The Rise of Reactive Social Marketing

While some industries are slower to adopt digital processes, others have dominated it. One major aspect of this prompt, digital ideology is social media. As marketers, we can all agree that tools like Facebook and Twitter are indispensable for any brand concerned with having a successful social strategy, but to be prosperous on such platforms, you must have timely, engaging content. Yes, it’s much easier said than done. However, a few sizeable brands have shown us that reactive marketing on social media is an attainable goal as long as you have the right plan in place.

Oreo and the Superbowl

One of the most memorable and noteworthy examples of reactive marketing on social media was Oreo’s “Dunk in the Dark” tweet in lieu of the great Superbowl XLVII blackout. Oreo’s ad agency, 360i, expected the unexpected and compiled a social media team of 15 people including copywriters, strategists, artists and Oreo executives. The Oreo executives were on standby for instant approval on content. While some material was pre-planned, like images designed with each team’s colors to announce the winner, the organization knew they had to be ready to act in the event of something big happening.


Everyone was summoned into the Superbowl headquarters to watch the game and wait for marketing magic. Thinking that the most exciting event would be in regards to a play, the halftime show or the actual win, everyone was pleasantly surprised when the infamous blackout occurred. The team acted quickly and within a matter of minutes, the tweet was designed, approved and posted. The tweet earned 525 million earned media impressions. In other words, 5 times the number of people that watched the actual game. While it’s hard to decipher whether or not “Dunk in the Dark” increased sales for Oreo, it undoubtedly characterized the brand as engaging and agile.

Adidas and the World Cup

Adidas along with it’s agencies, We Are Social and Carat, set up a real time marketing center equipped with all resources that would be needed to stake out the entire World Cup series – including 4 TV’s (3 on the games, 1 tracking the most searched players). As one of the major sponsors of the World Cup, Adidas knew they had to have a detailed strategy in place for the international event. The goal of the campaign, that took about a year to construct, was for Adidas to be the most talked about brand in the World Cup.

Screen-Shot-2014-07-15-at-3.24.21-PMAdidas, We Are Social and Carat created a “content bible” filled with over 1,000 images and 160 videos ready to be curated and published at a moment’s notice. As Joe Weston, Accounts Director at We Are Social, best put it, “It’s about telling the right stories at the right time.” This idea is easy to put in place when you have a play-by-play narrowed down to the hour formed around events the marketing team had anticipated. By the end of the World Cup, the campaign proved itself to be incredibly successful. The hashtag that the marketing team created, #allin, was mentioned over 570,000 times, their YouTube subscribers increased by over 200,000 and their Facebook page added on 1 million friends.

“Anticipated planning has been one of the keys to our success,” said Tom Ramsden, Brand Marketing Director for Adidas Football.

Reactive marketing on social media can be pretty risky if you’re just flying by the seat of your pants – which clearly, Oreo and Adidas did not. As long as you have a well thought out strategy, a flexible plan that can conform to anything that may occur and a responsive team that can deliver creative content, you should be in the clear.




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