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Real Time Media & The Suarez Chomp

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At World Cup time almost every ad has a football aspect to it. I spent all day in the car on Sunday and lost count of the radio ads sung to the tune of ‘Ere we go’, contained lazy football puns or just had crowd ambience playing beneath the voiceover.Other than the usual suspects like Nike & Adidas and newcomer Beats by Dre; most ads are a bit obvious and seem to serve little purpose other than make people cringe.The World Cup has always been a social event but World Cup 2014 was always going to be a Social Media event. Facebook and Twitter have been fighting for the conversation crown; only time will tell who wins but both platforms have been awash with WC banter and real time marketing efforts.

Real time marketing, newsroom mentality & social media war room have been big buzzwords for a while now and many marketers talk up their activity in this space. The real spike came after Oreo posted the famous ‘Dunk in the Dark’ Super Bowl tweet and since then the bandwagon has been well and truly rolling.

From an audience reach perspective the World Cup murders the Super Bowl so media and creative types have been watching their social feeds eagerly for moments of marketing brilliance that they can retweet, share or critique. Up until yesterday I hadn’t really seen anything of note. Then Luis Suarez decided to take a bite out of Giorgio Chiellini of Italy.

Within minutes Peperami had posted a vine which was actually quite funny. Then Snickers got involved, then Budweiser, McDonalds, Nandos, Listerine, Trident, Whataburger, the Whole Food Market, TGI Fridays, JCPenney, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Surf,  Rajnigandha, Shilajit Gold, Paddy Power  & even MLB (Major League Baseball) had a go. These are the ones I’ve found; I bet there were a hundred more. The only advertiser who didnt get involved were Suarez’s sponsor; Adidas who tweeted before the game that he was ‘A Weapon’.

Luis Suarez Vampire Bite

Picture credit: Jim’ll Paint It

I started thinking back to my time in the car on Sunday. Most real time marketing efforts are opportunistic and lack any real creativity. To understand whether they make any difference at all we’d need to see some ROI studies. I do know that Oreo couldn’t quantify the effect of the dunk in the dark tweet and stayed away from real time efforts in this year’s Super Bowl.

I do believe that quality real time marketing will cut through but only for a few brands who generate ads of a high quality. The real problem is that they only appear on a handful of social platforms and still don’t reach a truly mass global audience. To make a real difference it needs to be more deeply integrated in the overall marketing plan. When real time creative hits the TV we will see the game change.

[By Managing Partner, Digital, Alan King - originally posted at alanking.org]