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The Oreo super bowl ad is often held up to be the perfect example of agile marketing in action.

In truth there have been a number of similarly effective and timely tweets from brands but Oreo grabs all the plaudits for some reason, probably due to the fact that it coincided with one of the world’s biggest sporting events.

Adidas is one example of a brand that consistently produces effective marketing tweets that give the impression of being off the cuff and reactive to events, even though they were clearly planned ahead of time.

For example, just last night Adidas’ UK marketing team tweeted an image congratulating Andy Murray on winning the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

It included a tongue-in-cheek strapline making light of the fact that Murray is occasionally criticised for being a dour Scot and at the time of writing had received almost 13,000 retweets in just over 12 hours. 

Adidas chose not to include the hashtag #SPOTY which is associated with the awards and was trending in the UK on Sunday evening. This may have gained it even more exposure, though may also have made it look like Adidas was endorsing the awards.


Adidas’ reactive tweets generally centre around its #Allin campaign and celebrate the achievements of its sponsored athletes.

This means that Saturdays tend to be busy due to the brand’s deals with a number of Premier League football teams.

To be honest I'm unsure whether Adidas’ tweets should be classified as agile marketing as the images have largely all been prepared ahead of time and probably just sit in a Jpeg library somewhere.

However they are an excellent demonstration of how brands can take advantage of the instantaneous nature of Twitter by planning ahead of time and creating a calendar of relevant events.

Furthermore, Adidas also makes great use of the new preview window on Twitter which automatically displays part of the image in the user’s feed.

By designing an image that perfectly fits the preview box brands can get their message across without their followers having to expand the tweet, so it basically acts like a small banner ad.

I’ve previously blogged 10 brands that are hijacking Twitter feeds with the new preview images, and Adidas is a prime example of this new trend.

Here are five other examples of its new marketing tactic...

Suarez’s goals

Liverpool’s Luis Suarez scored two fluky goals against Tottenham yesterday, prompting this celebratory tweet. 

Fernandinho wins man of the match

On Saturday Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho scored two goals against Arsenal and won man of the match. 

All Blacks go undefeated

New Zealand's national rugby team ended the year undefeated after winning all 14 of its test matches, finishing with a 24-22 victory over Ireland in Dublin. 

The Little Master plays 200 international cricket matches

Earlier this year Indian cricket player Sachin Tendulkar retired after reaching 200 test caps. 

Arsenal's star men

This tweet congratulated Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey on combining for yet another Arsenal goal. 

David Moth

Published 16 December, 2013 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1687 more posts from this author

Comments (8)

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Sam Brown

Sam Brown, Digital Marketing Manager at Goal

Agree, David - I wouldn't class this as agile marketing as they'd pre-planned to the point of having it projected outside the First Direct Arena as people were leaving the venue:

almost 3 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Editor & Head of Social at EconsultancyStaff

@Sam, good spot, thanks for pointing that out. I guess it's reactive or even just well-timed marketing rather than agile. However I'm not going to suggest we create a new buzzword as I think we already have enough ;)

almost 3 years ago


Joe L

"Liverpool’s Luis Suarez scored two fluky goals against Tottenham yesterday"

Spurs supporter David? Two excellent goals and three assists!

almost 3 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Editor & Head of Social at EconsultancyStaff

@Joe, how did you guess? ;)

almost 3 years ago


Joel Siddall

Great article. Adidas seem to have mastered this reactive type of marketing. I would still class their efforts as agile even though there is a little planning involved before the event.

almost 3 years ago


Erica Ayotte


Though I'm still deciding whether or not the term 'agile marketing' makes me want to cringe, what you're describing is much like the definition of luck: it's when preparation meets opportunity.

However, in an 'off the cuff' situation, there's still preparation involved---searching or waiting for the right moment, having the right cast of characters assembled behind the scenes, and creative materials ready to go. There's still that element of creative wizardry when someone comes up with a killer idea (and executes on it) that has huge impact. But this happens few and far between. Brands having been trying to pull another Oreo all year and I can't say there's been one example that has come close.

In fact most of these brands (including the examples you used in this post) have been trying (really hard!) to create their own Oreo moment using pre-planned content. Not that having a plan and ready content is a bad thing. But as far as passing that off as instantaneous genius---not so much. It doesn't feel quite as authentic because the situations Adidas prepared for could be easily anticipated.

While the Adidas examples are examples of good, timely, well-prepared content, they're missing that element of serendipity and unexpectedness.

So TL: DR: while 'agile' content takes more preparation than one might think (it's not all 'magic'), the situations that make that content really successful are difficult (if not impossible) to manufacture.

almost 3 years ago


Matt Lovell, Head of Group Analytics & Digital Insight at Thomas Cook Group AirlinesEnterprise

For me the really interesting part up in Leeds was how a little bit of humour (especially after Murray's slightly awkward and in the end tearful award presentation) resulted in hundred of people desperately trying to get a picture of the Adidas sign.

Given it was tweeted loads of times itself (and the number of people commenting 'how did they know he was going to win' despite the bookies having him as 1-50 favourite!), this demonstrates to me that getting the content and timing both right can have really positive effects...

almost 3 years ago



The awesomeness of being able to Interact with fans and sponsored athletes is a good thing. Let's face it. Many of us could not care less about the products these companies such as Adidas promote, but we care about the athletes. In my case, I am happy for Tendulkar and celebrate him, while I weep for the hapless West Indies Cricket team.

almost 3 years ago

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