Earlier this afternoon, Seton Hall guard Sterling Gibbs hit a last-second shot to help his college basketball team upset Villanova, and marketers for New York Life and NBC immediately purchased Promoted Tweets around related hashtags appearing on Twitter.
It's March Madness time, folks, yet another season ripe for real-time marketing.
From now through the NCAA's Final Four weekend in early April, brands will attempt to score marketing points after nail-biting games and general basketball-related social media activity. As has already been the case today, some efforts will represent actual real-time decisions while others are obviously pre-planned.
For instance, New York Life couldn't have known that #SetonHall would be trending until the game concluded in an upset, while NBC's Believe ad centered on the 64-63 score—essentially impossible to predict.
Buffalo Wild Wings, on the other hand, is clearly coming to March Madness with prepared tweets and a big Twitter ads bucket. It is buying promos around #MarchMadness, including several examples of contextually-minded creative.
Kellogg's Frosted Flakes is also purchasing the term, and it appears the brand's marketers might be employing a "JC Penney strategy" by using intentionally confusing tweets. The brand's messaging has sometimes been sports-related—but not about basketball. Go figure.
At any rate, Las Vegas resort hotel The Cosmopolitan is another brand swallowing up paid promos around the March Madness hashtag in a premeditated fashion.
Check out the examples Adweek has gathered so far:
— New York Life (@NewYorkLife) March 8, 2014
— Believe (@NBCBelieve) March 11, 2014
Macaroni and cheese go together like you and sports. pic.twitter.com/G7oWn4dyYv
— Buffalo Wild Wings (@BWWings) March 8, 2014
Put work aside and Prime Rib and Potato Grillers inside. pic.twitter.com/WdzCAERHDm
— Buffalo Wild Wings (@BWWings) March 12, 2014
— Tony the Tiger (@realtonytiger) March 6, 2014
— Tony the Tiger (@realtonytiger) March 9, 2014
— Tony the Tiger (@realtonytiger) March 13, 2014
And to think, you were just going to have leftovers for lunch. pic.twitter.com/tY5lyN1nHh
— Buffalo Wild Wings (@BWWings) March 10, 2014
Get courtside this March as Hoops & Hops brings every college basketball championship game to Vegas. Tickets: http://t.co/Y3XLd08Cku
— The Cosmopolitan (@Cosmopolitan_LV) March 12, 2014
Basketball. Beer. Betting. And did we mention basketball? Catch all the college championship action this March: http://t.co/Y3XLd08Cku
— The Cosmopolitan (@Cosmopolitan_LV) March 8, 2014