Written by Jason Dojc on March 5, 2013
in Social Media Marketing

February brought us two of the most watched television shows in the world – the Superbowl and the Academy Awards. Not surprisingly, they’re the two shows with the most expensive commercial time…AND the two events whose campaigns are most scrutinized by the rest of our industry.

This year the topic du jour among marketing pundits was real-time marketing; brands taking advantage of the “second screen” effect (people watching TV and using a mobile device simultaneously) during these two tent-pole television events.

Skimming the multitude of marketing blogs and trade publications, two themes emerged:

  • Real-time marketing is the future of marketing. Every marketer will soon need a newsroom (cue command centre pictures posted by brands) so they can “newsjack” major events and stay culturally relevant.
  • Speed matters – “Look at how clever Brand XYZ’s creative was and they put it up so quickly after the occurred” – otherwise “real-time marketing” becomes yesterday’s news.

Yes, real-time marketing and content creation is becoming a reality for many brands and, yes, there was some clever and timely creative executions during Superbowl XLVII and the 85th Annual Academy Awards. But one thing sorely missing from the punditry was which real-time marketing executions were part of a bigger marketing strategy rooted in solid business objectives.

On this, JC Penny’s “Yours Truly” Oscar campaign stands out. Its main objective appeared to be invigorating the brand with modern, on-trend, fashion cred. Secondary objectives might’ve been showcasing new lines (e.g. Joe Fresh) and drive to store. The Oscars, especially the red carpet pre-show, is as much about what the stars wear as it is about who wins, so the event is definitely relevant to the brand.

The tweets and graphics were timely, clever, and showed product available at the store. (Fashion cred? Check.) Some of the tweets linked to a micro-site jcp.com/yourstruly where the product was showcased in greater detail. (Showcasing new lines? Check.) Near the end of the telecast, the brand surprised and delighted some of the people that interacted with the @JCPenny twitter handle with $100 gift cards. (Drive to store? Check.)

All in all, a clever campaign that used a timely tactic (real-time marketing) as part of a sound strategy.

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