Best March Madness Promoted Tweets So Far

Nike, Capital One and Bing score, while Walmart air-balls

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Say that Valparaiso upsets Michigan State or Harvard takes out heavily-favored New Mexico in today's first round of the NCAA Tournament. There's almost no question that #Valparaiso and #Harvard would trend nationwide on Twitter—and possibly for hours. And there's little doubt that brands would jump on the hashtags with Promoted Tweet ad buys, as the digital community continues to test whether real-time-based/news-events-driven Twitter marketing is a slam dunk or more akin to a full-court shot in hell.

Since CBS televised its NCAA tourney selection show on Sunday evening, brands have been trying to piggy-back onto March Madness. Here are some of the best examples of Promoted Tweets so far, as American sports fans start this three-week odyssey of wall-to-wall basketball.

Included below is one not-so-great play by Walmart around the #NCAA hashtag this morning. Maybe someone needs to wake up the crew out at Walmart Labs.

Capitol One—typically a big TV advertiser for March Madness—was all over the CBS' Selection Sunday show, particularly displaying some savvy by purchasing Promoted Tweet for #Gonzaga. The financial brand's "Cinderella story" copy fits well with the small school's quest to become the first mid-major National Champion in the modern era.

Nike also showed well on Sunday evening, using image-enhanced Promoted Tweets around the dozens of tourney-bound teams that it sponsors with sneakers and gear, including Gonzaga, Duke and Georgetown. In terms of the latter, the brand's copywriters took a newsy-yet-lighthearted jab at the team's inside-the-Beltway home.

College Humor is on the NCAA basketball bandwagon. And why not poke some fun at the entertaining-but-frustrating annual ritual of watching one's brackets get blown to bits?

Bing gets searchy with a fun factoid about the Big Dance.

Walmart's effort for #NCAA leaves something to be desired. Even if the retailer thinks the target demo is perfect for the Axe product, it still bought a social ad but failed to write copy with relevant context.

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.