February 4th, 2013 by Kelly Liyakasa

Super Bowl XLVII reinforced that the power of “quick and clever” can be equally, if not more effective, than spending somewhere around $3.8 million for 30 seconds of air time during the most anticipated annual sports event in America.

No sooner had halftime sensation Beyonce exited the stage before the Mercedes-Benz Superdome was shrouded in darkness – and the real winners of the yearly brand face-off pulled ahead. Social platform Twitter averaged 254,000 tweets-per-minute on none other than the subject of the stadium blackout.

Smart advertisers scrambled to pull together what some called “real-time marketing” messages aimed at not only entertaining the socially savvy segment of the 111 million US viewers, but injecting some real humor and humanity into the mix.  Take pharmacy Walgreen’s, which Walgreensgot its social media response team involved and chatted up a storm with


customers and hashtag-surfers. (Twitter noted in its blog that approximately 50 percent of the national ads broadcasted included a hashtag when only 1 in 5 did last year.) Its response to the Superdome power-storm was witty. Making light (no pun intended) of a dark moment in sports history. Then you had laundry detergent brand Tide, which drummed up this clever copy in response to the dark situation at hand. “We can’t get your blackout. But we can get your stains out.” Tide ran its Miracle Stain commercial this Super Bowl, which reportedly cost the company $4 million in pocket change. Reinforced by a message like this, Tide created a tidal wave of talk on Twitter for itself during the game.

Tide Ad

And, last but not least, another Super Bowl brand winner was chocolate sandwich-creme cookie company Oreo, which really reigned supreme in social media this year. During its 30-second break, the company invited viewers to bounce over to photo-sharing site Instagram to vote on what makes an Oreo cookie – the cookie or the creme? Oreo found its Instagram following padded out by the thousands in minutes, and again, reinforced its social Super Bowl presence with this real-time Twitter message to followers and lurkers. The star of this and other impromptu ads? The blackout itself. Oreo, Walgreen’s,  Tide, and a few others were nimble – and quick and clever enough – to rally around the fact that what was selling in those precious few 39 minutes of darkness was the comedic relief that everyone tuning in was desperately angling for.

Oreo ad

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