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The Importance of Real-Time Ad Copy in Sport

When we think of sporting events, we tend to think of them as single entities: a football match, a game of basketball, or a NASCAR race. However, within these overarching events there are a number of unpredictable smaller events taking place. A touchdown is scored, a homerun is hit, a racer crashes out. Even something as seemingly insignificant as a mistimed tackle can be considered one of these events as they get viewers talking. And whenever people are talking online, there’s an opportunity for brands to engage that conversation with advertising.

In the world of sport, however, this advertising has to be more compelling than the average. When the viewer is watching a live sporting event that they have a passionate investment in, it’s simply not enough to create ads and ad copy that’s not highly engaging and highly relevant. You’ve got to grab attention, and to do that you’ve got to be relevant in the moment that the user is looking to find or engage with whatever information they’re interested in.

So how can this be done? In this article, mporium explores…

Why is real-time ad copy so important?

As we’ve explained previously, real-time marketing gains real results. A well-executed reactive campaign can surprise and delight consumers and help a brand ‘own’ a major event or incident. This is what happened in 2013, when Oreo famously put out its ‘Dunk in the Dark’ tweet during the power outage at that year’s Super Bowl. Thanks to its reactivity and relevance, the tweet gained a huge amount of attention during an incident that simply couldn’t have been predicted.

The necessity for real-time ad copy, and the potential benefits that can be derived from it, are amplified even further in sport. Let’s take a major baseball game as an example. According to Fox Sports, the average length of a Major League Baseball match is 2 hours and 56 minutes. It’s a long time, especially when compared to the 1 hour 45 minute length of the average game of football. Plenty can happen in that time period, and there are plenty of opportunities for fans – either inside the stadium or watching from home – to be inspired to pull out their phone and look something up.

Let’s say that the Chicago Cubs are playing the New York Mets. Maybe Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant have particularly impressive games for the Cubs, while Michael Conforto and Lucas Duda shine for the Mets. It’s likely that people who are watching the game will be looking for information about those players or talking about them online. Maybe one fan wants to know what Conforto’s batting average is currently. Maybe another is a particular fan of Bryant’s and always believes him to be a good bet. Bryant’s having a great night and the fan is looking to place an in-play bet on the player. Whatever the fan is interested in, they’re going to get out their smartphone and look for it.

Let’s follow the Bryant fan. If he searches Google, what kind of ad is he most likely to be interested in? One that’s vague, such as:

“Get the latest in-play odds and place your bet now!”

Or something that’s a little more direct and reactive, such as:

“Bryant’s having another great night for the Cubs! What will he do next? Bet in play now!”

The second one is comfortably the most likely to gain attention. Why? Because in our Micro-Moment world, it’s not just ‘being there’, it’s also ‘being useful’ and ‘being quick’. By showing that it’s in touch with what’s actually happening in the game, the second piece of ad copy is more relevant, more compelling and much more likely to be clicked by the people who see it. That’s all down to reactive, real-time ad copy, and brands who put it to effective use are likely to see better results than those who don’t. So, how is this kind of real-time reactivity possible?

How to make real-time ad copy work

Real-time, reactive ad copy is achievable and can be done through ad technology tools such as mporium IMPACT, which uses a range of data to manage in real-time the timing, pricing and creative/copy for digital ad campaigns – all automatically. While this form of automated marketing is self-activating, there’s still a certain amount of planning and preparation that’s needed beforehand, especially when it comes to creating copy for the ads.

Continuing the use of baseball as an example, there are multiple stages in a baseball match that will inspire viewers to search for information: for example, each one of the nine innings that make up your average game. However, there are other areas to consider as well (which play a part in all sporting events): the build-up, any breaks or pre-organised lulls in play, and the aftermath. All of these moments require different kinds of messaging: the messaging required during the eighth inning of a baseball match, for example, will be different from the first. It’ll need to be more urgent, as there are greater stakes on the line.

So what would need to happen for the copy to change and do so automatically? Simple, it’s all about preparation and getting some copy lined up ahead of time. For example, maybe a betting company could run copy like this in the early stages of the match:

“It’s the second inning of the Cubs vs the Mets, and Bryant’s having a great game. Bet now and get involved!”

In this scenario, the betting company can create template messaging that would look a little something like this:  

“It’s the second inning of [FILL IN MATCH], and [FILL IN PLAYER] having a great game. Bet now and get involved!”

Messaging for the ninth inning would be different, and communicate a greater sense of urgency, but with the same dynamic elements available.

“It’s the bottom of the ninth in the Cubs vs the Mets and things are getting tense. Can Bryant seal the victory? Bet now!”

As a template, this would look like:  

“It’s the bottom of the ninth in the [FILL IN MATCH] and things are getting tense. Can [FILL IN PLAYER] seal the victory? Bet now!”

In these cases, it’s a simple case of anticipating the kind of messaging you may need, creating templates and then swapping out the dynamic copy with relevant match information through tools such as mporium IMPACT.

By doing so, brands can ensure they’re creating more relevant and more engaging ads. This will ultimately attract the user’s click and get the awareness, engagement and revenue all good ads are designed to achieve.

Want to learn more about how to connect with Millennials through traditional TV? Contact the team at mporium to see how mporium IMPACT can help serve your offerings exactly when it’s desired.

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