How To Newsjack The Super Bowl Like Oreo

you can still dunk in the dark

you can still dunk in the dark

Looking for opportunities to get your brand in front of an audience doesn’t always come to those that wait, but frequently to those that are prepared. Advertising rates for large events like the Super Bowl are out of reach for a lot of big brands, let alone small business. With the right planning though, even small businesses can leverage these occasions.

During the Super Bowl Oreo were well prepared for newsjacking and this allowed them to take full advantage of an opportune moment to get their message to spread virally via social media.

A typical 30 second TV advert during the Super Bowl would cost a company in the region of $4 million. A huge chunk of any brands budget, and that’s if you even got in quick enough to book a slot.

So what’s the alternative?

Leverage the speed and reach of social media!

And Oreo did, just that.

As you may be aware part way through this years Super Bowl spectacular the lights went out!

Yep, a power cut right in the middle of one of the largest spotting events in the world. With over 100 million viewers left in the dark Oreo’s team got to work.

Within seconds they sent out the following Tweet with a photo of an Oreo in the shadows:


To date this simple Tweet has been ReTweeted by over 16,000 people and favourited over 6,000 times. On Facebook, over 5,000 shares and 19,000 likes.

What does it take to do this?

There is no doubt it takes some quick thinking, creative minds, and when you are dealing with a brand, you need the people with “permission to post” in the room. Where Oreo were really clever was to have organised the team that could do this all together in a “social media control centre” specifically for this purpose.

When the opportunity came they took it!

How to replicate the Oreo effect

The chances of striking gold in the same way Oreo did are rare, but opportune moments do come about all of the time so be prepared using these 10 pointers below.

  1. Make a list of all key events likely to attract a large audience.

  2. Select events that have relevance to your brand

  3. Organise your team

  4. Get permission from the Brand guardian, ideally have them on the team

  5. Nominate roles, creative, writer, editor, key decision maker

  6. Brainstorm some possible opportunities

  7. Make a list of required equipment and applications

  8. Test everything well in advance with a dry run

  9. Monitor the social chatter and interact with the audience

  10. When the moment comes make a decision and act fast

Don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t work for you first time out. There’s a lot of luck involved, if nothing else it will make for great team building and get everyone used to being creative on demand.

If you do give this a go please let me know, it would be great to feature your case study on my blog.

About Sean Clark

Building successful online companies since 1999, we help you market your business online. Whether you need help with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Paid Search (PPC) or Social Media Marketing call us today on 01603 343477 for a free initial consultation.

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