If there are two things marketers and advertising people have heard and talked about ad nauseam over the last few years, it’s the importance of social media engagement and the increasing value of live sports on TV. The Super Bowl provides a perfect storm for brands to test both and last night—thanks to an unexpected power outage during the game—Oreo arguably won MVP honours. The 100-year-old cookie had a solid TV commercial in the big game but what really stood out was when it called a mid-game ad audible.
The biggest sports event of the year was stopped for 34 minutes because of a power outage that blacked out parts of the Superdome. But while most of the more than 100 million TV viewers (and advertisers that spent millions) were scratching their heads, the people behind Oreo went and tweeted out the above ad mid-blackout.
A perfectly timed Tweet to a more than captive audience just waiting for the game to start again. Of course, Oreo’s been known lately for its timely ads, from Pride to the Mars Rover mission, but this took things to another level. The brand and its agency, 360i, were already huddled together and poised to produce a real-time ad. “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,” 360i president Sarah Hofstetter told BuzzFeed. “Because the brand team was there, it was easy to get approvals and get it up in minutes.”
A few other brands got in on the action but before the lights came back on, Oreo’s new ad had the strongest showing, retweeted more than 10,000 times and thousands of “favourites” on Twitter. It’s just the latest example of both the importance of agility in the social media age, and the value of trust between brand and agency. Well, all that and the ability to make a good ad.