Super Bowl XLVII’s blackout shows us just how important speed has become in the Internet marketing age. Oreo, already one of the best brand-awareness companies going, managed to outdo themselves with a clever Twitter post reassuring people, “You can still dunk in the dark.” First, they had no way of knowing there would be a 35-minute blackout in the third quarter. Second, they had to come up with the idea in the first few minutes to make it work.
Few organizations could have pulled that off.
By moving so quickly, marketers create spin on top of their own cleverness that accelerates the effect of their work far beyond its intrinsic value. It was retweeted 10,00 times within an hour. But it takes an organization structured to allow for that kind of response, even on a Sunday night. Oreo clearly has an excellent understanding of what it takes to create a ‘splash’.
And it didn’t stop with this. The game concluded with a Ravens-colored Oreo being ‘dunked’ with milk in the style of the classic dunking of the coach with Gatorade. Now that they could have had ready…but they had to have the creativity and process in place to have it up the moment the game ended. That was easy compared to the blackout feat.
Rupal Parekh, writing in Ad Age, gave insight into what it took to make it happen:
The Oreo graphic was “designed, captioned and approved within minutes,” according to Sarah Hofstetter, president of the cookie brand’s digital agency of record, Dentsu-owned 360i. All the decisions were made in real time quickly because marketers and agency members were sitting together at a “mission control” center, or a social-media war room of sorts, at the agency’s headquarters in the TriBeCa neighborhood of Manhattan. Among those who were there were two brand team members from Oreo, and nearly a dozen creatives, strategists, community managers and social-media listeners.
The agency acknowledged that it was able to make decisions so quickly because the Mondelez-owned cookie brand was a broadcaster advertiser in the Super Bowl, and so was closely monitoring chatter and interaction with consumers on all social media channels.
Watch more brands pick up on the value of speed and having a ‘war room’ approach to social media. Oreo’s success at it is hard to ignore.