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Test for the Super Bowl: Real Time Marketing, overdone or still relevant?

For advertisers, the Super Bowl is a playground to exercise creativity and collaboration. And in 2013, we witnessed a phenomenon never before done — or, at least, never before done with such perfection. Up until the famous Super Bowl XLVII blackout, real-time marketing hadn’t quite yet become mainstream.

Fast forward to today. Real-time marketing is seen every single day from brands across the spectrum — consumer goods, service companies, B2B companies, nonprofits, government agencies — the list goes on. Some of these brands really kill it — they show up with appropriate, relevant, clever and emotional responses. Those who fail usually do so because their efforts were offensive, off the mark or overreached.

Oreo’s Super Bowl tweet and Samsung’s Oscar selfie were uberly successful because they had teams of creative junkies and strategists putting their best big ideas together. Real-time marketing, though reactive and timely, can go wildly wrong when not thought all the way through.

While real-time marketing has finally exhausted its cool factor, it has now become a standard part of marketing plans. Without real-time marketing efforts as part of your strategy, you could be missing huge opportunities to stand out in the crowded marketplace.

Brands and their advertising teams should be cognizant of these real-time opportunities, but relying on them too heavily, or forcing a real-time event when it doesn’t feel natural, is very risky.

This year’s Super Bowl will no doubt have some creative genius, some surprises and some major real-time brand fails. And I’m looking forward to all of it, both on TV and on my two other screens.