Brands may hesitate to market in real time after consumers scoffed at Royal Baby content, but Shark Week proves web users still love corny social content.

Real-time social media marketing: A practice that seemingly divides the nation more and more with each new pop-culture phenomenon. Oreo may be the most engaged in real-time, as evidenced by its Super Bowl blackout win, and its Royal Baby fail. But what really determines whether a real-time campaign is appropriate or not? Brafton’s Lauren Kaye recently explored this process, suggesting that to truly leverage the absolute power of timely marketing, brands must act in the moment and not showcase a calculated method to their madness.

This theory makes sense: No one wants to feel like they’re having prerecorded conversations. However, with Discovery’s Shark Week upon us, Americans are once again noticing real-time web content published to companies’ social media Pages.

For example, Doritos posted images to its Facebook and Twitter accounts of a chip-like dorsal fin cruising through the water. Most people are running from the cheesy-flavored shark, but one bold man dives toward the snacking adventure. This post hasn’t received any negative feedback on Facebook, and people have connected it to the ongoing Shark Week saga.

Perhaps real-time marketing is most effective when it speaks to entertainment events, rather than exploits celebrity activities. Could Americans draw the line when it comes to profiting off of other’s actual lives? If so, maybe the world isn’t so upside-down after all.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.