Leveraging Social Media to Compete in a World of Instant Marketing

Most social media skeptics have been quieted by the undeniable impact sites like Facebook and Twitter have had not only on society, but business and even politics as well. Marketing has undergone a dramatic evolution from traditional, planned campaigns and calls to action to engaging on demand.

It goes without saying that ad spots during the Super Bowl are the most coveted of any television program, and this year, the brands that directly encouraged viewers to engage online reaped some of the biggest rewards. The infamous blackout was the perfect test to see which advertisers were able to leverage the power loss to their advantage. Oreo came out on top, with an ad that encouraged viewers to follow the company on Instagram. It was one of few advertisements that included a clear Call To Action (CTA) for viewers to engage with the brand online by using their smartphone or tablet. This turned out to be an even greater success when viewers turned to their smartphones during the power outage.

According to a Nielsen study, 41 percent of tablet owners and 38 percent of smartphone users use their device while watching television. Apply those figures to the 111 million people who tuned into the Super Bowl and you’ve got tens of millions of people using their chosen device during the big game. Oreo had 2,000 followers on Instagram prior to their ad airing, and now boasts over 34,000.

But “America’s Favorite Cookie” didn’t stop there. After their successful spot, Oreo immediately took to Twitter to capitalize on the blackout, tweeting, “Power out? No problem” and posted an image (of an Oreo in a blackout) with the phrase, “You can still dunk in the dark.” The tweet received over 13,000 retweets and plenty of praise for its successful execution of combining traditional and mobile marketing.OreoAd

Other Super Bowl social media successes? Walgreens tweeted, “We do carry candles. We also sell lights,” and Tide tweeted, “We can’t get your #blackout, but we can get your stains out.” This outstanding display of real-time on-brand communication separated the real advertising power players from those still struggling to adjust to the new world of instant communication.

So how can brands measure the ROI of real-time advertising? It’s difficult, but there’s no denying that the conversations initiated by successful Super Bowl ad campaigns will continue longer than those at the water cooler that following Monday.

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