How One Creative Team Changed the Way We Will Cover Live Events Forever

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Give props to Oreo and 360i. The staple American brand and its big time creative agency just changed the way we will cover live events forever by simply creating a well-timed image ad. By telling Twitter users that you can “Still Dunk in the Dark”, Oreo did what many people never imagined. They got free advertising during the most expensive advertising day of the year.

How Did They Do It?

I’m really hoping that you have all read the story, as I have no right to claim that I am reporting this for the first time. I just think it is genius, the approach that 360i took when anticipating Super Sunday. By gathering a team of both agency and brand reps the collaborative team was able to make snap decisions and out-react the competition.

Personally, I think what they did was revolutionary. There were other brands that were successful on Sunday including Buffalo Wild Wings and Audi, but both of those ideas came in a distant second to what Oreo accomplished.

What Does It Mean?

Get ready to work long hours creative folks out there. Expect the tactics employed by 360i and Oreo to become the standard for social media teams for brands both big and small. During every big live event it is my belief that a brand who is not prepared to approve instant action is slacking behind its competition. The Grammy’s are next, I wonder what kind of outburst of social media content we will see from brands?

Who Missed Out?

Sometimes the best ways to explain a situation include pointing out failures. The obvious route to take here is to look at brands that either have language about lights in their tagline, or manufacture a product that could have been useful during the Super Bowl blackout.

  1. Motel 6 – I thought your tagline was “We’ll Leave the Lights On”. Creating a clever piece of content around this slogan during the game would have made nothing but sense for the discount hotel brand. It doesn’t matter that they sent out a tweet 24 hours later, because the timing was much less relevant. These kinds of decisions need to happen in real time.
  2. Bud Light – For a brand that is heavily involved in the Super Bowl, there may have been a clever way to take advantage of this situation. The first idea that comes to mind is editing gleaming bottles of beer in place of the missing lights and saying something like “Look! Bud Light(s)! Game On!”
  3. GE Lighting – Or any other lighting company you can think of. Audi was tweeting about sending LED’s and no actual lighting companies seemed to be interested in joining the mix. Again, there were some participants who were late to the party and the message fizzled.
  4. CBS – I’m wondering how this may affect the way networks approach live events. Networks may want to consider including what has traditionally been web based graphics. A nice infographic detailing the statistical trends of the game before and after the blackout would have been very easy to consume. Covering celebrity tweets and allowing sponsors to create on the fly messages for a fee would not be a bad idea.


For those who are willing to work hard, there is a new opportunity beginning to show its face via social media and creative advertising. Showing a little bit of wit and reacting on the fly may just be the wave of the future.

Jeff Bedford

Jeff Bedford

Analytics & Optimization Specialist at The New Group
Jeff Bedford is an Optimization & Analytics Specialist at The New Group, an integrated digital marketing agency in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Indiana University, Jeff has extensive industry experience and has worked on digital campaigns for enterprise clients around the world.
Jeff Bedford
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  • Michelle Stinson Ross

    Excellent points, Jeff. Real-time is where Twitter outshines all other social platforms. But brands have to realize what is needed to be real and present when real-time opportunities come a knockin’

    I would hope that this also helps solidify for smaller brands that putting a young intern on “that social media stuff” simply cannot continue. You’ve got to have professional, savvy marketers ready to strike at a moment’s notice.

    • Jeff

      I completely agree, the ability to take advantage of a fluid situation can really make a small business or small brand shine if they have a bright mind on hand.

  • Christopher Burgess

    Guts, patience, tenacity – some are saying how “lucky” Oreo was – Oreo and 360i came to the table prepared and then when “opportunity met preparation” they got — Lucky. No luck involved – well done Oreo & 360i.

    • Jeff

      You are exactly correct, no luck involved. They set the standard for the future IMO.