March Madness Twitter Ads Tip Off After Buzzer-Beater

'Tis the season for real-time efforts

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.

Marketers bid on Promoted Tweets in a fashion that's similar to Google AdWords.

Check out the examples Adweek has gathered so far: