Real-Time Social Cuts Its Teeth On Suarez

Just as you start talking about real-time marketing, along comes a wonderful example that also underlines how this -- the most social of all World Cups -- is proving a dream for brands who aren't official sponsors.

Check out the Twitter feeds and Facebook pages for the likes of Budweiser and Adidas and you'd be forgiven for thinking last night was just an ordinary night of World Cup action. Check out those brands who are taking a part in social conversations around the games and you'll immediately see what everyone's talking about -- Suarez is at it again. After domestic football bans in both the Netherlands and England, he's only gone and bitten another defender. 

There's just too much good material there not to have a laugh at the striker's expense. How many teams, other than Italy, are so well known for food that their name doubles as a type of cuisine? Taking a bite out of an Italian defender is just begging for restaurant and food brands to get firing on all cylinders in social media. 

My favourite, though, was Paddy Power's football sticker of Chiellini, the Italian defender, with a bite taken out of the corner. It has been retweeted nearly 500 times and favourited more than 200 times. It's dwarfed by a Snicker's post of a picture of one of its chocolate bars with the banner "More Satisfying Than Italian." It has been retweeted 33,000 times and has 16,000 favourites. Nando's has received very similar figures for a picture of one of its meals inviting Suarez to "get your teeth stuck into something really tasty."

Now, we could argue whether anything comes of posts that can be liked one minute and forgotten the next without anyone rushing off to buy a Snickers, put a tenner on first goal scorer or book a restaurant table. However, considering this is the very point of social media-- getting attention and entertaining a user base -- then you have to say the brands that are riding on the World's Cup coattails scored a proverbial home run. They not only cracked some funny branded, timely jokes -- they went viral.

Contrast that with an endless stream of sports shoes that dominates Adidas' Twitter page and you see how different a two-way conversation about football can be. At least Budweiser is putting up content around the World Cup that isn't solely based on its products, but its most popular tweet last night broke the news that its Man of the Match award went to Greece's Georgios Samaras. It got retweeted just over 300 times -- both Nando's and Snickers each enjoyed ten times as much social "juice" for their irreverent picture caption jokes. 

So there are quite a few lessons here. Number one is probably that endless pictures of training shoes don't really equate to a conversation, even if you do throw in some quotes around football and some pictures of famous athletes on a UK specific sub brand site. Adidas and Nike are getting around three or four hundred shares for pictures of very famous athletes with the odd quote of wisdom thrown in -- the content alone must have cost a fortune to set up and arrange. 

Brands that just join in the banter and have a laugh with the fans are getting far more traction for free -- and ten times the shares! 

This is real-time marketing at its best. Trusting a content team to use a brand to have lighthearted, entertaining chats with fans. In contrast, the official sponsors (or at least the big names in sport) just look a little sensible.

Football fans want a laugh with their pals down at the pub. Not an evening with the headmaster shuffling through a sportswear catalogue.

1 comment about "Real-Time Social Cuts Its Teeth On Suarez".
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  1. Tom Goodwin from Tomorrow, June 25, 2014 at 1:04 p.m.

    Thanks for this post, while I do think we're seeing some of the best real time marketing on twitter ever, I also think it's rather like posting the best ads ever on Google Plus, it's irrelevant.

    On the one hand, why not do it, it's super cheap to make some posts, and 16,000 favorites is nice for free media.

    On the other hand, some perspective is good, there are 180,000 people who work in social media, perhaps it's just those people who see it.

    We need to be mindful of the real world and not just the ad bubble we live in.

    For my side, read here.

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