In the land of the blind, a one-eyed man is king. Or one-cookied. Luckily for Oreo, the margin between brands who 'get'? social media and those who don't continues to grow. With 21,035 likes; 6,987 shares; 15,767 retweets; and 5,860 favorites and counting, Oreo's tweet's reputation precedes it. In case you are not one of those who liked, shared or re-tweeted, the tweet read: "Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark." The average alliteration was retweeted 10,000 times within the hour.
What Oreo Got Right
With half of Super Bowl ads containing a hashtag, Oreo was far from the only brand on the social media bandwagon. It wasn't the fastest, nor the most intelligent, but what Oreo's success is attributed to is a broader understanding of social's place in the media mix. Providing reporters with the 'inside scoop'? on the agency's quick thinking is what made the difference between 140 characters and the unofficial best ad of the Super Bowl.
Controlling the Conversation
It was not a brilliant quote, awe-inspiring design, or any cleverness beyond mere competence that lead to Oreo's success. By releasing statements to reporters hungry for material, in an age when the pre-releases of ads have stolen the currency right out of their pens, they pounced.
In the world of social, too many brands allow poor practices to escape from them, for they provide much more interesting stories than brands doing it right. Bringing publicity to the people behind the tweets humanized the brand, which is arguably the most important goal of social media marketing. Twitter taboos are seemingly inevitable, and the key here is to strike preemptively.
Seizing the Moment
As Slate notes, the difference between Oreo's fleetingly famed spot and what dozens of other brands produced on the fly was not rocket science, nor was it magic. Oreo simply had a grasp on the bigger picture of social media. As a good friend and public relations professional once told me, 'A tweet is like throwing a shot of whisky into the ocean,'? in pursuit of getting a fish drunk. Well, Oreo told the press exactly where and how it threw that metaphorical shot, and like clockwork they stampeded in and celebrated it.
Invite Your Fans In
Brands and people alike often forget that while social provides the vehicle, it is really content that drives virality. For Oreo, the tweet was much more than a timely comment. It was bringing the audience into the 'mission control'? room with Oreo execs and the social media team - putting the viewer in their shoes.
The self-proclaimed 'culture jacking'? romanticized and humanized the creative genius of the digital agency responsible and gave the brand more credibility for relinquishing control in a heated moment. Other brands also benefited exponentially from the ability to tap into the cultural zeitgeist to engage their audience, including: LifeStyles, Audi, Tide and PBS.
Today's 140 character or less landscape has upped our societal threshold for being impressed. Those hundred-thousand-dollar-plus seconds of ad time are doomed to fail, with such high expectations to live up to. That fact made earned media all the more priceless; the world was hungry for fame they could be all the more a part of, beyond choosing their own end to a commercial.
Social Bowl XLVII
Oreo captured the magic real-time broadcasting achieves, something brands have trouble with beyond sponsorship and experiential campaigns.
What made this two-bit, essentially free advertisement's success surpass the billion-dollar, celebrity-studded TV spots was that it made viewers feel the brand was right there with them. When companies can show their loyalty through the highs and lows of something as emotional as the Super Bowl, people will want to show the loyalty right back.
The Tweet in Summary
Was it a stroke of luck or a stroke of genius that gave Oreo so much fame for so few dollars? In 140 characters or less: Oreo showed a higher understanding of the media landscape, and by calling it 'culture jacking,'? kept the magic alive. #Winning!