Arby’s wasn’t the only real time marketing hit at the Grammy Awards


Aishwarya Krishnamurthy

February 7, 2015 3 min read

Updated on May 2, 2017

Ever since the infamous Oreo Moment in 2013, it has been the goal of every brand, and the bane of every advertiser’s existence to out-do, or at the very least replicate the virality of that tweet at a live event. With viewers now following brand activity on social media with as much enthusiasm as the event itself, it has become necessary for brands to not just join an event based conversation, but really stand out and be heard above the noise.

But, what makes real time marketing (RTM) magic?  

Does it require a social media war room and 18 months of preparation? Does it require a celebrity-fuelled selfie? Or does it just take a smartphone, quick fingers, and a winning sense of humor?

Hat’s off to Arby’s (Apologies for the terrible but necessary pun)

The myth that a winning tweet requires a room full of professionals was effectively thwarted at the Grammy Awards last year by a single tweet by a lone marketer, simply live-tweeting the event. Even if you don’t remember the winner of the Best New Artist or the Album of the Year at the 2014 Grammy Awards, it’s unlikely that you’ve forgotten the winner of the Best Tweet of the event –




According to Unmetric data, even though more than 600 major brands were tweeting with the GRAMMYs last year, it was Arby’s tweet that walked away as the clear winner on social media.  Seizing a golden opportunity when Pharrell Williams walked onto the red carpet with a hat that looked very similar to the Arby’s logo, their witty tweet was retweeted three times more than the next popular tweet of the night (and five times more than the Oreo tweet, btw!)

In fact one of the other popular tweets of the evening was also hat related – This tweet by Quaker Oats, referenced the Arby’s tweet and the fact that GRAMMY performer Madonna was wearing a hat similar to the one worn by their own mascot!

Sponsors make their presence felt.

While the sponsors of the Grammy Awards do not share the sensationalism of their Super Bowl or World Cup counterparts, some brands made sure to call attention to their sponsorship of the event, on social media. One of the official sponsors, CoverGirl, commented on multiple moments from the event, and their most popular tweet was a shoutout to their brand ambassador Pink after her powerful performance.

 The other official sponsors also tweeted during the event to various levels of engagement. Sponsors like JBL, MasterCard (who congratulated brand ambassador Justin Timberlake on his win), Microsoft Surface, and Degree Women, who commented on Macklemore’s performance received great engagement


However, other sponsors like Delta Air Lines, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hyundai, simply couldn’t recreate the same magic.

An Event-Full Evening

The 56th Grammy Awards were packed with outstanding acts that gave brands ample opportunities to join the chatter on Twitter. Macklemore’s historic performance (featuring Queen Latifah, Madonna and 34 couples) was applauded online by multiple brands including the Ellen Show, Degree Women, Ben & Jerry’s and the Seattle Seahawks; while Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar’s collaboration received love from brands like Victoria’s Secret, iTunes Music and Beats by Dre.

We understand that planning for the unplanned seems like an oxymoron, but brands are quickly adapting to the trend of commenting on these ‘moments’. The excitement and hype on social media before an event often feels like brands are lined up at the starting line of a race waiting for that gun shot moment, whether it’s a hat or a blackout, to take off!

Preparing for Sunday

By making sure that they have all the tools and designers/copy editors/etc. required before the event, brands can stay agile and react organically, and swiftly, to what’s transpiring on stage. In our new Guide to Real Time Marketing, you’ll find everything you’ll need to have in place before you start live-tweeting at an event.  With the chance that your brand’s message could reach a massive potential audience, you simply can’t afford to miss out on these events!

If you need some last minute inspiration for the 57th Grammy Awards, or would like to see how brands are already joining the Grammy conversation, check out our live stream – Event Pulse


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