The biggest moment on Twitter during last night's Super Bowl was not during play itself, but when the lights went out at the New Orleans Superdome for 35 minutes and cookie brand Oreo scored the biggest ad win of the night. The power went early in the third quarter, with the Baltimore Ravens leading the San Francisco 49ers 28-6.
As soon as the power went down, Oreo and its agency went to work on an ad that was quickly tweeted. within an hour, the Oreo ad, with the caption, "Power out? No problem", had been shared more than 10,000 times on Twitter and went on to be retweeted and favorite more than 18,000 times.
That means one of the most talked-about ads on the Super Bowl night, when TV spots were being sold by CBS for between $3.8m (£2.4m) and $4m (£2.5m), was done for free on Twitter.
Power out? No problem. twitter.com/Oreo/status/29…— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 4, 2013
The Super Bowl was delayed 34 minutes early in the third quarter tonight, when power was lost to half of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Split nearly straight down the middle, lights were completely lost, and most of the stadium was plunged into darkness. Twitter immediately exploded as people sent out jokes, puns, and pointed out that, at least in the rain in Sun Life Stadium, the game could still be played.
It was the perfect case of being ready at the right time and taking advantage of a golden opportunity.
Oreo wasn't the only advertiser to try it. Several others did as well, including Audi, with more than 9,000 retweets and 2,800 favourites, Tide, with around 1,500 retweets and favourites, and Calvin Klein, which picked up a couple of hundred.
"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," Sarah Hofstetter, president of 360i said.
Of course, other brands followed suit but Oreo had already won the day!
Sending some LEDs to the @mbusa Superdome right now...— Audi (@Audi) February 4, 2013