For the biggest game of the year there are generally two different audiences.  The crowd that shows up for a football game, and those of us that come for the commercials. While the football players are bringing their very best game to the field, the advertisers are anxiously awaiting the results of some of their biggest gambles of the year.  Will the ads they’ve spent hours and hours creating and millions to broadcast resonate… or fall flat?

The Super Bowl is the most expensive advertising money can buy. This year 30 second spots were going for an estimated 4 million a pop (some higher, some lower depending on placement). With an estimated 108.69 million viewers in the US and 164.1 million estimated total viewers, that is a lot of eyes on your product. But could this year be a game changer for the face of social media use in marketing? The goal of keeping an audience’s attention becomes more and more difficult as the general audience’s attention is divided between multiple screens and activities.  To combat this companies have introduced more interactive features using social media.

Several ads featured user generated content or were voted on by viewers whether they were even to be shown. The Doritos ad was both created by consumers and then voted the most popular ad by consumers from among several other ads up for the competition. Some other ads were also interactive to one extent or another.  Budweiser ended it’s commercial with requests for name suggestions for their newest Clydesdale, Oreo was putting the question of cookie vs. creme to an Instagram vote and Coca-Cola attempted to have viewers vote in the ending of their commercial via their website (but experienced technical difficulties).

But when the lights went down one company was poised to jump on the opportunity to interact, in real time, with their consumers.  Oreo’s creative team at 360i took just minutes to tweet a photo that is being hailed by many as the overall “winner” of the Super Bowl.

oreoadtweetReaching over 16,000 tweets (and currently 21,277 likes and almost 7,000 shares on Facebook) and costing $0 in broadcasting fees the tweet is  being hailed as a game changer.  While many other companies tried to take advantage of the power outage via Twitter, none had quite the perfect storm of timeliness, relevance and humor. As a PR professional social media is one of our most effective tools for getting our message to our audience.

So what can we learn as PR professionals from this example?

1. Be ready to take advantage of opportunities that come your way. Oreo was ready to jump on whatever opportunity was presented- and it paid off.  What opportunities could you be overlooking for your company or brand?

2. Build your following now.  Oreo’s tweet wouldn’t have been effective if they didn’t already have a strong base of followers.  They had built their following from the ground up by regularly interacting with their community.

3. Know your audience. Because of regular interaction with their audience Oreo had the advantage of know what worked, and what didn’t.  Knowing your audience well because of regular interaction will allow you to know more accurately what will resonate (and be re-tweeted and shared) and what will fall flat.

4. Know your brand. The Oreo cookie brand is fun and lighthearted.  Their tweet reflected their brand accurately- even at a moment’s notice.

5.  Be relevant. The advantage of social media is the ability to react instantly in a way that resonates with current events and happenings.  People know what is happening now and want access to it. Make sure that you’re being current. This is just the beginning of what social media has the capability of doing for the changing face of public relations and advertising.  Who knows what the future will bring, but maybe the next “win” in social media could be you.


  1. Oreo’s advertisement, which I thought was lame, was driving viewers to instagram. to encourage posting pictures of their cookies. They absolutely hit it out of the park with their awesome tweet.

  2. I didn’t exactly enjoy the Oreo Commercial. I thought it was one of the “try to be funny and fail” ones. But they did do an excellent job in finding the opportunity. They took the lead and proved Champion.

  3. Must say…the ads of the Super Bowl this year…a little disappointing.  They seemed drab and boring compared to some of the past years.

  4. Wish I would have seen this a few days ago when I wrote my paper on Newsjacking, a lot of good information. Might as well take advantage of the situations you are in.

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