How Advertisers are Using Social Media for Ad Strategies

Imagine this scene: tick, tick, tick…and the clock strikes 12. The men at Sterling Cooper advertising in New York City huddle around a boardroom table; scotch in hand, cigarette smoke fresh in the air. Crafting the latest ad campaign, their matching black freshly ironed suits flood the room. But what appears to be a scene from the popular AMC show, Mad Men, is also the world of advertising on Madison Avenue, long before the online world, and long before Twitter released its first tweet.

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Twitter users have turned the tables on Madison Avenue. With user-generated content taking over the web, and social media particularly gaining more popularity every day, big brands are paying close attention to what their customers are saying online.

Overnight Ad Success-How Samsung Succeeded By Listening

For instance,  Samsung’s latest television ad, which mocks Apple Inc.’s new iPhone, got over 32 million views in just 2 weeks. Samsung credits the success of the ad to their team tuning in to comments made by consumers on Twitter. The lines from the script were pulled directly from “hundreds of thousands” of tweets making fun of features of the iPhone5. Samsung is “pulling conversations that are happening in [their] category and reflecting them in ads,” as noted by the company’s Vice President of strategic marketing, Brian Wallace. Social media has not only provided massive visibility to the 30 second ad, but created strategic direction for Samsung in the first place. They are not only tuning in to conversations on their own brand, but their competitors, and capitalizing on the opportunities leveraged from listening in.

Procter & Gamble – Ad Proves They Listen To Their Followers

Procter & Gamble has leveraged social conversation to devise new TV ads for its Duracell Powermat, a device that allows smartphone charging on the go. Duracell decided to use the little red and green battery signals in its ad after reviewing social media analytics. Data indicated that “70,000 people had commented that their battery was red while over 55,000 talked about their battery being green” (Networked Insights Inc.). Social analytics and tweets like “that moment when your phone battery is red and dying and you still use it like it’s on green” have helped the marketing giant integrate social data in to their ad creation process. Scenarios creating frustration for users create conversation on social networks, and brands and their advertising agencies are listening in. Ads that take into account what people are saying online showcases an ability to react positively to consumer requests and complaints. Companies like Procter & Gamble push user-generated content front and center, becoming more relevant, sharable, and socially savvy in the process.

Madison Avenue ad execs have long relied on gut instinct. With social media always changing, brands will have to learn to evolve with the trends, pay attention to conversations, and shift strategy to stay relevant. While filming the Samsung ad, dialogue was being changed on the spot! Stakeholders have found their footing on Twitter and although some Madison Avenue insiders are still skeptical of how influential Twitter comments truly are, more brands are using social media data in their ad planning. Another example is Revlon, who eliminated words like “hypoallergenic” from their ads, which has not been a major conversation online. The word will play a lesser role in 2013 (Wall Street Journal).

Advertising has long been built on the customer always being right, and in the age of digital these customers are turning to Twitter to voice their opinions and connect with brands. As the doors close to the board room, Madison Avenue will need to take a look at user-generated content online to stay ahead and stay in line with the long recognized slogan, the customer is always right. Let’s hope their gut instinct leads to Twitter.



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