The instant-advertising era may not have been born Sunday night, but it took its first assured steps during the 34-minute power outage at the Super Bowl in New Orleans.
Oreo (of all products) was the runaway winner, with a now legendary tweet-cum-ad that tied the 100-year-old cookie to the zero-dark-34 minutes at the Superdome. As players milled on the half-lit field, Oreo created the ad and pointed its thousands of followers to it: “You can still dunk in the dark,” read the headline on an image of an Oreo set in light, shadow and darkness.
The ad — simple, surprising and instantly topical — became a viral hit, retweeted more than 15,000 times in the first 14 hours. The approval was nearly universal: “Social media rapid response at its finest,” wrote one commenter.
Other advertisers tried to play the same game during the Big Game, but to limited effect. During the game delay, Calvin Klein tweeted and posted brief clips on the new Vine video-sharing service of its buff TV model working out. Tide detergent tried to play off the event, too, linking to a simple insta-ad reading, “We can’t get your blackout. But we can get your stain out.” Volkswagen sent a tweet reading, “Lost power during the Big Game. . . . Don’t worry, #GetHappy” along with a link to its white-guy-talks-like-a-Jamaican Super Bowl commercial.