Why Oreo Won Twitter During the Superbowl

Photo Credit: Oreo, 360i
Photo Credit: Oreo, 360i

By now, Oreo’s game day Tweet referencing the blackout at the Superdome has become a viral sensation, having been retweeted more than 15,000 times since it was posted shortly after a blackout that lasted slightly over a half an hour began.

The question for many small business owners would be why that Tweet, not those from Calvin Klein (who happened to use the new Vine app) or Tide or the countless others that had something to say during that 34-minute break, became the one that “went viral.” So, let’s explore…

  1. Timeliness – Oreo’s brand team and their agency, 360i had a “war room” set up that allowed them to get real-time approval on any creative or messaging that related to the game. Although their Whisper Fight spot had aired earlier in the game, they were able to go “off script” quickly.
  2. Imagery – they kept it simple. A beautifully lit cookie on a semi-dark background. No need to click through to watch a video, no call to action to retweet or buy anything. The cookie itself is iconic and the image is (say it with me this time), simple.
  3. Demographic – while the buff guy working out courtesy of Calvin was easy on the eyes, and the number of women watching the Super Bowl is rising each year, as is the number of people reporting higher-than average disposable income, the Oreo universally appeals to men and women, and is an affordable luxury in many homes (and in others, is a staple pantry item). Calvin Klein, and the buff model, would likely appeal to less than 50% of the audience. In relation to Tide, research has shown that in married households, 85% of the laundry is done by women. Cute Tweet, Tide, but it missed the demographic
  4. Integration – Yes, Oreo paid the $3.8 billion price tag for their :30 spot, but that spot drove people to their Instagram account, which in turn, would naturally drive people to check out their other social media sites. Oreo started the evening with 2,000 Instagram followers. Five hours later, they had 34,000. According to reports, 111 million people watched the Super Bowl. Nielsen has reported in the past that 41% of tablet users and 38% of smartphone users use their devices while watching TV. Which means that millions of game watchers had the opportunity to comment and share via social media instantly. And they did. Reports from Twitter’s blog are stating that 24.1 million Tweets about the game, the ads and Beyonce’s halftime show. During the blackout, there were 231,500 tweets per minute. Oreo used this integration to their advantage.

Overall, there is absolutely no sure-fire way to guarantee viral content, but ensuring that social media posts are timely, appeal to your demographic, are visually appealing and that your messaging is consistent across all platforms certainly provides a better online experience for your customer – even if your brand isn’t Oreo.

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