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#FacebookDown – What’s a Brand to Do?

Take a deep breath, internet users. One of our biggest nightmares came true this morning: Facebook was down.

Although Facebook was back running smoothly by midday, the brief inability to log into the site caused quite a stir. And, while many joked by encouraging people to “go out and do something productive” during the outage, people weren’t having it. Instead, they took to other social sites, making #Facebookdown today’s trending topic.

But what was really intriguing were all the real-time advertising campaigns that exploded during today’s technical snafu. Capitalizing on the conversation, marketers from all types of companies and brands used the #Facebookdown topic to hawk books, alcohol, Red Bull, and even razors.


redbull FB

In perhaps the most clever (and slightly critical) example, Waterstones Books drew up an ad that looked exactly like the website’s iconic logo, but with the tagline “Read a book.”

Today’s outpouring of topical advertising illustrates that real-time marketing is no longer just a trend, but a necessity for brands that want to stay ahead of the social media influence game. By tying their brands into a popular topic of conversation, marketers can ensure their audience is already engaged—all that’s left to do is cunningly add their own message.

Despite the risks of composing a grandiose marketing strategy on-the-fly, real-time marketing is here to stay. Ironically enough, it has become so normal that it even takes advantage of the very website that has helped cultivate this lightning-paced culture. We’re sure that Facebook would understand.

Just don’t scare us like that again.

Image: Flickr

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