On Twitter, Oreo steals the Super Bowl power outage

Minutes after the power went out during Super Bowl XLVII, Oreo issued a tweet that garnered thousands of retweets in mere minutes.


Even with the Baltimore Ravens’ nail-biting victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Super Bowl XLVII will be known for its power outage. Ninety seconds into the second half, the lights went out in the Super Dome, leading to a 34-minute delay.

When the outage occurred, Twitter started buzzing with questions, speculation, and humor about the incident. With the players sidelined, PR folks started offering their advice about how they would handle the crisis if given the chance. While they hammered out crisis communications tips, at least one group of marketers saw an opportunity to do what they do best: market.

Riding a wave of social media success, Oreo issued this tweet mere minutes into the outage:

As the lights came back on, the tweet had already been shared more than 12,000 times.

BuzzFeed‘s Rachel Sanders spoke with the team behind the tweet, the agency 360i.

“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.”

Although Oreo paid for an ad during the Super Bowl—its cookies or creme spot—the brand stole the social media show with a single tweet.

Brian Adams consults with nonprofits, including Komera Project, regarding communications strategy. Read more from Brian on his blog.

Topics: PR

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