouth a little.
Like I said before, I thought some of Oreo’s prior content marketing efforts were fairly smart. Building unique visual content that plays off the product itself? Leveraging useless holidays to create a conversation and awareness around Oreo? Even the Super Bowl post, to an extent. Those were smart strategies to build brand for Oreo online.
But, this Twitter chit-chat stuff with Kit-Kat (and before, AMC Theaters)? I just don’t see it as “brilliant marketing.” I see it as clever tweet writing. Nothing more. Nothing less.
For all the cool back-and-forths, what has Oreo really accomplished? Sure, these exchanges have gotten the brand a fair amount of press. And I’m sure they impact volume and sentiment since they usually lead to a number of RTs and replies. But, did all this sell more cookies or build markedly more awareness for the brand? Of course, we don’t know because we aren’t Oreo or its agency.
So what do you think? Is Oreo really the brilliant marketers everyone has labeled them to be? Love a lot of what they’ve done, but I’m not ready to crown them just yet…