In last Sunday’s Super Bowl, Oreo hit it big with a real-time marketing effort that became the talk – and tweet – of the event. During the Super Bowl’s unexpected electrical blackout, Oreo’s “you can still dunk in the dark” tweet was re-tweeted almost 15,000 times. Oreo’s Twitter following, meanwhile, increased by about 8,000. The blackout post garnered nearly 20,000 likes on Facebook. And Oreo went from having 2,000 Instagram followers pre-game to 36,000, with more than 16,000 pictures submitted by consumers as votes for “Cookie” or “Creme,” tying to their Super Bowl ad-spurred seven-week contest for the best part of the Oreo.
But while the power outage certainly wasn’t anticipated, the real-time marketing effort wasn’t just a shot in the dark – it was the result of a carefully architected social-media strategy that made the brand ready to respond to whatever the Big Game threw its way. Oreo created a a social media command center, so that they could respond in real time to comments and buzz.
The effort’s effect on sales is not yet known (and stores were for the most part closed at that time of night). Meanwhile the Cookie vs. Creme debate will continue with an in-store promo that encourages consumers to vote.
Gone are the days when brands could plan out their marketing and public relations programs well in advance and release them on their own timetable.
“Real time” means news breaks over minutes, not days. It means companies must adjust and optimize their marketing campaigns instantly, based on events in the marketplace or feedback from customers.
Savvy marketers are retooling their communications practices to market more nimbly and take advantage of fleeting opportunities, online and off.