How do you make the best of a bad situation?
Well, you think on your feet and go with your gut instinct. If your contingency plan is good enough, then you’ll probably come out of the situation smelling of roses. If it’s not, then you’re in trouble. These are the circumstances that faced U.S. Cookie manufacturer Oreo at the weekend during the Super Bowl. The producer had spent big time on placed TV advertisements during the event, but its efforts, and those of many other advertisers, were somewhat overshadowed by the power cut which left the New Orleans Superdome stadium in darkness for almost half an hour. However, when the going got tough; the tough got going. Oreo and advertising agency 360i immediately sprang into action and hit the social media with a tweet that captured the nation’s attention. The result a lot of great free publicity and almost 16,000 thousand retweets within a couple of hours.
So what happened? Well Oreo had discussed what action should be taken should anything unexpected occur.
The issue of a power cut had never been mentioned, but given the Super Bowl’s reputation for mishaps and wardrobe malfunctions, it was thought best to have some sort of contingency in place. When the lights went out it took just minutes for the company and the agency to agree about what to do. Within minutes Oreo had tweeted its message, and the rest as they say is history. What did Oreo say? Simply: ‘power out – no problem. You can still dunk in the dark.’
Obviously that’s a clever bit of marketing and a brilliant demonstration of how opportunism can pay, but it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.
Oreo is no stranger to this type of action. The brand which once set a Guinness Record for likes on Facebook, has frequently used timely events like the Mars Rover landing and the premier of the Dark Knight Rises, to capitalise on its large following on social media channels. So the company is certainly social media-savvy. 360i agency president Sarah Hofstetter told WebProNews:
“We had a mission control set up at our office with the brand and 360i, and when the blackout happened, the team looked at it as an opportunity. Because the brand team was there, it was easy to get approvals and get it up in minutes.”
“You need a brave brand to approve content that quickly. When all of the stakeholders come together so quickly, you’ve got magic.”