February 14, 2013 Henriette Weber wrote:

Newsjacking: can you act as fast as Oreo under SuperBowl?

Let’s face it – Superbowl 2013 is all about viewership and commercials. And if you want to get a part of that you can choose to pay a gazillion dollars, or you can do what Oreo did under SuperBowl 2013: Newsjacking.

With over 100 million viewers who watched the game, advertisers did not bat an eyelash in coughing out a record average of 3.5 million dollars for a 30-second commercial spot.

Newsjacking: a FREE Ad Scored a Resounding Touchdown on Superbowl  2013

As expected from such multi-million dollar tabs, most of the ads – especially the Budweiser commercial “Brotherhood” about a Clydesdale moving away from his farm and his trainer; years later, the horse remembered his trainer after returning for a parade, and run to hug him – were mini-epics of the usual drama and comedy.

To date, Superbowl 2013 goes down as one of the most expensive commercial spots ever – and the worst embarrassment in pro sports history: a power blackout that stopped play in the third quarter for a full 34 minutes.

Show stopper

But the real show stopper happened right in the middle of that power outage. An enterprising brand, Oreo, came up with an idea so bold and brilliant at the same time that it ushered a new age in advertising.

Power out? No problem.” – Oreo wrote on its twitter and facebook pages, along with the image of an ad showing an Oreo cookie with a single spotlight and an amazing tagline, “You can still dunk in the dark.”
This ad cost almost nothing, but it became the most-talked about marketing coup the entire night earning more than 13,000 retweets, 20,000 likes and 6,000 shares on facebook.

We have always known the power of relevance and timeliness in social media, but it’s so important not to look at the ad in itself, but how the speed of company actually was, and we are in awe of how well constructed the company is: It only took the ad agency FOUR minutes to make the commercial. We’re wondering who hit the button saying – “let’s go ahead and do this – NOW”.

Magical moment used for newsjacking

In marketing, making an ad usually takes months and months of preparation. In fact, Oreo itself bought a 30-second spot for the Superbowl coverage; spent countless hours coming up with a commercial message and hoped it will register home; and yes, it also paid millions to the TV promoter. That video, featuring an impressive “Whisper Fight” in a library, garnered more than 1 million views on youtube, thanks largely to the freebie “Power Out?…” ad.

So how did Oreo do it so right so quickly? Every stakeholder was there holed up in their war room, including key Oreo executives who bravely and promptly approved content. Being creative in your comfort zone is one thing but being curly creative and brave in an unpredictable situation is another thing. The result was simply magic.

Marketing dream and reality

Another thing we really are interested in is how Oreo will follow-through this marketing magic.  With practically one amazing sweep of the wand, consumers are suddenly talking about the brand. This is every company’s and every marketer’s dream.

But the worst thing Oreo can do right now is to sit down and pat itself in the back. There is no time to relax, but there is enough time to engage consumers in meaningful conversations by focusing on relevant insights and messages centered on core company values.

Our take on providing continuity

The idea here is to provide compelling reason for consumers to follow the brand by producing similarly innovative and engaging content while retaining the basic identity of the company.

From a marketing standpoint, we should treat last Sunday as jumping board to reach greater heights for the brand. We should consider it a kickoff, a sort of day one to a year’s worth of marketing ingenuity.

Oreo has set a new bar at the Superbowl 2013. We’ll see what’s next…

NB: Oreo tried it’s Newsjacking strategy at the Oscars as well, here’s an article on how that went.

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