Why I Wasn’t Impressed with Oreo’s Super Bowl Blackout Tweet

I’m going to say it: I wasn’t impressed by Oreo’s blackout tweet

As I brace for the backlash, I’ll try to explain myself. I do realize that Oreo is making all the brands that invested $4 million for 30 seconds of interruption look foolish. Oreo is the talk of the town, and it’s not because of its own quite funny Super Bowl commercial (that’s right: I’m not going to call it the Big Game or El Plato Supreme) or it's impressive efforts on Instagram re-creating photos sent by fans out of either Oreo cookie or Oreo cream, which I insist marketers would be talking about today if there hadn't been a blackout. No, it’s because of a single tweet (I realize that it was also a Facebook post, but let’s call it a tweet for simplicity’s sake). It was a photo of an Oreo cookie in a pool of light surrounded by darkness and the words “You can still dunk in the dark”—and it was re-tweeted more than 15,000 times.

It was timely, on-brand and a much faster real-time response than any other brand (though brands like Tide and Audi had some great responses as well). If you were scouring the online marketing rags on Monday morning, you couldn’t click twice without running into an article about Oreo’s success.

But I wasn’t impressed by the tweet.


What’s the ROI in That?

There seems to be no better time of year for brands to empty their pockets and slap their logos everywhere they can in hopes of gaining exposure than the end of the calendar year. Between the New Year’s Eve televised specials, holiday parades, college football bowl games, sponsored parties, Times Square billboards, Super Bowl commercials and more, the in-your-face advertising is literally unavoidable. 

This type of advertising is nothing new. It’s something we’ve lived with for decades and it expands further with each passing year. But the age we live in now, the post-advertising age, has provided audiences with a bit of perspective. The stadium sponsorships, Super Bowl commercials, Times Square billboards—it all seems a little…funny, doesn’t it?   


By The Numbers: Social Media and the Super Bowl

Social media rushed the field during this year's Super Bowl ad extravaganza. It was anything but business-as-usual. Folks the globe over are a-chatter about what they saw during the game, and comments were more positive than most anyone anticipated. Let's dive in, shall we?
The Old Spice Guy is Back

The Old Spice Guy is Back, but Do We Still Care?

After a six-month hiatus, our favorite shirtless alpha-male with striking brown eyes and bulging pecs is back for Round 3, and just in time for the Super Bowl. The newest Old Spice campaign will tout their Fresh Collection (a line of deodorant, body spray and body wash). The commercial will be debuted on one lucky Superfan's social network feed before the Super Bowl. While the title character, portrayed by the dreamy Isaiah Mustafa, promises that these advertisements are as entertaining as the hilarious previous batches, I wonder - do we still care about the Old Spice Guy?

Ready, Set, Tweet!

In a new social media campaign supporting its first ever Super Bowl ad, Mercedes-Benz has announced “the world’s first Twitter-fueled race," in which four teams will race suped-up autos from New York, LA, Chicago, or Tampa to the 2011 Super Bowl in Dallas. The grand prize is a 2012 C-Class Coupe and tickets to the Super Bowl. Here's the catch: it will take more than just speed to win. Racers will have to complete to-be-announced challenges along the way and garner Facebook likes and tweets (according to Mercedes-Benz, the winners will need “gallons of Tweets”). Sure, Facebook and Twitter are great marketing tools, but does this make any sense?

The Audience Steals the Spotlight

Earlier this year, AdLab critiqued The New York Times’ assessment of Super Bowl advertising, which described a coup of Madison Avenue. It recognized that brands are in the hands of consumers. Imagine that!