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Twitter Oreo Super Bowl

Twitter UK MD Bruce Daisley describes Oreo 'Dunk in the Dark' tweet as a setback for marketers aiming to create effective real-time social ads


By Stephen Lepitak | -

February 11, 2014 | 6 min read

Twitter UK managing director Bruce Daisley has described the Oreo 'Dunk in the Dark' tweet as a "slight red herring" when used as an example of how successful real-time marketing can be while offering his insight on how that has evolved over the last two years. Speaking at SES London, Daisley relayed his views on the evolution of real-time marketing, stating that the 'timeliness' of a brand's message would strongly enhance the content and amplify what the brand is attempting to say. He began by highlighting the much celebrated tweet sent by Oreo during the 2013 Super Bowl, when there was a floodlight failure and the host stadium was plunged into darkness. The resulting Oreo tweet went on to be retweeted over 16,000 thousand times and has since been held up as the ultimate example of unpaid real-time social media marketing. Daisley said that the success of the tweet was "a slight red herring" and added that it had, "to some extent set us back last year."Last year's Super Bowl generated over 24 million tweets, and was exceeded again this year, almost reaching 25 million.

"The problem with the tweet by Oreos is that effectively it largely tells marketers that to succeed in short term marketing you've got to be the fastest, the wittiest person who puts out the best line quickest. That's why it was interesting that this year Oreos tweeted out that they were not going to be live tweeting during the Super Bowl. That was almost a point of emphasis to say that "actually we don't want to compete and be compared to what we did last year. We're going to look and change that." Daisley continued by explaining some of the things that Twitter had introduced over its eight years to improve the user experience of the service, including making the Twitter Timeline more visual and allowing tweets to be expanded on, incorporation video and image functions, rather than just the original 140 characters. "We have tried to evolve all of that so that any marketer or free user of Twitter can get a richer experience, directly reflecting what the audience wants." This led Daisley to highlight some brands that had successfully used Twitter as a real-time marketing platform, including a tweet by US restaurant chain Arby's which generated over 80,000 retweets in response to a hat worn by rapper Pharrell Williams at the Grammys last month, after he retweeted it. He then exemplified a tweet by Hyundai in the same moment that failed to garner the same attention. Daisley highlighted a model for planned moments and unplanned moments (see picture), especially with the World Cup coming up this summer and explained that there was a lot of events brands could plan ahead for. He went through three types of events that brands could use to socially involve themselves in; live moments such as the football transfer deadline day which Innocent Smoothies prepared for last summer with the long running transfer of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid and Heineken's Champion's League #sharethesofa activity as a planned campaign moment. Every day moments, he said, were the moments that were most neglected by brands, as Daisley revealed that two thirds of Twitter users search for things each day, and that the company holds data that could be used by marketers such as the day most popular for people to go running, or discussion over the weather. "You can start planning for these moments and thinking about what is released to your brand. You can start tracking the rhythms of when people are talking about things on Twitter, either to prepare for them or to understand the volumes of those discussions to get yourself ready for marketing."The final moments he highlighted were unpredictable moments, where he advised that brands "prepare their capability" in order to be ready to react when necessary, citing Adidas tweeting during the recent London tube strike, targeting runners and Nandos sending Manchester United player Adnan Januzaj a £50 gift voucher over Twitter for a second date, after he was slated by a girl for taking her to the chicken restaurant chain for a first date. "Can you plan for these things? No you can't but you can build your capabilities and your real-time mindset to try to take advantage of them happening. The key thing for any brand to exploit these moments is to firstly think about capabilities - what's you objective? - and once you know that then you can start thinking about the different moments you can plan for." He highlighted upcoming events such as London Fashion Week, the Brit Awards and Easter as potential subjects for brands to consider.
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