Wednesdays without Will: Faster than Real-Time Branding

We’ve seen brands jump on current events countless times before, but Social media has upped the ante because it’s a real-time mass communication medium. Whether that means coordinating protest demonstrations or just making snarky comments during live television, brands are part of social conversations. One of the most popular recent examples of this is Oreo’s “You can still dunk in the dark” tweet that came out within minutes of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome losing power during Super Bowl XLVII.

More and more brands are pushing to get branded messages out the door on topical events as quickly as possible. With its recent Facebook post, a reimagining of its classic 1980s television ad that bears their support for same-sex marriage, Grey Poupon has gone one step further than real-time. The image came out the day before the Supreme Court issued its rulings regarding same-sex marriage, rather than in the moment of a ruling being announced.

 

The caption indicates this post was created in celebration of June being National Pride Month, something that Oreo once again executed well last June with an Oreo full of rainbow-colored filling. However, it seems like no coincidence that the post went out the day before the Supreme Court was scheduled to make its announcement, especially considering that National Pride Month ended a few, short days later.

The timing for this ad give the impression that this was meant as a way for Grey Poupon to state their claim on the issue before any ruling had actually occurred, effectively beating other brands that were planning to react in real-time to the punch. If this is the direction real-time marketing is headed, we may be approaching the limit on this strategy since brands can only push up delivery dates so far.

What this means for the future of digital marketing might be closer to what Grey Poupon professes their reason for the post was in the first place: to express their views on “good taste” that “never go[es] out of season.” If there is no advantage to posting something before other brands, the most advantageous position would be to establish a brand’s positioning on issues unrelated to the product at any time so their standing is firmly in place before those issues come up.

The way I see it, real-time posts will become a staple of any online strategy, if they aren’t already, but the competitive nature of it will evolve positioning into something more authentic: a factor consumers are known to appreciate. It might even tell consumers something more important about the brand that allows them to connect with it.

Cover Photo Credit: By Jill Clardy via Flickr

Kaz is a Junior Executive at SJG. He earned BAs in English Writing and Business Marketing at Illinois Wesleyan University and is currently pursuing an MA in Advertising at The University of Texas at Austin. Outside the office, Kaz consumes gobs of media including but not limited to books, magazines, music, movies and television.