As sports fans will remember, 2015 marked the first-ever college football playoff. The Oregon Ducks and the Ohio State Buckeyes faced off on the field, but brands big and small faced off online—showing us their real-time marketing skills throughout the game. Let’s see who won.
In the third quarter, Ohio State fumbled the ball four or five times. No doubt about it, the receivers had butterfingers. With that, Butterfinger saw an opportunity, and they took it.
Seriously, what’s this ball made of tonight? #OREvsOSU pic.twitter.com/Dwn6KiFPur
— Butterfinger (@Butterfinger) January 13, 2015
Arby’s had a similar thought process. Offensive turnovers. Defensive turnovers. Why not bring their apple turnovers into the conversation?
When this game started we thought we made the most turnovers. #OREvsOSU
— Arby’s (@Arbys) January 13, 2015
Duck Brand got even more creative—releasing a series of Vine videos with rolls of duct tape taking on the roles of team players—reenacting certain parts of the game. (And shockingly, as Duck brand, they weren’t biased toward the Ducks.)
Nike decided to pull at our heartstrings with pre-game and post-game tweets reminding us how great college football can be.
This isn’t do-or-die. It’s do or don’t. You have to live with it or live without it. #justdoit pic.twitter.com/EbnRzUWYOD
— Nike (@Nike) January 13, 2015
But ultimately, Bob Newhart stole the show. After thousands of people had noticed the head referee resembled him, here’s what he had to say.
In regards to my new career as head ref for #OSUvsORE – Hey, I don’t have a series any more – I had to do something. #OSUvsORE
— Bob Newhart (@BobNewhart) January 13, 2015
Can we expect even more real-time marketing during the 2016 college football playoffs? David Deal, digital marketing consultant, says yes. “More brands will treat the football playoffs next year like they do the NCAA basketball tournament—as an opportunity to create conversation throughout the entire playoffs.”
Are you ready to start creating conversation during live events? Our advice is to think big—even on a small budget. You don’t always need a custom visual, designed on the spot. You may just need simple copy that will ultimately engage and grow your audience.
For more inspiring examples of real-time marketing, visit our original post in this series: 4 inspiring examples of real time marketing.