The social team at Oreo revolutionized the way digital marketers think about brands’ content strategies by taking advantage of the Super Bowl blackout of 2013. As the industry continues to shift away from pre-planned brand product shots toward a culturally-aware approach to social media, we can expect increased importance in real-time marketing.
Brands and agencies are now war-room-ready and eager to interact with social audiences on a new personal level. Advertising at sporting events and award shows are no longer strictly “pay-to-play,” but these events now serve as open spaces for brands to jump in and fully connect with their audiences about fast-paced cultural events. Real-time channels, like Twitter and Instagram Stories, are ideal outlets for brands to position themselves as industry leaders with in-the-moment content and social commentary.
Focusing on the unexpected details of cultural events proves to be an advantageous strategy for digital marketers. Similar to Oreo’s moment, another example of a brand inserting themselves into a previously irrelevant conversation is Red Lobster capitalizing on Beyonce’s “Formation” lyrics mentioning their brand. While the seafood restaurant brand at first didn’t have the opportunity to promote themselves with the release of Beyonce’s new album, the detail of her lyrics allowed the brand to jump into the culturally-relevant conversation and insert their voice into the dialogue.
Brands can create their own viral moments by focusing on background context and bringing it into the limelight on social. Unexpected moments of an event can easily be repurposed into viral social commentary, like GIFs or memes, that allow brands to insert themselves into social conversations in a playful and authentic way. This attention to detail also proves the brand is personal, relevant to the moment, and “always on.”
The days of “pay-to-play” digital advertising are a thing of the past. Every event, game, and cultural moment is now an open slate for brands and agencies to capitalize. If your brand isn’t already relevant to the moment, jump in and make your own viral moment.
Recently, through social listening, we were able to identify an instance like this for one of our clients, Hertz Car Rental. Eagle-eyed Avenger’s fans were scouring this post:
Some noticed the Hertz poster in the background and wondered if it was relevant. We quickly jumped in with some posts of our own suggesting an answer to the riddle:
Fans enjoyed this playful interaction and it gained a large amount of engagement as a result, all for a few seconds of work in Paint.