ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Marketing Dive acquired Mobile Marketer in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out the new Marketing Dive site for the latest marketing news.

Acura harnesses March Madness fervor via interactive viral video tournament

Acura scores with a viral video competition for March Madness that leverages Twitter?s new conversational ads to enable users to vote for their favorite content showcasing different basketball skills. 

As part of a broader March Madness campaign, the #AcuraTourney viral video competition is designed to complement digital and broadcast creative and keep fans engaged throughout the NCAA tournament. The social tournament will feature eight videos featuring top social online basketball performers and influencers performing tricks, with fans encouraged to vote to send their favorite onto the next round.

?Our efforts are aimed at mirroring the media consumption habits of the March Madness tournament fans, and that includes substantially increasing our mobile presence year over year,? said Jessica Fini, manager of public relations at Acura. 

?For the March Madness campaign this year, the campaign we leveraged the latest and greatest coming from our partner, Twitter,? she said. ?This is Acura?s second use of the Twitter Conversational Video units, the first being our Super Bowl campaign earlier this year, and the videos are fully accessible via mobile.
Conversational ads
Twitter?s conversational ads were introduced earlier this year and boost a promoted post with the addition of call to action buttons and customizable hashtags. 

When a call to action button, such as to vote for a favorite video, is tapped, a pre-populated brand message is opened along with creative and hashtag buttons. Users can personalize the Tweet and share it. 

Acura built the social media campaign to integrate with its overarching March Madness strategy that showcases the brand?s 2016 ILX and TLX sedans as well as other key vehicles. It will be pushed out across broadcast, digital and social properties. 

?March Madness lends itself particularly well to Twitter because of the headline style updates that fans look for to keep up with their teams,? said Shuli Lowy, director of mobile and social media marketing at Ping Mobile

?The campaign Is clearly taking a social media focus as evident in the length of its video,? she said. ?Videos posted on social media have been proven to perform best when they are at or below the 30 second mark.? 

A sporting chance
The media buy includes ESPN broadcast, Tournament Challenge and during broadcast coverage of the tournament on CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV. 

The campaign began with some teaser elements this past weekend, with the full rollout starting today, March 17, for the NCAA tournament kickoff. 

Social media is a popular tactic for brands looking to leverage tie-ins with live sporting events given that fans check their devices frequently for the latest scores. As mobile use and capabilities get more sophisticated, so are brands? campaigns. 

?Over the last several years advertising around March Madness has focused primarily on targeting ads based on time, location, and expressed affinity groups,? Ms. Lowy said.  

?Mobile advertising is becoming more in tune with offline triggers, including those provided by sporting events,? she said. ?Advertisers can now set campaigns up to automatically respond in real time to the results of March Madness games ? ensuring that ad creatives are even more relevant to viewers. 

?We can anticipate that over the course of 2016 savvy marketers will start targeting their campaign in real time based on offline game triggers.?