He did it again, that Luis Suarez. This time it was Chiellini that took the bite. Don’t get me started on how disgraceful it was the first two times, let alone subsequently winning football player of the year and now he is at it again at the world cup.
This type of incident is an opportunity for brands however, in terms of real time marketing. Real time marketing blew up when brands married up their social media advances with key events that their consumer base would tap into. It’s a smart move, to engage your audience outside of the regular 9-5. In fact, the advertising world has much wizardry at its fingertips in terms of marketing automation, but the timely dissemination of content can have a huge impact on getting the brand heard. Paddy Power is the king of real time marketing, and in fact entertaining and shocking consumers is where the majority of its budget is spent.
However, real time marketing has the potential to bite you on the backside. Real time marketing is just that, real time. In order to be successful at it you have to be quick and clever. The Luis Suarez incident is just loaded with ammo for brands to create quick witted jokes to gain engagement from their followers, and they did.
— Nando’s (@NandosUK) June 24, 2014
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) June 24, 2014
— SNICKERS® (@SNICKERS) June 24, 2014
But what if the subject means that what you put out there is actually in poor taste?
As a challenger brand, Paddy Power would argue that they want to create shock and awe. It’s their strategy and that’s fine. But what if your brand isn’t following in the same footsteps? Drawing light onto your brand using a disgraceful subject like Suarez biting Chiellini and your comments could attract perceptions of your brand that you can’t take back if you get the angle wrong. Just look at the trial of Oscar Pistorius and how much negative press Paddy Power received at the time.
It’s safe to say that it is easy to jump on the band wagon and borrow some interest, but before you put it out there you need to think about whether you want to associate your brand with the negative press you are commenting on. If you are trialling an approach like Paddy Power, it could really work for you but remember a person’s perception of a brand is created at every touch point with that brand. You should keep each experience consistent with your brand and not just use borrowed interest to ride on the popularity of a trending topic as a one off. You can guarantee that if you get it wrong, that one off tweet will catch you out.
Think before you tweet.