It goes to show you how breakthrough Oreo’s “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark” ad is: When you Google “Oreo ad,” the brand’s actual big-production Super Bowl commercial places 11th in the results. Results one through seven are all for the spur-of-the-moment Twitter ad that, well, gamely took advantage of the Super Bowl’s blackout to exploit the power of real-time advertising.
Maybe the numbers on this don’t need crunching with this crowd, but here they are: The Super Bowl spot -- even without production thrown in -- cost $4 million. The Twitter ad? Well, it was free, natch. Except for whatever it cost -- a case of beer and some munchies, perhaps? -- to have Oreo digital shop 360i and members of the brand team holed up in a conference room during The Big Game, waiting for something, anything, to happen that would help the brand piggyback on whatever might arise.
We’ve come a long way from those “I’m going to Disney World!” commercials.
It’s enough to make one think that 360i and the Oreo brand had someone stationed down in New Orleans, trying to surreptitiously trip over power cables.
But, as memorable as the Oreo ad was, there’s one thing it was not: the future of advertising. Real-time bidding may become an integral part of how the advertising community does business; real-time advertising, not so much.
Consider the confluence: a blackout, during the biggest television and Twitter event of the year, with an agency, and a client at the ready, fully prepared to capitalize on capturing the real-time audience. Yeah, like that’s an everyday occurrence.
I have no doubt that during Super Bowl 2014 (and hell, maybe this year’s Oscars), the new black -- at least among those in the marketing world -- will be client/agency parties in which everyone is waiting to seize the moment, any moment. But the truth is that mammoth events happen infrequently; what happens most days is so stultifyingly routine that they don’t lend themselves to real-time advertising. (Yes, I find writing that sentence a little ironic when we’re about to experience the second storm of the century in the last four months.)
And, in fact, most days -- instead of coalescing around one event -- we disperse into millions of customized media habits that also don’t lend themselves to real-time advertising.
So go bid in real-time on ad units, all you want. But I’m looking hard at the paradigm marked “real-time ads” right now, and it doesn’t seem to be shifting.