Gurbaksh Chahal | ‘Now’ Moments – The Golden Ticket of Social


Gurbaksh Chahal Business

March 27, 2013

The Golden Ticket of Social

With the proliferation of real-time social technologies, marketing has quickly moved away from traditional display ad channels towards how brands can better harness “now” moments. The highly-anticipated release of Twitter’s ad API will accelerate this trend as brands learn to automate their Twitter campaigns and compare the results with what they are currently doing in social, search and display.

Look around. Opportunities to leverage real-time moments are happening every second, especially when people engage in online social conversations during major events like the Oscars, Super Bowl and the Grammys. This year, we’ve seen a number of industry firsts taking place behind the scenes during these events, from some of the most iconic brands in the world. When the lights went out during the Super Bowl, the social team at Oreo quickly launched into action with a real-time display ad and social response that let viewers know the brand’s creative team was right there with them for the ride, instantly tweeting, “Power out, No problem. You can still dunk in the dark.” This “now moment” garnered rave reviews from audiences and advertisers, and drove higher affinity with the brand. And I believe it’s a sign of things to come.

“Now-marketing” isn’t just about appointment based televised events either. People are engaging more and more in online conversations about brands throughout the day. Just do a Twitter search for hashtag topics like #Hyundai or #letsdolunch and people are explicitly indicating their interest in these brands. This online behavior provides powerful information for brands and advertisers who understand how to leverage these social mentions, and connect with these same people via relevant display ads across the web and on mobile devices.

The beautiful thing about hashtags is they can encompass much more than just a company or a brand name. They can convey an emotion, a category or theme. For example, during holidays like Valentines Day, an advertiser like or Mars may wish to target users who tweet #love, #commitment or #gift. Upping the ante even further is American Express, a global brand that recognized the ubiquity of social by launching a new technology that allows cardholders to pay for purchases using hashtags on Twitter.

This is an exciting time, as the rules of marketing continue to change. The victors will be those who can effectively capitalize on the inherent potential of these real-time moments in a seamless way that drives continued brand engagement. May the odds be ever in your favor.