Super Bowl 2016's Best Real-Time Tools

The Super Bowl is almost upon us, and real-time ads are presenting a bigger opportunity than ever for brands looking to piggyback on the excitement of live events.

The spark from Oreo and 360i’s “Dunk in the Dark” tweet in 2014 lives on. If you can get past corporate and legal approvals in time, the audience is incomparable. Here are last year's Super Bowl numbers:

-- 114 million people watched, per NBC. 
-- More than 28 million tweets during the game, according to Twitter's official blog.
-- 265 million posts, likes and comments were posted on Facebook during the game, per Facebook's sports page.
-- 1.2 million tweets mentioned brands during the Super Bowl, according to Twitter Counter.
--The halftime show featuring Katy Perry and others generated 3 million tweets, Twitter's blog said.


The Strategy: Keep It Genuine, Have a Purpose 
"The slightest whiff of hypocrisy or disingenuous behavior can easily trigger a reaction you might not have expected," said Lisa LaCour, Outbrain’s VP and head of global marketing. "And if you are on the wrong end of criticism, you just have to use it as a teachable moment for your team."

Sean Black, North America media services lead, SapientNitro, said real-time efforts have to feel right to the brand and complete the story it's trying to achieve. He added that it's important to see how measurable results brought value at the end of the day, specifically, KPIs, marketing goals and other performance indicators. Smart brands, Black said, will take their time and become part of a conversation they wouldn't have otherwise been able to afford. 

On the topic of ROI, Mike Johnson, VP-digital strategy at The Marketing Arm, said he finds the lowest ROI comes from "fast-burn" content that goes live and is never used again. Instead, he said, create content that can be leveraged beyond the initial newsfeed scroll. Afterward, it can be repackaged for leveraging long-tail search.

Google Real-Time Ads: Wix.com will be one of the first marketers to use this product on Feb. 7, and Comcast will use it during the Oscars. Tara Walpert Levy, managing director of agency sales for Google, told AdExchanger that the real-time ads process is the same as an ad campaign that’s running across AdWords or Google Display Network, except the content is typically “pre-planned” and inserted dynamically.
Pro: Available inventory is on YouTube, hundreds of thousands of apps and more than 2 million sites in the Google Display Network.
Con: Are banners the best way to do real-time marketing? This remains to be seen.

Twitter: "Moments" will have a special Super Bowl tab with exclusive emojis, and you can live-stream video directly on Twitter with Periscope.
Pro: "Twitter video campaigns work really well for TV targeting," said Hannah Rainford, senior social manager at global digital marketing agency Jellyfish. "We’ve seen clients increase their engagement and sales through TV targeting when their ad was being shown."
Con: Twitter has 320 million monthly users, a smaller reach compared to other social channels.

Facebook: Facebook’s “Sports” lets fans view live stats, comments from friends, sports news and more during major sporting events.
Pro: Facebook has more than a billion users a day. During the final moments of Super Bowl XLIX, more than 1.3 million unique people per minute were posting, commenting and liking content related to the Super Bowl.
Con: "Facebook has the biggest social audience but the fact that organic content filters through slowly can impact real-time information from coming through, unless you’re using short bursts of paid activity," said Jellyfish's Rainford.

Snapchat: Brands who debut an ad on Evan Spiegel's platform can target an audience of mainly 18- to 24-year-olds.  The platform said nearly 100 million people use it daily, with videos viewed more than 7 billion times.
Pro: "If you’re a brand sponsoring a big sports event or an awards ceremony, you can take people behind the scenes. If you’re launching a new product, you can give users a front-row seat," said Outbrain's LaCour. "Snapchat lets brands do something that traditionally they’ve been very good at, and that is provide users access to entertaining experiences."
Con: With Snapchat, you need to plan your real-time marketing and make sure you have that relevant audience in place, said Rainford. Otherwise, your ephemeral message will get lost. Also, Snapchat has yet to provide data and analytics as its rivals do.

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