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Lessons about real-time marketing from Oreo

Social & Digital

Lessons about real-time marketing from Oreo


With the long-awaited Twitter IPO now over the world has become even more focused on how the social media platform is being used. The timing for the IPO couldn’t be better. 2013 has been the year that many brands finally “got” Twitter. A standout example is Oreo’s real time marketing during the USA’s Super Bowl. So what did Oreo do to get it right?

The tweet that every marketer wished they were behind happened during the face-off between Ravens and the 49ers during the February Super Bowl. During the game the power to the New Orleans Super Dome went out plunging the stadium into darkness. Oreo saw an opportunity and shot out a tweet saying “Power out? No Problem” with a link to an image of an Oreo with a caption saying “You can still dunk in the dark.” The really impressive part is that the creative could be designed, written and approved in minutes. It resulted in over 15,000 retweets and while it’s not possible to know exactly how many people saw the message the average Twitter account has around 200 followers. That’s an approximate reach of 3 million Twitter users.

With that simple timely tweet by Oreo, real-time marketing became the “in” thing with advertising professionals. After it won a Grand Prix and five other awards at advertisings premier awards ceremony in Cannes, marketers everywhere took notice. Shortly after the recent royal birth, many marketers tweeted out images and messages in an attempt to look spontaneous, but none had the impact of the Oreo tweet.

The truth is that Oreo had over 18 month’s of planning and preparation behind them to make sure they could capitalise on any opportunity. Bryan Wiener, the Chairman and CEO of 360i, the social media agency behind the Oreo’s social media strategy said, “The Super Bowl tweet made our social media outreach seem like an overnight success, but it took a year-and-half of practice to prepare for that moment.”

Locally it has been the sports team themselves that have been leading the way. Many of the AFL teams such as Richmond, Essendon, Geelong and Hawthorn had injured players take over their account during games to give a unique real-time spin. And now Coke is planning for global real-time marketing around the Football World Cup which will be staged in Brazil next year.

What is clear is that all of these brands have empowered teams with the ability to act quickly and take advantage of events as they happen. They have thrown out the normal approval processes and have made sure the social media teams know how to represent the brand.

So after the dust has settled on the Twitter IPO and we move into 2014 and begin looking at the major sporting and public events for the year, you may have to be asking yourself “Are we ready for real-time?”

Mark Cameron

Mark Cameron is CEO of customer experience innovation agency Working Three and a world renowned digital strategy commentator with well over 400 published articles. Specialties: Digital innovation, Digital customer experience strategy, Social media strategy, Digital strategy, Online Marketing strategy. He blogs at markrcameron.com and tweets from @MarkRCameron.

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