The drama of March Madness didn't take long to settle in. In dramatic upset victories today, the University of Alabama at Birmingham beat Iowa State, and Georgia State shocked Baylor.
In the second game, Georgia State guard R.J. Hunter sank a long three-pointer with 2.7 seconds on the clock to cap a 12-point comeback win during first-round action of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.
And of course Twitter went wild, and marketers reacted.
What's interesting is Pizza Hut had purchased Promoted Tweets for the Twitter hashtag/search term "Georgia St bball" ahead of time, even though the team wasn't expected to be competive, much less win. Meanwhile, in the moments before and after Hunter's big shot, other brands began jumping on board with quick social ad buys.
Expect to see many similar real-time marketing efforts over the next few weeks as the major storylines of March Madness emerge.
Check out the Georgia State-driven examples below.
Game-changing performances are what makes NCAA March Madness incredible. https://t.co/MJoIY3ySQI
— Degree Men (@DegreeMen) March 18, 2015
— Wendy's (@Wendys) March 12, 2015
— Nationwide (@Nationwide) March 16, 2015
— Kia Motors America (@Kia) March 3, 2015
— Eat Mor Chikin Cowz (@EatMorChikin) March 19, 2015
— GoPro® (@GoPro) March 19, 2015
— Dove Men+Care (@DoveMenCare) March 15, 2015
Lastly, here are a couple of Pizza Hut's Promoted Tweets. Surprisingly, the creative isn't contexutal at all to basketball—but give the brand's ad buyers credit for being prepared to get in front of fans.
Stuffed Crust turned 20 and you can get a 1-topping for $9.99, flavored up 10 ways. Happy Birthday, hot stuff. https://t.co/eHY1kfaOXT
— Pizza Hut (@pizzahut) March 18, 2015
10 crust flavors and 1-topping Stuffed Crust pizzas are $9.99 again? Eating pizza backwards is back. https://t.co/8l5vvxZBQy
— Pizza Hut (@pizzahut) March 17, 2015