Real-Time Marketing Lessons from DiGiorno


NBC received its highest Thursday night ratings since the “E.R.” finale with the “Sound of Music” live. Based on the feedback I saw online, these great ratings can be attributed to 1) people who were hating on Carrie Underwood and the live taping and 2) DiGiorno jumping in on #TheSoundOfMusicLive action with live tweets. The latter was a big win for brands on Twitter, with DiGiorno trending in different areas of the U.S. and generating tons of tasty press.

My favorite tweet of the night:

I can’t believe it, either.

So what can we learn as digital marketers from DiGiorno’s live-tweeting action?

Choose your events wisely.

Not every brand can decide to live-tweet a musical on TV, or serve up an on-the-spot tweet during a Superbowl blackout. It is safe to assume that many people who tweeted about the NBC special have also tried DiGiorno pizza at some point, and it’s a harmless brand that can tweet about TV. A frozen pizza tweeting about musicals: not harmful, pretty funny.

Insert a different brand into the scenario and you could wind up with a completely different story. Say a bank tried to live-tweet the “Sound of Music.” I would be confused, you would be confused, all of Twitter would be confused. Now, could a bank live-tweet an awesome savings event or special on TV? Possibly, because it could provide insight to its target audience.

No promo.

Please, pretty please, do not use real-time marketing to solely promote your products. No one truly likes blatant marketing on the web, and no one appreciates an attempted hashtag hijacking with a promo attached. Have fun and join in the conversation, genuinely. Now of course DiGiorno got a ton of pizza references in there by seamlessly incorporating their brand with the conversation, but they were not pushing products. They were pushing the brand in a fun way.

Brands like Victoria’s Secret and Nintendo are other good examples of great real-time engagement without going overboard with promotions.

What is your take on DiGiorno’s Twitter takeover? Should more brands hop onto real-time marketing opportunities or will the trend soon fall out of favor?