There’s an excellent piece on Wired that profiles Oreo’s marketing efforts during Super Bowl XLVII. With a marketing team of 15 people on hand throughout the game, they were able to react quickly to events through the night—including the half-blackout of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans that delayed the game for 34 minutes.
“During the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVII when a power outage at the Superdome caused some of the lights to go out for 34 minutes, the sandwich cookie’s social media team jumped on the cultural moment, tweeting an ad that read “Power Out? No problem” with a starkly-lit image of a solitary Oreo and the caption, “You can still dunk in the dark.” The message caught on almost immediately, getting nearly 15,000 retweets (as of this writing) and more than 20,000 likes on Facebook – not quite Beyoncé halftime show numbers, but pretty impressive for a one-off joke made by a cookie. The ad was also posted on Tumblr by digg, with the note “Oreo won the Super Bowl blackout.”
So how did Oreo put their own twist on the lights-out scenario so quickly? Turns out they had a 15-person social media team at the ready to respond to whatever happened online in response to the Super Bowl — whether it was a mind-blowing play or half the lights shutting off. So not only did they have a regular commercial run during the first quarter, they also had copywriters, a strategist, and artists ready to react to any situation in 10 minutes or less.”
Oreo’s strategy is a prime example of how marketing has had to evolve along with the consumer’s viewing experience. Instead of being fixated on their televisions, viewers are watching TV and checking out their social networks simultaneously—often on mobile, laptop or both. It’s important to have a strategy to reach every screen, as it were, as well as to be as timely/topical as possible with updates to maximize engagement and exposure. The brave new world of advertising has arrived.