Only a handful of marketers get a chance to tie an ad campaign to the incredible momentum a watershed entertainment moment like the Super Bowl or Oscars generates. Thanks to the forever-changed landscape of second screen and social activity, you’d expect it to be a simple thing to step away from the traditional TV buy and pump resources into digital channels. Yet, so many brands stumble when they try to run this play.
Success often begins months, or even years, before any event takes place by building a sturdy foundation based upon capability, authenticity and a willingness to interact. And, a comprehensive understanding of the pitfalls that could occur can be critical, helping a brand reap big rewards and cut through the clutter.
Establishing brand credibility at the individual consumer level on platforms such as Twitter or Instagram takes time. This is a function of voice, and ensuring it remains human. Done right, it’s possible to tap into powerful sentiments such as humility and even relatable embarrassment that are hard to convey in more traditional efforts.
Not a marketer was without envy when Oreo’s agency partner put the concept of this social brandjacking on the map with its “Dunk in the Dark” tweet, after a blackout caused a stoppage of the Super Bowl in 2013. Despite Twitter now being one of the older guards of social media, it was a novel approach that generated a lot of conversation. But that was eons ago in social media years, and it’s no longer enough to show up with a pithy or glib comment at the ready.
Today, owned content is meme content and must be timed to launch at moments when audiences are in the mood to be engaged. Take what advertising agency McCann is doing with the final season of “Mad Men.” McCann, the powerful subsuming empire to the relatively scrappy Sterling Cooper Draper Price, is still around today, and would be remiss not to display its copywriting chops around such a hallmark TV moment. One tweet used the deck of the Death Star, while another included headshots in their actual lounge, welcoming Roger, Don, and Peggy into the fold. No Pete, no Joan? Maybe they know something about the finale we don’t.
While it’s hard to trump snack food quips and direct historical relevance to a critically acclaimed television show, there are things every brand can do to prepare to engage their audience around hallmark TV events: