Don't Rush Real-Time; Delta's World Cup Tweet Misses Mark


Brands have been playing with “real-time marketing” via Twitter during big events for some time now, but rarely does chatter about their efforts escape the advertising world.

The Oreo tweet, for example, has become the example of good real-time marketing, although other, similar tweets were more successful by Twitter standards. But if you ask non-advertising friends what they thought of the Oreo tweet, my guess is that their response will be “What Oreo tweet?”

So when a brand’s tweet becomes news outside of the Madison Ave. bubble, you know it has done something different.

In Delta’s case, “something different” was nothing good.

To congratulate the U.S. men’s national soccer team, on Monday’s 2-1 victory of Ghana, the airline tweeted out the above image.

The problem is, giraffes don’t live in Ghana. I’m not going to get into the social aspects of the tweet, but it’s safe to call it ignorant.

The backlash was quick, and Delta deleted the tweet and sent this hasty apology (inset left).

Several minutes later, Delta deleted the tweet to replace “precious” with “previous” -- a truly unfortunate typo given the circumstances.

The first tweet was an example of poor -- or no -- research. The second tweet was an example of rushed efforts.

Sarah DaVanzo, chief cultural strategy officer at Omnicom’s sparks & honey, advised marketers to take a “70/30” approach to real-time marketing at a recent OMMA Social conference. The “70/30” approach means that 70% of the content should be planned, while the remaining 30% remains open for real-time inspiration.

Altimeter Group explains real-time marketing efforts via a quadrant chart that says all real-time marketing is either proactive or reactive and planned or unplanned. Marketing efforts as simple as congratulating a team for a World Cup victory would fall under the “proactive and planned” quarter of the chart, but it seems very little proaction or planning went into Delta’s tweet.

If Oreo is the example for good real-time marketing, Delta just became the standard-bearer for what not to do.

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2 comments about "Don't Rush Real-Time; Delta's World Cup Tweet Misses Mark".
  1. Robert McEvily from MediaPost , June 17, 2014 at 12:53 p.m.
    Plus, isn't the Statue of Liberty from France? TRIPLE OUCH.
  2. Tom Goodwin from Tomorrow , June 18, 2014 at 5:43 p.m.
    Why was a global airline even celebrating one country over another? Delta proudly serve 6 continents, it seems they only want to carry Americans.