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24/07/2013 by

The World’s First Real-time Twitter Race In NASCAR History?

US Telco Sprint surprised us with the world’s first real-time Twitter integration into social TV: The shortest race in NASCAR history. Gone in 60 seconds? Get inspired here.

The World’s First Real-time Twitter Race In NASCAR History?

This smart integrated campaign is very sophisticated but pretty mashed-up.

If you explore more, you will be inspired!

Sprint: Real-time Twitter NASCAR Race

Sprint and Leo Burnett teamed up with social TV advertising platform to enable the world’s first real time Twitter integration.

The World’s First Real-time Twitter Race In NASCAR History?

During a sponsored segment at TNT’s Wide Open coverage of NASCAR’s Coke Zero 400 in Daytona, the 60-second race, billed as “the shortest race in NASCAR history,” ran during the live Wide Open coverage of the last 30 laps of the race.

Fans were asked to Tweet their favorite driver’s car number, along with the hashtag #Sprint60. Each Tweet increased the driver’s speed, pushing them faster along the track as viewers watched the progress live.

This was a direct call-to-action for watchers to not just participate in an example of Social TV gamification during an Ad spot, but also created a social share benefit in real-time.

Watch this video to get the full experience:

Interview with CEO Lars Lauritzsen

In an interview Lars Lauritzsen, CEO at from Oslo Norway explained the possibilities of Social TV advertising and the Sprint Nascar stunt very well:

“NASCAR racing is legendary for separating kids from grownup drivers. The Sprint 60 separated kids from grownups in the social TV technology field. It’s a prime example of what our Sync product is all about: 1st/2nd screen synchronicity, real-time broadcast graphics rendering, and individual viewer dialogue. It was a bold segment to put on air, since there was no margin for error.

My Opinion

A very clever approach by my old client Sprint and Leo Burnett. And is a company to put on your watch list. It could be very inspiring to CMO’s to watch some of their case studies.

Twitter has made a very smart strategic choice to claim Social TV. With their focus on Social TV, Twitter has made a huge frog leap forward towards the huge amounts of Dollars large brands spend on TV.

Twitter has also teamed up with global media networks to bring richer, interactive experiences to TV.

Here, in the Social TV space, Google and Facebook have failed so far. Yes, they are growing their ways of spammy ads. But do these enrich the lives of people who live on the internet? No not really. Or no, really not?

The struggling Facebook could have launched a Social TV channel into Facebook long ago. A race or F1 channel that would bring over 100 million fans together at every race. Die-hard fans of which 54 million get up in the middle of the night to watch and talk about the races with their like-minded peers.

Now where is that global Social TV channel in Facebook? Where are other Social TV communities in Facebook? Isn’t that the way to grab the TV Dollars from global brands? Isn’t that a much better experience than spammy ads in our Timeline?

Before I left Mindshare and WPP as global chief social officer, I delivered my global social strategy in which Social TV was an important pillar for global brands. So I am happy to see Twitter’s direction and next steps in Social TV.

Currently I am working about a book on TV. But if I continue in this pace, the book will be a never ending story. So I need to go offline again and continue my writing. But if you are truly obsessed, blogging can be pretty addictive. I had to share this story with you.

Bye bye couch potatoes. All teenagers and next generations are social and interactive TV viewers that do not care about the old linear TV broadcasting ways. They want to be part of the experience and their network of like-minded peers.

TV is dead. Long live TV.

What About You?
How do you rate Sprint’s shortest Twitter race ever? Where do you see Social TV go? Love to hear your ideas in the comments below.

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About the Author
Igor Beuker was CMO at 3 listed companies, chairman at the IAB, jury member at Webby, AMMA and Esprix awards, founder of 3 digital agencies (sold to WPP) and global chief social officer at Mindshare. Now he is freejack consultant and still a sought after keynote speaker.


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