The Importance of Timeliness

When the power went out during the 2013 Super Bowl, one company took quick decisive action to become the biggest advertising win of the night. It wasn’t done in a multi-million dollar 30-second ad, either. It was done on Twitter by the Oreo division of Nabisco.

Oreo sent a tweet within minutes of the power failing and the game being called to a halt. The tweet simply said, “Power out? No Problem.” This tweet was accompanied by a very simple image with a grey gradient background that featured the words at the bottom, “You can still dunk in the dark.”

This single tweet made Oreo possibly the biggest news story of the most important night in advertising. Approximately 16,000 people retweeted the Oreo image. Uncounted millions of people were made aware of it within minutes. To take it a step further, the word-of-mouth response by the media and at water coolers around the country was priceless. It cost Oreo nothing to send the tweet beyond the wages paid to the people responsible for creating the image and sending the message.

Timeliness trumps everything. If you can craft your message around an issue that people are actively talking about in social media, on YouTube, and throughout homes across the country, you have a far greater chance of having your message heard than you would if you came up with a crafty slogan and slapped it on an ad.

Another great example of a timely message is the Cheerios commercial above. General Mills capitalized on a trend that may not appear timely at first glance, but is very relevant to the current climate in the U.S., when it decided to introduce a multi-racial family to a Spring 2013 ad campaign. At a time when the United States is actively discussing what marriage means, this simple Cheerios campaign made headlines because it pushed a boundary that (while controversial to some) did little more than spread the message that Cheerios is good for your heart.

The Cheerios ad became the hot topic on The View, racked up over four million views on YouTube, and created conversation around water coolers throughout the country.

Timeliness may not be the only ingredient to success, but it certainly helps when it comes to making your brand a topic of discussion, and it’s that random conversation between people at work, on social media, and in living rooms around the world that makes the biggest impact.

Ryan Pierson (27 Posts)

Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia and technology writing.


  • Terrence Andrew Davis

    hem in the possession of the land, but gave them damages, which never
    amounted to a real loss. Even in England, the country, perhaps of
    Europe, where the yeomanry has always been most respected, it was not
    till about the 14th of Henry VII. that the action of ejectment
    was invented, by which the tenant recovers, not damages only, but
    possession, and in which his claim is not necessarily concluded by the
    uncertain decision of a single assize. This action has been found so
    effectual a remedy, that, in

  • Terrence Andrew Davis

    mutually patched exceeded sprung suffocated cogitated sweet-attuned
    water-brooks incongruously exhausted displease continence
    obscurely whatever sinner Reason Yo entreat obscure unreasoning
    curious editions preliminary bleeding trifles regarded
    unintermitting next perceiving caverns Times commander
    serene Time shudder humane furnish deemed incoming sense
    thereof lovest trusting publication listening averse fantasies
    hang_in_there bridle correction Oh_really Wherefore evolution
    narrow resolutely express Perchance lashed bound do_I_have_to
    I’m_feeling_nice_today threatenest contributing -anger
    Those permission teaches ebbs how_hard_could_it_be directing
    FTP fulness sentiment consciousness beclouded sweetly
    Bulgaria distribute Bride one-third magnify hypocrite
    crooked clear syllables impressions plainer cloak painful
    interpreting knocketh beauties listing luminaries estate
    actions secretly Sure cauldron burst lighted admit changest
    Fiji knit dares deem herself definitely renew’d wish felt
    wound

  • Terrence Andrew Davis

    phy than she has to endure at present.

    That would not be creditable.

    Certainly not, I said; and yet perhaps, in thus turning jest
    into earnest I am equally ridiculous.

    In what respect?

    I had forgotten, I said, that we were not serious, and spoke with too
    much excitement. For when I saw philosophy so undeservedly trampled
    under foot of men I could not help feeling a sort of indignation
    at the authors of her disgrace: and my anger made me too vehement.

    Indeed! I was listening, and did n

  • http://www.elite-strategies.com/blog Patrick Coombe

    Thanks so much Ryan, what a great post. Thanks for giving me something new to think about tonight.

    • Ryan Matthew Pierson

      Thank YOU for reading. Your kind comment made my day. :)

  • http://flippa.com/blog Ophelie Lechat

    Love this. This kind of timeliness is more loosely defined than the “newsjacking” PR pros love to talk about, but is just as important. Nicely written!

    • http://ryanmpierson.com/ Ryan Matthew Pierson

      Thank you!

  • Spook SEO

    Hey Ryan. Though I’m not sure if I’ll agree with timeliness trumping everythng, I’m pretty sure that it does play a GINORMOUS ROLE when it comes to catching people’s attention or making a post viral.

    I’d go with creating an emotional connection with the viewers as probably my number 1 on the list when it comes to advertising.

    Thanks for sharing. Your post is amazing! Cheers!

    • http://ryanmpierson.com/ Ryan Matthew Pierson

      Thank you for reading.

Please Share This Page
JavaScript is required.
Categories