Find your voice.
Reach your audience.
Increase your relevance.
These are the three commandment’s offered by Twitter’s resident UK Brand Strategist, William Scougal, in his Advertising Week Europe talk, Keeping It Real-Time: How To Talk To People That Talk To You.
Read more after the jump to Advertising Week!
It might sound ridiculous; but at the heart of it, it’s true.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and the devastation that so severely hit New Jersey and New York, Mayor Bloomberg made the, albeit tentative, decision that the 2012 ING New York City Marathon would go on. He, along with New York Road Runners President Mary Wittenberg, issued a joint statement that held that the marathon would not take away significant manpower from the recovery process and acknowledged the event as “a special day for New Yorkers as a symbol of the vitality and resiliency of this city.”
True as that might be – the race has been held annually since 1970, even in 2001 just two months after 9/11 – it was the opinion of the majority, at least of those who voice their opinions publicly, that holding the marathon, just days after what can only be described as a disaster, would be a travesty.
The outcry was instant, and it was loud. Many called for runners to turn around, walk away, and aid in the recovery process when the starting gun fired. Others rightfully, but perhaps less dramatically, questioned how the government could justify sacrificing any amount of manpower when residents of Staten Island were facing life or death situations, when all of Manhattan was struggling to get back on its feet, when there was a soon-to-be gas shortage and still millions without power.
In this day and age, to ignore all of that is a lofty task. Tweets from “average Americans” and members of the media alike make their way into the mainstream, #topics go viral in a matter of minutes, and the chorus swells louder than it could ever have before. Mayor Bloomberg had to acknowledge the majority, admit that his decision just might have been a rush to judgment, and ultimately do the right thing by postponing the marathon.
Simply put, it’s just about impossible to justify holding a major, major event — essentially, the same as a parade — just 2.7 miles away from this:
I’m sorry Sandy messed up your training schedule, marathoners, but I’m pretty sure the manpower can be put to better use.
Everyone’s all up in arms about NBC showing major Olympic events on tape delay, hours after they’ve happened, and hours after many on social media – notably, Twitter – have reported the results.
If you don’t understand why NBC would do this, let me explain. It all boils down to money – ratings and revenue. If they were to air events in real time, most of the United States would be at work, not in front of their TVs; and advertisers would pay much less for these smaller audiences. By tape-delaying major events (think Lochte/Phelps, Gymnastics) into primetime, advertisers are more apt to buy spots, and at a much higher value.
You want the IOC to step in and stop this madness? Think again. The IOC relies on the USOC and its massive broadcast revenue. Before reaching an agreement in May, the USOC received a 20 percent share of global sponsorship revenue and a 12.75 percent cut of U.S. broadcast rights deals.The IOC deemed that excessive; the two sides finally reached an agreement wherein the USOC will retain the revenue it currently receives but its TV rights share will be reduced to 7 percent on any increases in broadcast deals and its marketing share cut in half to 10 percent on increases in sponsorship revenue. In addition, the USOC agreed to contribute to the administrative costs of staging the Olympics — $15 million through 2020 and $20 million after 2020, the officials said.
In both situations, the IOC quite clearly benefits from US broadcast revenue and would certainly cheer any decision that enhances that revenue.
NBC is doing what is best for business – and is reaping the benefits, with ratings beating Beijing on each night thus far. The minority of social media users who insist on ranting about tape delay every chance they get need to face the facts. The Olympics is no longer just about its original and core value of promoting amateur athletics – it is about endorsements, coverage, sales, and advertising – and that isn’t NBC’s fault, they’re just the messenger.
If you don’t want to know who won the race, get off Twitter.