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Think Fast – Oreo Banks on Blackout

The Super Bowl power outage provided a remarkable opportunity for the fast-thinking employees of some advertisers. According to an article the day after the game in Advertising Age, “some quick-thinking brands jumped into the disarray. Bud Light and Speed Stick bid on promoted tweets pegged to the term “power outage,” so people who searched for that phrase saw their tweets.”

Timing does matter, as does a stroke of lucky fortune. 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. They could act 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.

According the article, it’s possible that this clever but simple action in the form of their tweet overshadowed Oreo’s far more expensive TV ad, filled with stunts,  that ran in the game before the blackout.

“A few other brands used the opportunity well, reacting quickly and with wit. Audi, whose spot ran before the blackout, used the power outage as an opportunity to take a jab at rival luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz — sponsor of the Superdome in New Orleans. Mercedes-Benz USA remained mum on its Twitter feed and didn’t respond to Audi’s zinger. Tide and VW posted cute, lighthearted messages pegged to the surprise occurrence, too.”