The Super Bowl’s power outage was embarrassing for the NFL and CBS – but golden for Twitter.
When the lights went out in the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans, the Super Bowl broadcast didn’t show any extra ads. But the TV audience wasn’t watching the big screen anyway. If my Super Bowl viewing party in San Francisco is anything to go by (and, for once, fewer than half of the people here in attendance work in tech), a lot of people were looking at their smartphones, checking Twitter.
And amid the usual (t)witticisms you would expect in this sort of situation, many brands were quick to take advantage. If nothing else, it shows that not all of adland’s creativity goes into TV ads these days.
At the time, Twitter’s chief operating officer Ali Rowghani asked: “Which advertiser is sponsoring the power outage?” Well, here are your answers, Ali.
- Audi – whose Super Bowl TV spot showing a geeky teenager taking his dad’s sports car to the prom had already played well on Twitter – didn’t miss the opportunity to take a dig at its rival:
- Oreo got more than 10,000 retweets and counting for this spontaneous tweet:
Ad industry blog Adland declared: “The @Oreo twitterfeed probably won the super bowl ad chatter tonight.”
- Walgreens, an American pharmacy, was quick off the mark with this:
- and Calvin Klein topped up its TV ad’s appeal to the female viewers with this suggestive post on Vine.
Twitter itself, meanwhile, got to be smug that it was TV, not the microblogging site, that caught a fail whale. Said its head of platform Ryan Sarver:
BREAKING: During the Twitter, Superbowl goes down— Ryan Sarver (@rsarver) February 4, 2013
UPDATE: Twitter’s blogpost after the Super Bowl ended said that a total of 24.1m tweets were posted during the game – excluding tweets about ads – and noted:
“Illustrating just how fast advertisers moved in: it took just four minutes for the first Promoted Tweet to appear against searches for [power outage] on Twitter.”