Is the Super Bowl Twitter’s Last Chance to Prove Itself?
For a long time, Twitter has been the go-to social network for brands and consumers alike when it comes to real-time content. The latest Sunday night sitcom, a star-studded awards show, or any given sports game is an opportunity for up-to-the-minute reach and engagement, especially for marketers who are willing to pay for one of the plethora of advertising options from Twitter.
Marketers will forever look to (and perhaps bemoan) Oreo's dunk-in-the-dark moment during the 2013 Super Bowl. It spurred brands to be creative in a way they never really were before, but also started a trend where brands felt the need to be a part of every single cultural conversation whether they belonged there or not. Often, this led to off brand content that added more noise and clutter to Twitter than relevant, meaningful, or creative work.
As we approach Super Bowl 50, I’m hoping to see a shift in real-time marketing. With Twitter’s slowing audience growth, and declining engagement, I wouldn’t be surprised to see brands and marketers shift creative resources and media dollars to other platforms. And thanks to emerging offerings from the likes of Facebook and Google, it’s a perfect time for marketers to start reevaluating their approach.
Another new place to experiment with real-time marketing during this year’s Super Bowl will be within the Google AdWords tool. Their new offering “Real-Time Ads” will give a select group of brands the opportunity to load ads with blank components (either a photo or text overlay) that can be updated immediately in response to an event or trending topic that’s driving a large volume of conversation. This offering will allow brands to be savvy and relevant in real-time across YouTube, hundreds of thousands of apps, and over two million sites in the Google Display Network. For brands looking to drive scale and reach, this is an opportunity to do so in a way that Twitter can’t.
None of this is to say that real-time marketing on Twitter is in imminent danger – it’s the channel that practically invented it as we know it today. And this year, the social network is pulling out all the stops, with what likely will be a heavily promoted, designated Moment, a special Super Bowl channel on Vine, exclusive content from celebrities shot in their headquarters’ “blue room” and new advertising tools (event targeting and conversational ads) to help marketers achieve their own “Oreo moment.”
So of course Twitter still will be an active place for people and brands to talk about the Super Bowl. But it is no longer the only viable option for brands looking to make a big, noteworthy impact.
Meghan McCormick is Director Social Strategy, Deutsch