Acting in the moment – Ways to advertise in the now


Acting in the moment – Ways to advertise in the now

All marketers of a certain age can wistfully recall golden moments, when the marketing planets aligned and their campaign found a resonance from launching, just as other events in the world occurred to provide their messages with additional relevance and amplification.

There was a certain amount of serendipity involved.

Now these moments need not be luck, they can be created.

The theory is nothing new, it was defined long ago as a “watercooler moment”, the idea that people would stand around the watercooler at work the next day talking about the defining moment of the previous evening’s television.

As we all move inexorably from broadcast television to mobile devices as the dominant information presence in our lives, it creates the opportunity for live social broadcasting to become that watercooler moment. The downside of the old TV-based scenario was that it was siloed, not easily shared or communicated.

Now if we see an event occurring we can tell tens if not hundreds of our friends and followers about it so they can join us in the experience.

So what social platforms allow us to do this?

Twitter was the first social platform to really understand the power of small momentary communication, hence its brevity of format. As our ability to generate video developed we saw the emergence of Vine in the summer of 2012. It took all of four months for Twitter to acquire them and bring short-form pre-recorded “moment” video to the mainstream.

They didn’t even hang around that long for the next iteration. Periscope hadn’t even launched when Twitter acquired it in early 2015. With the emergence of this app we were now all armed with the ability to be our own outside broadcast unit, streaming live to the world wherever we were.

As of 2016, Vine has now run its course, with Twitter announcing the closure of the service, but Periscope continues to thrive, with the eye-popping statistic that its 10 million + users now watch 110 years of content every single day.

Of course this kind of success awakens the big beasts of social media, which brings us neatly to Facebook Live.

Which is better Facebook Live or Periscope?

In the long run Facebook is likely to dominate with its huge ability to invest in a quality service for its gigantic user base. Already it’s giving brands a big advantage over regular Facebook page posts in that it notifies all page followers that a Live event is occurring. This is a flip for brands struggling to get attention on Facebook via traditional posts.

There is huge potential for this format to deliver a daily offer, an important news update or showcase an event in progress. For seasoned users it could even be a powerful format to address user feedback, answering questions live rather than replying in individual written comments.

As always, it’s about attention and the statistics showing that people spend three timings longer watching live video than recorded video are compelling.

Facebook Video Infographic

Be creative, it’s not just video!

Although video is a huge medium there are lots of other ways we can curate and share a series of memorable moments with our audience.

Snapchat has been a great pioneer of this and forced other platforms to create similar functionality. Hence we now have Twitter Moments and Instagram Stories.

An interesting series of posts throughout a day need no more than a few images and some accompanying text to grab people’s attention. But the keyword here is interesting, the power to create and publish quickly does mean that we sometimes don’t apply the “should I?” filter. The power to publish is as much the power to be crushingly dull as anything else.

Ultimately, all these tools are only as useful as our ability to make creative, meaningful messages to communicate. One example of superb moment marketing from the last few months was the airline Norwegian with their playful “Brad is single” campaign in reaction to the news of the star’s divorce from Angelina Jolie.

They took a risk, they could have been shot down as cashing in on someone’s personal problems, but their saviour was their simplicity. A message so short that they couldn’t be criticized for wallowing in the situation.

The humour won the day and the watercooler moment was born.