During the Superbowl on Sunday, there was a little glitch with the lights. They went out. We’re talking blackout. Within minutes, Oreo released the above image across several key social media channels. Not Duracell, not Energizer, not G.E…. Oreo.
Clever. And it paid off for the brand.
Why was this a win? Four interwoven reasons: Velocity, relevance, wit and execution.
Wit, relevance and execution, most ad agencies can handle. Velocity, on the the other hand (generating ad-quality content and publishing it as meme-like social content), not so much. That’s still rare.
I want you to think about obstacles vs. enablement.
I want you to think about culture and operational agility.
Something like this doesn’t happen by accident. You have to have the right people in place, the right presence on key channels, the right support from management, the right kind of relationship with your community, and an eye towards real-time community management and content creation.
How many levels of approvals and sign-off do you think that image had to go through before getting the okay? Judging by the speed with which it appeared on the interwebs when the lights at the Superdome went out, not many. How did Oreo pull that off?
1. At some point, Oreo decided it needed a nimble, agile, self-sufficient social media team.
2. At some point, Oreo decided to trust that team to do its job without having to micromanage it.
Easier said than done? Sure. But only by fine margins. Want to guess what separates Oreo from other companies that haven’t been able to do this yet? They hired the right people.
Instead of assigning social media duties to some intern or the cheapest content creation team they could find, they made sure that the people running that piece of their digital business were witty, capable, professional people who understand brand voice, who understand their fans, and who understand how memes and social marketing work.
This happened because the right people were hired and then allowed to do their job.
We can talk about tools, we can talk about processes, we can talk about platforms, but Oreo’s real genius can be traced straight back to having the right people in place.
If you want to celebrate brand management and superbowl advertising secret sauce today, the two words you should keep in mind are velocity and competence.
Whether or not this ultimately translates to business growth, well played, Oreo. Well played.
Let’s close with two simple graphs:
1. Immediate impact on Twitter:
(Feel free to compare this graph with those of every Super Bowl advertiser.)
2. Impact of Twitter on conversations about the Super Bowl:
See that enormous horizontal blue line up there? That’s the volume of Twitter mentions against Facebook, Instagram, blogs and news for the same time frame. [source]
Long term, platforms like Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram are probably stronger bets for stickiness and reach, but in terms of real-time impact (especially during events), Twitter matters. It matters a lot.
PS: You’ll want to read this too. (Real-time marketing) by David Armano.
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If you’re interested in how to make something like that happen, then convert that attention into real sales, pick up a copy of Social Media R.O.I.: Managing and Measuring Social Media Efforts in Your Organization. The book is 300 pages of facts and proven best practices that explain how to do what Oreo just did – and then some. (Go to smroi.net to sample a free chapter first, just to make sure it’s worth the money.)
And if English isn’t your first language, you can even get it in Spanish, Japanese, German, Korean and Italian now, with more international editions on the way.