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The Globe and Mail

Ad agency pans real-time advertising in spoof video

When the lights went out at the 2012 Super Bowl, Oreo’s social media team reacted quickly to the news on Twitter. It was the first time most people had seen such a fast response from a brand to a conversation happening in real time, and Oreo got credit for a smart strategy.

And then, as is the way of advertising trends, the entire industry leapt on board, taking the strategy to extremes. Nowadays, advertisers are elbowing each other out of the way to be the first, or the wittiest, to react to news as it happens. Brands are joining in on conversations, mostly uninvited and sometimes unwisely.

Toronto ad agency John St. is having some fun with the real-time craze.

“It’s not about being funny or smart, it’s about being fast,” John St. copywriter Keri Zierler says in the spoof video.

It even proposes a “prophet centre,” a Minority Report-style room where prophets are hooked up to a mainframe to allow advertisers to react before a conversation even happens.

The parody videos are an annual tradition for the agency, which has previously made fun of prank ads, over-the-top case study videos, advertisers who do anything to go viral, and our obsession with cats.

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