Brands quick to exploit Super Bowl power outage

Oreo, Calvin Klein and Audi were three of several advertisers to launch tactical Twitter campaigns during last night’s (3 February) Super Bowl.

Oreo was one of several brands to capitalise on the social media buzz around the power outage during last night’s Super Bowl.

The high-profile match between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers was halted for 34 minutes after half of the lights in the Superdome stadium in New Orleans went out.

During the outage, viewers took to social media networks including Twitter to get updates on when the lights would be restored. Some brands took advantage of the situation with responsive campaigns aimed at tapping into the incident and the term ‘blackout’.

Mondelez’s Oreo brand responded to the blackout by posting a picture of one if its biscuits (see above) with the caption ‘You can still dunk in the dark’. By the time the lights had been restored the brand had racked up over 10,000 retweets and thousands of positive replies, according to reports. The snack brand also ran a commercial during the game.


Meanwhile, Calvin Klein, which also ran a 30 second spot during the match, capitalised on the break in play caused by the incident by tweeting its Vine video of male model Matthew Terry as a distraction for viewers. It ran the tweet: “Since the lights are still out…  #SB47.”


Super Bowl advertiser Audi used the event outage to take a swipe at rival car marque Mercedez-Benz, which is the naming rights partner for the Superdome. The auto brand tweeted: “Sending some LEDs to the @MBUSA Superdome right now…” it also retweeted a post from a Twitter user saying: “Did Mercedes-Benz not pay the electric bill? #superbowl.”

Fellow brands, Bud Light, Tide and Volkswagen also posted messages on the mirco-blogging site and used the terms ‘power outage’ and ‘blackout, so that people searching for both phrases saw their posts.


The tactical campaigns build on the growing trend of advertisers looking to exploit the spontaneous nature around the Super Bowl match through social content to give their marketing more relevancy.

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