For the second year in a row, Twitter was the clear-cut conversation vehicle of the online world in 2013, and brands were constantly trying to raise the bar when it comes to capturing real-time engagement. There were huge triumphs and epic #fails along the way—and many more attempts that fell somewhere in between.
While we've already offered a list of major Twitter hiccups, now we'll look at five marketing examples that were noteworthy because of either the buzz they generated or their market-leading innovation.
1. DiGiorno Pizza live-tweets NBC's The Sound of Music Live
The Nestlé brand, along with its agency Resource, almost stole the show from actors Carrie Underwood and Co. when it sent out roughly 40 fun-minded tweets with the hashtag #TheSoundofMusic. The three-hour program turned into a bit of a spectacle on Twitter, and DiGiorno's pitch often perfectly matched the larger public sentiment.
DOUGH a crust an unbaked crust RAY, a guy that likes pizza ME a pizza liked by a guy named ray FAH no idea what fah is SO so LA a city T tee— DiGiorno Pizza (@DiGiornoPizza) December 6, 2013
2. Oreo's Super Bowl blackout moment (duh)
Seriously, what else can be said about this effort? Led by 360i, “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark” garnered more than 32,000 social media likes and shares in just its first hour before snowballing into 525 million impressions in the following days. And it was the consensus tweet of the year. 'Nuff said.
Power out? No problem. pic.twitter.com/dnQ7pOgC— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 4, 2013
3. British grocery giant breaks into new category with LOLs
Tesco wanted to show British consumers that it was serious about entering the mobile network space, so its @TescoMobile account created engagement with hilarious conversations on Twitter throughout 2013. The brand's exchange with @LiaySummers takes the cake, picking up nearly 20,000 retweets and favorites—that's a pretty big number, folks.
4. History takes real-time branding back 50 years—in a good way
We journos are suckers for history, so we admit there might be an underlying bias here. But give History (formerly History Channel) credit for what might have been the most elaborate Twitter plan of the year. Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination, the cable TV brand tweeted for more than a week as if it was reporting November 1963's news in real time. This included an up-to-the-minute account of President Kennedy's ill-fated ride through Dealey Plaza.
Per the Dallas Times Herald, the Secret Service has approved the motorcade route for Kennedy's upcoming trip to Dallas. #JFK50— HISTORY (@HISTORY) November 19, 2013
The limo carrying the Kennedys and Connallys is a specially designed midnight blue, seven-passenger Lincoln convertible. #JFK50— HISTORY (@HISTORY) November 22, 2013
BREAKING NEWS: Shots have rung out in downtown Dallas, where President Kennedy's motorcade is traveling on a campaign trip. #JFK50— HISTORY (@HISTORY) November 22, 2013
A police officer has wrestled the weapon from the shooter's hand and tackled him. The shooter was among those in the crowd. #JFK50— HISTORY (@HISTORY) November 24, 2013
Kilduff: "Pres. John F. Kennedy died at approximately 1:00 CST here in Dallas. He died of a gunshot wound in the brain." #JFK50— HISTORY (@HISTORY) November 22, 2013
5. Customer care up in the air
Lastly, while the focus this year has been centered on real-time buzz, what about social customer service? American Airlines quietly showed brands how it's done mid-summer with this back-and-forth with @IdeaGov. What's particularly zeitgeisty about this exchange: The airline didn't stop helping its customer when he was in-flight. It continued the conversation with him at 35,000 feet via Twitter.
Waiting on ground in a plane on runway while traveling w little kids is interesting to say least. @Americanair staff being extra cool tho.— Alan W. Silberberg (@IdeaGov) July 13, 2013
@AmericanAir hi, up now but concerned about connecting to flt 2078, will we make or do we need to rebook? Thanks.— Alan W. Silberberg (@IdeaGov) July 13, 2013
@ideagov Alan, we'll reach out to the airport to see if we can get you some help. You'll be arriving gate K9 and departing from gate K6— American Airlines (@AmericanAir) July 14, 2013
@AmericanAir Thanks so much for in-flight help. Going to be close due to ground conditions at chi. PS: Other companies.need to learn from u— Alan W. Silberberg (@IdeaGov) July 14, 2013
.@americanair Made 2nd flight thanks to your help. Talk about awesome cust service on ground + at 35k. Going to blog about experience. :-)— Alan W. Silberberg (@IdeaGov) July 14, 2013
@ideagov We're glad to hear you made the connection, Alan. We're happy we could help you out. Traveling with little kids and all.— American Airlines (@AmericanAir) July 14, 2013