Going Live: Observations from the forefront of RealTime planning, via The Olympics, the Superbowl and Harold Macmillan

Seth-wescott-visa-ad Seth Westcott, who performed in RealTime ad placements for Visa

courtesy of WARC, via Andy, comes a great article on the RealTime activation.  whilst there was a fair degree of coverage of the efforts at the time, new commentary seems to show the extent to which the companies involved have deemed the initiatives a success.

commenting on broadcasting a TV spot minutes after one of their athletes – snowboarder Seth Westcott – won his second gold medal, Michael Lynch, Visa's head of global sponsorships, said "Our research has proven out that [these ads] are one of the best connections between Visa and the Olympics we have … We know the opportunity in the moment when we're sharing with Seth his accomplishments is special, and it's worked extremely well for us."

Drew-brees_Dove Drew Brees, Dove Men+Care's Most Valuable Player

a similar approach was adopted by Unilever's Dove Men+Care, who's ad featuring New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees landed on US screens hours after his team won the Super Bowl.  being named MVP didn't do any harm either; "It just ended up perfectly" observed Rob Master, director of media for Unilever's North American operations.

whilst underpinned by technology, and the willingness (and / or necessity) of media companies to accommodate such media buys, the above ad placements mark three interesting observations for those of us negotiating the future of media and communications.

one, that there's an interesting and clear direction of travel emerging, and it's called convergence into RealTime.  so far so whatever – this we know and I've written some thoughts on that before.  but the second observation – the infiltration of RealTime into the broadcast stream – shows just how far the trend is now pushing…

it's not unrealistic to assume that continued fragmentation of channels and viewing will only increase the opportunities to place more customised and relevant content in front of people in RealTime.  and there's a fascinating insight into how this could be deployed in the below video, showing how Slate’s Seth Stevenson bought an ad in a low-rating spot.  via Google.

it only takes a small leap to imagine how Google data could be combined with this technology to deploy a significant proportion of a schedule in RealTime, based on whatever factors a planner deems appropriate…  run ads when only it's raining, or whenever a sports team wins, or when interest rate decreases are announced.  to name but three – the possibilities become kind of endless…

but the final observation takes a lesson from Politics.  when Harold Macmillan was asked what represented the greatest challenge for a statesman, he replied: "Events, my dear boy, events"  …both the Visa and Dove examples above resonated above and beyond delivering pure awareness because, and only because, of events.

I can't help but suspect that the future of media implementation may have events very much at it's heart.  from mass events like the Olympics or the Superbowl, to macro events like interest rate changes, thru to the micro events of re-targeting someone who visited a website.  politics' greatest challenge may be media implementation's greatest
opportunity.

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