Oreo Wins Super Bowl Ad Battle With Single Brilliant Tweet

Oreo Dunk in the DarkIn the midst of millions upon millions of dollars being spent in ad time during last night's Super Bowl (those buzzed-about commercials cost an estimated $126,000 per second!), one company deserves some MAJOR kudos for their creativity. With a little teamwork and a lot of fast thinking, Oreo managed to score plenty of attention by releasing a single tweet: "Power out? No problem."

Oreo was of course referring to the power outage that plunged parts of the Superdome into darkness and stopped play for 34 minutes. They not only jumped on a topic that everyone was talking about, but they included a clever image with their iconic cookie spotlit on a dark background along with the fantastic tagline, "You can still dunk in the dark."

Out of all those crazy-expensive traditional Super Bowl commercials, Oreo may have shown the future of social advertising.


To me the truly astounding thing about the ad isn't the creative itself. It's clean and simple, a nice layout with a catchy message, but nothing that would have required an immense amount of design effort. Take a look:

No, the amazing thing is that it was brainstormed, produced, and most importantly, APPROVED in just minutes. I mean, that's not even remotely typical of how marketing works. In my experience anyway, there's often a stupidly lengthy process of checking with stakeholders, refining the ad, and having each and every milestone approved along the way.

In this case, Oreo's branding team and their agency 360i were together during the game, so when the lights went out, they had the ability to think on their feet -- and they had the executive power to sign off on their ideas. Oreo had already released their big budget "Cookie or Creme" spot, but they were ready to focus on social media during the game as well:

We had a mission control set up at our office with the brand and 360i, and when the blackout happened, the team looked at it as an opportunity. Because the brand team was there, it was easy to get approvals and get it up in minutes. The big question is, what happens when everything changes, when you go off script? That was where it got fun.

Aside from what Oreo paid 360i, the brand spent zero dollars on promoting this ad, which as of this writing has been retweeted almost 15,000 times. I'm guessing plenty of companies will be studying Oreo's laser-fast social media efforts last night, don't you? It was, hands down, one of the most brilliant branding moves of the night: huge national topic, a perfectly-timed message, and delivered with the click of a button.

Do you think we'll see more low-budget, on-the-fly social media ads like Oreo's in lieu of those big expensive commercials?

Image via Oreo/Twitter

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