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Sunday’s Super Bowl commercials managed to both leave us with laughs and bring us to tears. However, a great amount of buzz revolved around Oreo and how the brand prepared for the unexpected during the blackout at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, which that took place about two minutes into the third quarter.
While Oreo’s “Cookie or Cream” spot during the first half of the game received a positive reaction from audiences, what impressed more viewers was how quickly the 100 year old brand took advantage of the events happening on the field. Minutes after the lights went out – literally cutting color commentator Phil Simms off mid-syllable – Oreos posted a tweet that read “Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark.” The message was accompanied by a dimly lit picture of the cookie.
The post has been retweeted over 14,000 times since Sunday night, meaning that one of the most effective pieces of advertising for the night literally cost nothing during an event in which the average television spot went for about $3.8 million.
What is even more impressive about the whole episode is how prepared the brand was beforehand. According to Buzzfeed, Oreo had a “mission control” set up with agency 360i. Because both entities were present at the time of the incident, the brand was able to approve idea and execution immediately.
While the manner in which the events unfolded wasn’t typical, it is a testament to how rewarding being prepared for the unexpected can be.