The new digital and social world, and the art of marketing immediacy

The new digital and social world, and the art of marketing immediacy


Back in the 1800’s, Charles Darwin said “In the long history of humankind…those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”

Fast forward a couple hundred years, and one major way marketing, and advertising in particular, have been forever changed in the new digital and social world is the immediacy in which we can get our messages out to the world. This has opened up a whole world of possibilities for relevant, real-time creative content. Not only for those producing it, but for those who are consuming, sharing and participating in it.

Here are just a few great examples of brands that have taken advantage of the immediate nature of social media in order to make more of an impact with their advertising.

Old Spice Guy Responds to Your Posts Live

Back in 2010 Old Spice began a campaign that featured their shirtless, debonaire spokesman responding to facebook posts and tweets live on video. The result fit the tone of the original campaign perfectly and their social media following skyrocketed. The chance to have your tweet or post incorporated into Old Spices hilarious commercials just minutes after you posted it was just too good for fans to pass up.

Real-time Marketing and the Super Bowl Blackout

It’s football season. My time of the year. What do people do when the most watched television event of the year is delayed due to a blackout? They take to social media to discuss it of course. Many brands used this as an opportunity to create viral ads surrounding the big game mishap. The most popular of these came from Oreo which tweeted an ad that read “you can still dunk in the dark”. Tide, budweiser and PBS all got in on the act as well. You can view a collection here of some of the most clever tweets from brands following the blackout.


Denny’s Planned Spontaneity

Denny’s tweeted an ad mocking the new Gold iPhone 5s moments after it was officially announced to the world. Clearly they had time to plan the ad, as rumors had been swirling around for several weeks regarding the new gold iPhone. But the fact that there was no certainty to the truth in these rumors meant a traditional print ad would not be feasible. Instead, Denny’s was able to create the ad and keep it in their hip pocket. If the Gold iPhone was announced, they’d quickly post it through their channels for an instant viral success. If it was not announced, all they’d lose was the time to hammer out the idea (which is really never a waste of time).

Capitalizing on Historic Events

Pre-planned ads were also created to coincide with the birth of the royal baby in July. Like the Denny’s tweet, these ads were planned, but needed to be held onto right up until the birth was announced. The social media obsession over the royal baby seemed like a great opportunity for brands to grab some of their own attention. Fans, however, had mixed reactions to those brands trying to selfishly capitalize on this historic event. Some brands did manage to strike the right tone, while other came off as overly self-promotional.


I think Charles Darwin had a good bit of foresight.