Did Real-Time Marketing Jump the Shark at the Oscars?

David Armano is managing director of Edelman Digital. Follow him on Twitter @armano.

Real-time marketing, it’s been good knowing you, said the social media savvy advertising wonk who is already off to the next trend. Yes, I’m being sarcastic, because I am attempting to speak in the native tongue of your average marketing expert. Maybe they will read this if it’s spoken in their own language.

I came up with the hashtag #OscarsRTM, which exploded a little bit last night. Apparently, this was an evil act because although brands like Google, US Cellular, Oscar Meyer, Stella, JC Penney and Kellogg (a client) were all producing content connected to the Oscars, the marketing community had already made up it’s fickle mind.

“You are no Oreo, sir!” proclaimed the enlightened marketing high priests and priestesses. “This is not how social media works!” proclaimed the social media experts tweeting from their basements. Even as I write this, there’s a Twitter account called @RTMSucks.

It’s ironic that a Twitter account created in real-time was being used to critique real-time — all in real time. The advertising enlightened (and social media experts) will point out that much of what you’ll see in #OscarsRTM are not real-time executions at all. Many of them were done in advance. Blasphemy!

If you take a look at what went down last night, you’ll find some average communication,  but you’ll also see a decent amount of gems and even some really good executions. Especially if you objectively compare them to traditional advertising like many of the 30-second spots we see on television. Over the weeks to come, you are going to see a backlash against real-time marketing. And then when that dust settles, you’ll see brands getting back to the business of trying to figure out how to produce original content — whether it’s done in advance or in “real-time” for the lack of a better phrase. Until then, get your chum ready for the real-time marketing experts. They are out for blood and you’re going to need a bigger boat.

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