Why Brands Pounce on Real-time Marketing

Real-time marketing or reactive marketing is “off the cuff,” “on the fly,” or spontaneous, “unplanned” responses to a particular time or event. Often, whenever “real-time marketing” is brought up, marketers will reference the infamous Oreo “Oreo's Super Bowl Tweet: 'You Can Still Dunk In The Dark'” incident that occurred when the lights went out during Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.

Social media has changed the game so that every event from the Grammy’s (we see you Pharrell and Arby’s) to a made up national holiday is an opportunity for marketers to celebrate their brand, make a comment, or attract attention.

Isn’t that what marketers crave? More views, more clicks, more praise, more audience.

So what are the perks to never missing a moment?

  1. Shines a spotlight on the brand, increasing engagement and awareness

  2. Diversifies content and mixes it up from time to time

  3. Gives an opportunity to associate the brand with something bigger than itself and possibly relate to the audience

  4. Showcases the brand’s personality in a refreshing, new way

  5. Differentiates the brand from competitors

 See the full video  here .

See the full video here.

A recent example of a brand capitalizing on an event is the brand DUDE Wipes taking advantage of the New York Jets’ running back, Isaiah Crowell’s, behavior during a football game. After rubbing the ball on his backside, the brand decided to sign an endorsement deal with him. This shows that DUDE Wipes has a sense of humor and helps put their brand in front of their audience - dudes who watch football. Plus, Wet Wipes probably wouldn’t risk or even think to make that endorsement.)


When is it best to take advantage or “pounce” on a moment?

 AgencySparks does not own this image.

When the reaction...

 AgencySparks does not own this image.
  • Has long term value

    • Even if the post is not “evergreen”, if it makes the brand more memorable or puts the brand on the map to stand out against its competitors, then the real-time marketing was worth it.

    • The Oreo incident happened in the 2013 Super Bowl and it is STILL referenced as the epitome of brilliant real-time marketing.

skittles tweet by donald trump jr.jpg
  • Adds value to the consumers

    • Consumers are the heartbeat of a brand. If their needs are not at the focal point of an action, don’t waste the effort.

    • Reacting to something that may not directly relate to the product of the brand but stands with the values of the brand and consumer is powerful.

    • McDonald’s decided to stand with women on International Women’s Day by flipping their “M.” Even if it seemed silly, it it was a thoughtful statement that was shared across social platforms - causing an awareness for the holiday and where the brand stands.

  • Stays true to the brand

    • Commenting just for the sake of commenting does not always benefit the brand or consumer. Be consistent with posting, copy, and personality. Chime in when something is related to the brand or affects the consumer in some way. Sometimes, it isn’t necessary to react quickly at all. Just because there may be an opportunity to publicize the brand, doesn’t always mean it is the right course of action. Stay out of conversations that are not authentically relevant.

Read Related - Hashtag Hijacking: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly



How can brands be ready when an opportunity presents itself?

Marketers can’t always expect the inevitable, but keeping track of trends, owning a calendar of important events/dates, and maintaining an awareness of current events/issues will help marketers stay alert when it’s most notable.

In order to capitalize on “real-time marketing” opportunities, brands must build trust in advance with senior leadership and the legal team to ensure that the marketing team will be given enough leeway to pounce.

Read Related - Congrats, You Went Viral... Now What?

Reactive marketing is a brilliant method for marketers to kick start campaigns, outshine their competitors, show off their clever personality, or exhibit their values.

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