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Don't Believe the Hype
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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There is always a lot of "hype" about the brand-new products or activities in the marketing and advertising industry. We remember how people started stenciling on sidewalks, creating a more "viral" experience. We remember the rise of grassroots marketing, "green" marketing, "scarevertising," and creating fake experiences to bring the brand into a eerily close connection with the customer.

Then came big data. Data was, and, in some cases, continues to be the hottest thing. 

As brands tried to rise above the clutter, marketers saw that live events could prove to be beneficial. When the Super Bowl came a few years ago and the lights went out, everyone can recall how Oreo quickly became the topic of conversation with its quick and witty social media marketing response.

Oh, yes; real-time marketing. The brand quickly became part of the event and the conversation.

Of course, if one brand finds success in it, more brands are going to try it out. Any time something big happens, brands flock to the Internet to posture and try to be a part of the experience.

According to a survey of marketers recently done by the PR Council, nearly half of the respondents claimed that this real-time marketing was the most or second-most overhyped marketing activity, followed by native marketing and even social media.


Real-time marketing has its benefits, but it would be entirely too difficult to rely on it as a staple of one's marketing arsenal. If the live event or occurrence matches what your brand believes or stands for, then by all means, engage. But to do real-time marketing just to do it could be a waste of resources and could begin brand fatigue for the people who follow the company.

It is interesting that these marketers (a sample of ANA marketers) saw professionals flocking to it, and saw through its shallow veil. Real-time marketing, like several activities implemented by our marketing brethren, can be useful, though a little gimmicky.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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