Real-time advertising, the practice of brands engaging with their audience by creating content or ads, on the fly, in response to relevant cultural events, has become the next big marketing craze. It started with Oreo’s “Dunk in the Dark” ad that they tweeted during the power outage at last year’s Super Bowl. More recently, brands reacted to Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus bending in people’s pockets with #bendgate. KitKat tweeted their “We don’t bend, we break” ad in response. KitKat’s tweet amassed over 23,000 retweets; not bad exposure for an ad that took 30 minutes to create.

Naturally, social media is the launch pad for real-time advertising, with Twitter taking the lead. When it comes to real-time advertising, Twitter and Facebook have the ability to do something that TV and other marketing channels just can’t do: reach a lot of people with a relevant message in real-time. Marketers are always looking for ways to connect with their consumers on a more personal level. Real-time advertising via social media channels accomplishes just that.

Sure, it’s hard to say if consumers are eating more Oreos and KitKats because of their ads. But we do know people are talking about their brands. If done correctly, real-time ads can achieve a level of brand awareness that TV and online display ads could only dream of. With more and more people using social media via their mobile device as their means of receiving content, real-time ads have the advantage.

The Bottom Line
Digital advertising is ever-evolving. Trends come and go. But one thing’s for sure: real-time advertising is a powerful medium that is here to stay. To be effective with your real-time ad, first work on enhancing your brand and increase your social media activity. That way, when the perfect opportunity presents itself to launch a real-time ad, you’ll be ready.

Need help with brand awareness or a social media strategy? We’d love to work with you.